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Caltrans awarded $312 million in Clean California projects to beautify and revitalize public spaces throughout the state

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 12 projects in District 12 (Orange County).

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.

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 12 have been designed to comply with current drought requirements, including water conservation, planting of drought-resistant plants and erosion control. These projects will install decorative paving or rock blankets, and decorative fencing; improve current landscape elements; lay mulch; and install safety measures to deter illegal dumping and access.

Additional highlights for District 12 projects include:

  • Upgrade the Caltrans Work Program parking lot in Santa Ana, including installation of decorative fencing and access gates, and upgrading the paving around the parking lot. Local artwork will be added to the parking lot fence and areas within the project limits.
  • Enhance the bike and pedestrian path under Interstate 5 at El Horno Street in San Juna Capistrano.
  • Create a pocket park along the Santiago Creek Bike trail in Orange.
  • Installation of a gateway monument in Placentia.
  • Install safety measures along SR-74 and SR-142 to help deter illegal dumping and access in unincorporated areas of Orange County and Brea.

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.

This article was released by the Caltrans.