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October 29, 2018 3:00 PM, EDT

California Trucking Chief: Freight Projects Could Be Hurt by Fuel Tax Hike Repeal

Fuel Tax Hike Repeal Containerships dock at the Port of Los Angeles. (Tim Rue/Bloomberg News)

Repealing the fuel tax hike enacted last year as part of the Road Repair and Accountability Act would mean stripping funding for key projects along some of California’s most important freight corridors, according to California Trucking Association CEO Shawn Yadon.

Fuel Tax Hike Repeal

Yadon

The law dedicated $156 million (from an estimated $54 billion in fuel tax revenue) to improving capacity of Interstate 5 bridges in Sacramento, a hub for freight traveling through Washington and Oregon to Southern California.

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“We have some structurally deficient concrete bridges in Sacramento County that are tied into I-5 and for us to have that ability to see those bridges repaired and enhanced so that they can improve the truck-carrying capacity is vital to the industry,” Yadon said. “With the vital nature of I-5 pretty much from the very top of the state in the north all the way through the state down south, that’s a vital artery for freight movement in California.”

Diverting truck traffic from deficient bridges onto alternate routes designed for smaller vehicles not only disrupts freight movement, it creates a safety issue, Yadon noted.

The Road Repair and Accountability Act also includes plans for a $201 million pavement preservation project along 52 lane miles of I-10 in Riverside, which Yadon identified as “crucial” for goods moving inland from California’s ports. The project also would include construction of an eastbound truck lane.

Yadon said he hopes funding will not be stalled should the ballot’s Proposition 6 pass.

“There’s no backup plan for this funding,” Yadon said. “It’s there today. It’s being allocated for these crucial projects.”