(a) The state transportation improvement program shall include a listing of all capital improvement projects that are expected to receive an allocation of state transportation funds under Section 164 of the Streets and Highways Code, including revenues from transportation bond acts, from the commission during the following five fiscal years. It shall include, and be limited to, the projects to be funded with the following:
(1) Interregional improvement funds.
(2) Regional improvement funds.
(b) For each project, the program shall specify the allocation or expenditure amount and the allocation or expenditure year for each of the following project components:
(1) Completion of all permits and environmental studies.
(2) Preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates.
(3) The acquisition of rights-of-way, including, but not limited to, support activities.
(4) Construction and construction management and engineering, including surveys and inspection.
(c) Funding for right-of-way acquisition and construction for a
project may be included in the program only if the commission makes a finding that the sponsoring agency will complete the environmental process and can proceed with right-of-way acquisition or construction within the five-year period. No allocation for right-of-way acquisition or construction shall be made until the completion of the environmental studies and the selection of a preferred alternative.
(d) The commission shall adopt and submit to the Legislature and the Governor, not later than April 1 of each even-numbered year thereafter, a state transportation improvement program. The program shall cover a period of five years, beginning July 1 of the year it is adopted, and shall be a statement of intent by the commission for the allocation or expenditure of funds during those five years. The program shall include projects which are expected to receive funds prior to July 1 of the year of adoption, but for which the commission has not yet
(e) The projects included in the adopted state transportation improvement program shall be limited to those projects submitted or recommended pursuant to Sections 14526 and 14527. The total amount programmed in each fiscal year for each program category shall not exceed the amount specified in the fund estimate adopted under Section 14525.
(f) The state transportation improvement program is a resource management document to assist the state and local entities to plan and implement transportation improvements and to utilize available resources in a cost-effective manner. It is a document for each county and each region to declare their intent to use available state and federal funds in a timely and cost-effective manner.
(g) Prior to the adoption of the state transportation improvement program, the
commission shall hold not less than one hearing in northern California and one hearing in southern California to reconcile any objections by any county or regional agency to the department’s program or the department’s objections to any regional program.
(h) The commission shall incorporate projects that are included in the regional transportation improvement program and are to be funded with regional improvement funds, unless the commission finds that the regional transportation improvement program is not consistent with the guidelines adopted by the commission or is not a cost-effective expenditure of state funds, in which case the commission may reject the regional transportation improvement program in its entirety. The finding shall be based on an objective analysis, including, but not limited to, travel forecast, cost, and air quality. The commission shall hold a public hearing in the affected county or region prior to rejecting the
program, or not later than 60 days after rejecting the program. When a regional transportation improvement program is rejected, the regional entity may submit a new regional transportation improvement program for inclusion in the state transportation improvement program. The commission shall not reject a regional transportation improvement program unless, not later than 60 days after the date it received the program, it provided notice to the affected agency that specified the factual basis for its proposed action.
(i) A project may be funded with more than one of the program categories listed in Section 164 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no local or regional matching funds shall be required for projects that are included in the state transportation improvement program.
(k) The commission may include a project recommended by a regional transportation planning agency or county transportation commission pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 14527, if the commission makes a finding, based on an objective analysis, that the recommended project is more cost-effective than a project submitted by the department pursuant to Section 14526.