$312 Million in Clean California Projects to Beautify and Revitalize Public Spaces Throughout the State

SACRAMENTO – As part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s landmark $1.1 billion Clean California initiative, Caltrans is awarding $312 million for 126 beautification projects along the state highway system – including five projects in Caltrans District 9.
Designed to foster cultural connections and civic pride, the projects are expected to generate 3,600 jobs as part of the multiyear initiative led by Caltrans to remove trash and beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets, and roads while creating thousands of jobs for Californians. 98 percent of the projects will benefit historically underserved or excluded communities.
“Caltrans partnered with communities throughout California to identify and develop projects that meet the specific needs of each individual region while also enhancing and beautifying public spaces,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “By working together, we are better able to restore public pride in our communities and help change the habits that create litter in the first place.”
Developed in close collaboration with tribal and local governments, non-profits and businesses, the 126 state beautification projects include art installations, green space, and proposals that improve safety and promote community connections. Construction begins in April 2022. A full list of projects can be found here.
Governor Newsom made the announcement on Friday in San Francisco, at the site of a Clean California project that will include a tree nursery, dog park, and other features.
Projects located in District 9 include:
  • Bridgeport Main Street Banner:
  • The Bridgeport Main Street Banner project will install a banner structure that spans scenic US Highway 395 at the intersection of the highway and Sinclair Street in the town of Bridgeport in Mono County. The banner structure will be a placemaking focal point where the community can suspend customized event and welcome banners over the historic main street.
  • Mono Lake Guardrail Beautification and Safety:
  • The Mono Lake MGS (Midwest Guardrail System) beautification and safety project will replace outdated guardrails with safer, color-treated guardrail systems that will complement the beauty of the scenic basin near the town of Lee Vining in Mono County. A beautification treatment will allow the guardrails to blend into the surrounding environment.
  • Fort Independence Lighting:
  • The Fort Independence Lighting project will install lighting along US Highway 395, where the highway divides the Fort Independence Indian Reservation in Inyo County.
  • Fort Independence Monuments:
  • The Fort Independence Monuments project will install gateway monuments along US Highway 395 at the northern and southern boundaries of the Fort Independence Indian Reservation in Inyo County. The monuments will serve as placemaking focal points that enhance the community space.
  • Rosamond Interchange Xeriscape:
  • The Rosamond Interchange Xeriscape project will beautify the interchange of State Route 14 and Rosamond Boulevard within the community of Rosamond in Kern County. A minimal water use xeriscape will replace the existing drought sensitive landscape, reducing maintenance needs and enhancing worker safety.
In addition to these awards for Clean California projects along the state right-of-way, the Governor in December announced the availability of almost $300 million in grants to cities and counties for local projects that will clean and beautify neighborhood streets, parks, and transit centers throughout California. Caltrans will review the project proposals from cities, counties, transit agencies, tribal governments, and other governmental entities and announce grant recipients on March 1. The Governor’s California Blueprint proposes an additional $100 million to fund additional local Clean California grants.
Over three years, Clean California will remove an additional 1.2 million cubic yards, or 21,000 tons, of trash from the state system alone – enough to fill the Rose Bowl three times over. The initiative has already resulted in 6,300 tons of litter removed from the State Highway System and, to date, Caltrans has hired 528 new team members, including 428 maintenance workers who collect litter and perform maintenance duties like graffiti removal.
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Jesse Steele

TIP JAR Jesse is a media content creator and film maker from the Eastern Sierra.
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