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The Thomas Roads Improvement Program (TRIP) is a cooperative effort between the City of Bakersfield, County of Kern,Caltrans and the Kern Council of Governments. The program was named in honor of former Congressman William M. Thomas, who led the effort to secure $630 million for area road projects in the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA: LU).
TRIP projects have been identified as necessary to relieve the stress on outdated infrastructure, caused by years of rapid growth in population, interregional travel, and freight movement. The projects will facilitate regional mobility, economic growth and development, as well as reduce travel time through major transportation corridors.
The TRIP office is staffed with personnel from the City, County, Caltrans and Parsons, the program management consultant. The City, County and Caltrans serve as operational leads on various projects, but the entire team works cooperatively in the effort to accelerate schedules and move the projects toward completion.
Centennial Corridor Early Acquisition
In February, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved early release of $165 million to the City of Bakersfield to acquire right-of-way for the Centennial Corridor project. Bakersfield City Council voted to move forward with the early acquisition process at the Wednesday, March 5, 2014 meeting.
Under recent federal legislation, known as “The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (“MAP-21”), 23 USC 108, Congress authorized both Caltrans and eligible local public agencies to perform certain early acquisition activities. The purposes of early acquisition include expediting project delivery, creating jobs, and reducing hardship for those who own property in the proposed path of a project and who encounter difficulties when they seek to sell their property before final project approval. Early acquisition allows owners to voluntarily sell and relocate if they wish. Early acquisition has the potential to mitigate the disruptions and hardships that lengthy project schedules can impose on a community.
The Eminent Doman process is not allowed during early acquisition and properties acquired would not be demolished unless and until the environmental review process is complete. The properties would be preserved and monitored; and in most cases, made available for rent. If the project is not approved, the properties would be sold with the proceeds going to the City and federal government in proportion to the amounts each agency contributed to the acquisition.
Property owners whose properties are located within the path of the proposed Centennial Corridor project, and wish to sell their properties prior to the completion of the enviornmental review process, should contact:
Overland, Pacific, & Cutler
The State Route 99 construction projects, currently underway in the greater Bakersfield area, are under Caltrans management. For information regarding these projects, and all other state highways, please visit Caltrans website. You may also call 1-800-427-7623 for current highway conditions. For additional information regarding the State Route 99 construction projects, please call Tami Conrado at 559-488-4082.
Caltrans has issued the following status update for the Centennial Corridor Project:
June 6, 2013 -- Caltrans hosted an open house to make the public aware of the current proposal to circulate the Draft EIR/EIS with Alternative B as the Caltrans recommended preferred alternative. After seeking public input, Caltrans is evaluating the information provided by local property owners and other public agencies for the Centennial Corridor.
It was stated at the Public Information meeting and in the Centennial newsletter that the Draft Environmental Document (DED) would be out in spring of 2013. The early acquisition of Right-of-Way and the DED circulation have been delayed while we explore information presented. The early acquisition of Right-of-Way and the DED circulation is expected to be sometime in Fall of 2013. Caltrans takes its responsibilities very seriously and held the open house to make sure we had all the relevant information before we went forward with Alternative B.
For information on the Centennial Corridor Project, call toll-free at 1-888-404-6375
or email: Centennial@dot.ca.gov