In 1988, Contra Costa voters, after two failed attempts, passed Measure C. This ½ cent sales tax increase provided $800 million for transportation projects around the county, including:
• Richmond Parkway
• BART extension from Concord to Pittsburg/Baypoint.
• Highway 4 widening.
• Interstate 680 widening.
• Interstate 680/California 242 Interchange.
• North Main Street bypass in Walnut Creek.
• South Broadway extension to I-608, Walnut Creek.
The program raised about $53 million annually. However, Measure C expired in March of 2009. In November of 2004, Contra Costa voters approved Measure J and extended the ½ cent sales tax for another 25 years, April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2034.
One facet of the measure included the formation of an agency to manage the funds generated by the half-cent transportation sales tax and to do countywide transportation planning. Hence the Contra Costa Transportation Authority was created. The Authority oversees the design and construction of the transportation projects included in the Expenditure Plans, carries out the programs included in the Expenditure Plans, most notably, the county’s Growth Management Program, and provides the financial structure that ensures the optimum use of the sales tax dollars as intended by the voters.
The Board of Directors has eleven members: eight comprised of two city elected officials appointed by each of the four sub-regional transportation committees from central, east, southwest and west parts of the County; two elected County officials appointed by the Board of Supervisors representing the County; and one elected official appointed by the Contra Costa Conference of Mayors. The Authority is its own governmental
entity, not a department or agency under the County.
In 1990 the Authority took on the role of Contra Costa County’s Congestion Management Agency (CMA). In that capacity, the Authority is the primary transportation planning agency for Contra Costa County, responsible for prioritizing our county’s share of available federal, state and regional transportation funds. As the CMA, the Authority prepares the county’s Congestion Management Program, monitors levels of service on the county’s roadways and works with other CMAs and agencies to address regional issues.
In 1992 the Authority was designated Contra Costa’s Program Manager for the return-to-source portion of the regional Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA). In this capacity the Authority is responsible for the allocation of approximately $1.3 million dollars annually for projects that reduce air pollution caused by motor vehicles.
The Authority has appointed Randy Iwasaki, the current Director of Caltrans as it’s new Executive Director effective April 16, 2010.