Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to reorganize California’s multiple transportation-related departments under a new single agency led by a cabinet level official got the support of the lone construction industry representative appearing at a hearing last week.

Associated General Contractors of California’s advocate Dave Ackerman testified before the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Transportation, and, according to a report by AGC-CA spokeswoman Carol Eaton, he pointed out the potential benefits that would be derived from the reorganization.

The proposal would move Caltrans, the Department of Motor Vehicles, California Highway Patrol, Board of Pilots and Office of Traffic Safety from the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency to a new stand-alone Transportation Agency. It would also move two independent boards, the High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Transportation Commission (CTC), under the direction of the new Transportation Agency.

Eaton said AGC also provided industry support for the findings of the California Transportation Commission’s recent study entitled the “2011 Statewide Transportation Needs Assessment.” The CTC study that was released in October outlines state transportation funding needs over the next decade and highlights the major gap that exists between current funding sources and California’s basic transportation needs, including maintenance and expansion of the state’s highways, local roadways, public transit, rail, seaports, airports and more.

In his testimony, Eaton said Ackerman told the committee that if the legislature doesn’t address the issue of inadequate funding of transportation infrastructure, thousands of jobs will be impacted and the economy will continue to suffer.

Eaton said the study finds a deficit totaling some 55% between the existing funding sources estimated at $242.4 billion over the decade compared to the estimated $538.1 in transportation funding needs (excluding development of the high-speed rail project). To prepare the needs assessment, representatives from Caltrans and California’s major Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) conducted surveys of each of the state’s 18 MPOs and 26 rural regional transportation planning agencies. The report is designed to lay the groundwork for a set of policy recommendation that can be addressed by state and federal policy makers and transportation officials.

To read the report, click

Meanwhile, seven member firms of AGC of California recently walked home with National Safety Awards at the Willis 2012 Construction Excellence Awards breakfast during the 93rd annual AGC of America convention.

Coming in second place in the Building Division (450,001 - 650,000 work hours) was HMH Builders, and also coming in second for 850,001 - 1.25 million work hours was Swinerton Builders. In the Federal and Heavy Division, coming in third (100,001 - 300,000 work hours) was Syblon Reid, and taking first place (700,001 - 1 million work hours) was Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. In the Highway Division, coming in first and second (over 1 million work hours) respectively were Flatiron West Construction Group and Granite Construction Inc. And in the Specialty Division, coming in first (100,001 - 300,000 work hours) was Underground Construction Co., Inc.