The California Region of the American Society of Civil Engineers held a Statewide Infrastructure Symposium on March 18th at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento with over 220 delegates.
Will Kempton, Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission delivered the Opening Keynote emphasizing the significant challenges and opportunities lying ahead for closing the ever-widening funding gap between transportation infrastructure needs and allocated investment. Then delegates broke into two tracks – one on water, one on transportation.
The Transportation Track featured 18 presentations in four sessions by prominent speakers from state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations along with videos interspersed to introduce and reinforce key topics.
The first morning session focused on intercity and commuter rail topics including engineering challenges associated with the statewide high-speed rail system, regional rail systems connecting the Northern California Mega-Region, and proposed Sacramento Light Rail system upgrades to accommodate the Golden 1 Center.
The second morning session focused on the station area development implications of implementing the intercity and commuter rail topics including the high-speed rail station area development vision and goals and the station area developments plans in both cities associated with the Sacramento to Roseville 3rd Main Track Project.
The first afternoon session focused on key regional roadway and aviation projects within the six-county Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) (Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, Yuba, and Sutter) region including improvements at the Sacramento International Airport (SMF) and key Placer County projects strategically selected to gain voter approval for a “halfcent” sales tax increase on the November ballot.
The second afternoon session addressed the implications of inadequate transportation funding and potential fixes from the perspectives of Caltrans, the League of California Cities, the California Transportation Commission, Transportation California, and the California State Association of Counties.
Following the final water and transportation track sessions, delegates reconvened for a Closing Keynote Address by Former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg who successfully got the High-Speed Rail vote through the Senate with a close “21-19” margin. Mr. Steinberg discussed the need to exercise courageous leadership on “transformative investments” that have lasting impacts on future generations.
The 2017 Symposium takes place in Los Angeles. Details on date and location come out this fall at http://www.asce.org/region_9/.