Trade Corridors Improvement Fund Update | News

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Trade Corridors Improvement Fund Update

Saturday, December 1, 2007

MTC is set to act in December 2007 on a recommendation for how to spend state Trade Corridors Improvement Fund (TCIF) program funding flowing to the Bay Area and Northern California.

In November 2006, voters approved Proposition 1B, a roughly $20 billion Transportation Bond. Proposition 1B included a total of $3.1 billion for goods movement-related programs, of which $2 billion is set aside for infrastructure improvements statewide.

Unlike other transportation programs, the TCIF legislation included no mandated funding allocation between Southern and Northern California. In order to compete effectively with Southern California, MTC partnered with the Central Valley and Sacramento regions to develop a comprehensive Northern California trade strategy and program.

There are two high-priority interregional goods movement corridors serving the Bay Area: 1) Interstate 80 — known as the Central Corridor; and 2) Interstate 880/238/580 — known as the Altamont Corridor. Investment in these corridors ensures the future viability and growth of the Port of Oakland as a trade gateway for both imports and exports, and strengthens the economic interconnections of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley regions with the Bay Area. MTC and its partners focused their efforts on developing a comprehensive program of rail and highway projects along these corridors.

Draft program of projects

MTC Resolution No. 3830 Attachment A (Excel) summarizes a preliminary $1.3 billion proposed investment program, and includes projects in our region as well as projects from the Central Valley and Sacramento regions that together serve both Northern California trade corridors. Our approach is to have a multi-phased project list. The first tier, totaling roughly $850 million, and another $100 million in SHOPP (State Highway Operation and Protection Program) programming, reflects the highest priority projects for each region as candidates for TCIF funding. Tier 2, totaling roughly $460 million, is made up of those projects that play an important role in goods movement in the corridors but that we do not believe will compete as well for the TCIF program. The TCIF program is simply the beginning of a long-term focus on goods movement. With federal reauthorization on the horizon, and a possible revenue stream for trade projects from the proposed container fee being considered by the state Legislature, those projects that do not receive funding from TCIF will continue to be developed and pursued.

Evaluation

On November 27, 2007, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved program guidelines, including the schedule, project evaluation criteria and recommended regional targets. The CTC and Caltrans also approved adding approximately $500 million from the State Highway Account to fund state-level priorities that are critical to goods movement, bringing the total funding available to $2.5 billion. In addition, the CTC will program roughly 20% more than currently available funding, assuming future new revenue and changes in project delivery. Project applications are due to the CTC by January 17, 2008.

Project evaluation: Projects will be evaluated based on both eligibility screens and evaluation criteria. Screens include deliverability, secured matching funds and emission reductions. Criteria are focused on freight system factors, transportation system factors, and community impact factors.

Regional allocation targets: The CTC approved regional allocation targets to guide program development. The three trade regions are: 1) the Los Angeles/Inland Empire, 2) the Bay Area/Central Valley, 3) the San Diego/border crossings, and there was a small funding recommendation for areas that fall outside of those major corridors.

TCIF Corridor Programming Ranges

in $ millions, ranges include SHOPP (State Highway Operation and Protection Program funds

[chart]

Rail projects: The CTC is requiring that public funding be tied to public benefit as demonstrated through a public/private benefit analysis. The state will likely take the lead role in negotiating agreements with the railroads regarding major rail projects, including determining appropriate funding splits and additional public concessions.

Next Steps for TCIF

The proposed Northern California “Bay Area/Central Valley” program includes both projects we anticipate submitting for TCIF funding (Tier 1) as well as additional goods movement projects (Tier 2) to be pursued in the future. It is staff’s intent that projects from Tier 1, totaling roughly $875 million, would be submitted to the CTC for the TCIF program, with each regional agency submitting applications for the projects for which they are listed as sponsor. The MTC commissioners are being asked to approve the project list at the December 12, 2007, Programming and Allocations Committee meeting, subject to additional revisions and detail provided by staff at the meeting, and refer the item to the Commission for approval on December 19, 2007. It is MTC staff’s intent that projects from Tier 1, totaling roughly $850 million, and $100 million in goods movement-related SHOPP projects, would be submitted to the CTC for the TCIF program, with each regional agency submitting applications for the projects for which they are listed as sponsor.

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