In April 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed The Road Repair and Accountability Act (SB-1) into law.  Now a measure known as Proposition 6 is aimed at repealing the law, which many experts see as a major threat to the state’s infrastructure and the state’s economic development goals.

“The American Concrete Pavement Association supports SB 1 and is strongly is opposed to Proposition 6 or any effort to repeal this much-needed legislation,” says Jim Mack, P.E., Vice Chairman of ACPA and Director of Market Development for CEMEX.

“For too long, state highway agencies have had to do more with less, meaning they stretched their limited resources, which often were not sufficient enough to invest in highway reconstruction or strategic expansion to meet population growth, as well as increased traffic,” he says. 

“With the passage of SB 1, California has the opportunity to invest in congested and crumbling highways and bridges that are in poor condition.  In doing so, the state can also address traffic congestion, which reduces wasted fuel, improves air quality and other such issues,” Mack says.  “Equally important, SB 1 gives the state the opportunity to provide tangible, long-term economic benefits to citizens throughout the state.”

He cited research by The American Road & Transportation Builders Association[1] that indicates SB 1 will generate significant, long-term economic activity and infrastructure-user benefits, while also helping create tens of thousands of new jobs.

“ARTBA’s research indicates SB 1 will generate almost $183 billion in economic activity and user benefits throughout all sectors of the state’s economy over the next 10 years,” Mack said.   

Mack also says SB 1 is a positive example of what states can do when lawmakers recognize the value of infrastructure investment, “California has already shown early successes that demonstrate the significant and positive impact of SB 1.  If this investment program is repealed, it risks sending a negative signal to other states planning to invest in their highways and other infrastructure.”

The Editorial Board of the LOS ANGELES TIMES[2], warned against the damage wrought by a repeal: “Too many roads are potholed and crumbling. Too many bridges could collapse in the next big earthquake. Too many Californians are stuck for hours in traffic without the option of a train, bus or bike.”

The editorial board says, “The logical way to fund these critical transportation improvements is the way California, and the federal government, have always done it: through ‘user fees.'”  This is a position ACPA and many highway advocates have supported, too.

Mack, echoing the editorial board says, “Delaying the needed improvement now only makes the problem more expensive later on and the system more dangerous,” and strongly urges voters to, “Take the responsible road and vote NO on Proposition 6.”

[1] Reported by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, August 3, 2018.

[2] “It’s hard to overstate how destructive Proposition 6 would be for California. Vote no.” Opinion by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, September 22, 2018.