The Los Angeles County
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors adopted a $3.8-billion
budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11. The spending plan is $47 million less than the
current Metro budget but still advances a variety of transportation
improvements for the region including a spate of new highway and transit
building projects. These are funded largely with federal stimulus funds and the
new Measure R transit sales tax.
A Colton, Calif.,
railroad overpass meant to unclog a crowded Southern California freight
corridor has been approved by a key state panel, ending a two-month logjam that
jeopardized the $202-million project, The Press-Enterprise reports. The
California Transportation Commission on May 19 unanimously agreed to spend $91
million in state transportation bond money to build the Colton Crossing. The
decision also frees $33.8 million in federal stimulus money for the project.
"The climate change and energy draft
legislation ‘The American Power Act' proposed by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.)
and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) undermines investment in one of the most-effective
tools consumers use to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and combat climate
change - public transportation," says a statement by American Public
Transportation Association President William Millar. The current climate change
and energy proposal diverts the vast majority of new transportation revenue to
areas other than public transit and transportation investment.
(The following statement
s issued by Los Angeles Metro CEO Art Leahy, with quotes from Los Angeles Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa and MTA Board Chair Ara Najarian.) Today's action by the
California Transportation Commission (CTC) approving funding for Positive Train
Control is a major victory for our region. PTC is a major safety enhancement
for passenger rail service throughout the region.
While Worcester, mass., City
Manager Michael V. O'Brien has committed to coming back to the City Council in
three weeks with a deal to address issues associated with CSX Transportation's.
freight yard expansion plan, some doubts are being raised about whether the
biggest obstacle - finding a new roadway connection from Shrewsbury Street to
Franklin Street - can be achieved, the Telegram & Gazette reports.
Washington, D.C., Metro
General Manager Richard Sarles testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the U.S.
Senate Committee on Appropriations May 19 and reiterated the transit agency's
request for $150 million in fiscal year 2011.
In doing so, Sarles provided a
description of his back-to-basics action plan to improve the safety and service
reliability of the Metro system.
Crews were working
through the night to finish two railroad bridges in Benton City, Wash., by 6
a.m. May 20, the Bellingham Herald reports. Construction of the BNSF ballast-deck
bridges with concrete girders started early May 19. Both are 121 feet long and
will allow traffic to pass under the railroad tracks.
The Norfolk Light Rail station
at Norfolk State University is one of 11 Light Rail stations that will run on
the 7.4 miles of track from Eastern Virginia Medical School to Newtown Road,
local media report. It's the only station that will sit high above city streets
and will have an elevator for passengers.
Customers can expect
lengthy delays of up to 30 minutes May 21-23 as old track components are
replaced on Washington, D.C., Metrorail's Red, Orange and Green lines, causing
inbound and outbound trains to take turns sharing one track on portions of the