Measure to help expedite SB 1 infrastructure repair projects passes Senate Appropriations Committee

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Senator Newman’s SB 1262 would help avoid inefficiencies in SB 1 funded projects

By Lisa Murphy

A measure to help expedite infrastructure projects and save taxpayers money by creating efficiencies, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee May 7. Senator Josh Newman (D—Fullerton) authored Senate Bill (SB) 1262, which will help achieve some of the original mandates of SB 1, to save taxpayer money on infrastructure projects and use that savings to invest in further maintenance and rehabilitation of the state’s roadways.

“As we begin to deliver projects with SB 1 funds, it’s only sensible that we utilize every available tool to cut costs and expedite completion of projects to the greatest extent possible,” said Newman. “SB 1262 will assist Caltrans in meeting the specific requirement under SB 1 of achieving $100 million per year in efficiencies, allowing for the reinvestment of those savings in the maintenance and rehabilitation of California’s State Highway System. Granting Caltrans the authority to use the Construction Manager/General Contractor project delivery method with no restrictions will go a long way towards making sure SB 1 funds are being used in the most efficient manner possible,” Newman continued. “Having a contractor consulted on projects from the beginning will help eliminate waste and will ultimately expedite these desperately needed repairs on our states, roads and highways.”

Existing law only allows Caltrans to use the Construction Manager/General Contractor project delivery method on a limited basis, with a current allotment of 24 pilot programs. Most Caltrans contracts are decided on a “design, bid, build” method which can be a long and costly process for the state and taxpayers. To date, the use of Construction Manager/General Contractor has allowed Caltrans to achieve substantial savings, realizing efficiency gains as high as 50% on recent projects. The passage of SB 1262 would help achieve these savings on all future projects and fulfill the original promises of SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act.

The bill now heads to the Senate floor.

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