California truck-only toll roads proposed

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Working to eliminate shipping bottlenecks in California’s ports, an assemblyman recently introduced a bill that would allow two truck-only toll roads to be built in California to relieve congestion, reduce pollution and enhance highway safety.

“This bill mirrors Governor Schwarzenegger’s call for public-private partnerships to address California’s critical transportation needs,” Chuck DeVore said Thursday, Feb. 23. “I have already met with the governor’s staff and representatives of local government. They are interested in this bill as a vehicle to build needed roads without using tax money.”

AB 2290, co-authored by Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, would authorize CalTrans, or regional transportation entities with the consent of CalTrans, to enter into comprehensive development franchise agreements with private firms or consortia. These would then finance and build critically needed new truck toll corridors, and then have the right to operate them for up to 50 years.

“The time to act is now,” DeVore says. “If we do not reduce the growing trucking congestion in our vital ports, then we will only add to the pressure to build a massive new port from scratch in Mexico, 100 miles south of the border. In addition, residents of Los Angeles and Orange counties waste an average of 93 hours in traffic every year, the worst in the nation. A truck-only toll road out of the ports of Long Beach and San Pedro will improve traffic flow and reduce pollution.”