The Orange County (Calif.) Transportation Authority (OCTA) said in 2010 it has advanced more than $525 million worth of projects into construction.
For every $1 billion spent on infrastructure improvements, it is estimated that 18,000 jobs are created. In Orange County, the investment translates into nearly 9,500 jobs for a region hit hard by the economic recession, according to OCTA.
OCTA's shelf-ready projects made them eligible for matching dollars through state and federal sources and, in the past year, it has leveraged $600 million. Combined with Measure M, the county's half-cent sales tax for transportation, OCTA was able to quickly advance projects into construction.
By moving projects into construction, OCTA experienced a 40 percent savings in construction costs totaling more than $100 million.
Public transportation projects that started construction in 2010 include $95 million in infrastructure improvements for increased rail service, $85 million to enhance safety at 50 railroad crossings and $3.9 million for improvements at bus bases.