SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced that his administration is expediting the implementation of $47.5 million in Proposition 1E funds to a critical levee improvement project on the Upper Yuba River. The funding is part of the Governor’s plan to rebuild California’s aging infrastructure while at the same time boosting the state’s economy by creating jobs.

The funding was made available by Proposition 1E Early Implementation Project (EIP) funds, and will go to the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority (TRLIA) to help provide 200-year flood protection to South Yuba County. The $47.5 million will be used on TRLIA’s ongoing construction to provide flood protection on the Upper Yuba River.

“This funding will get Californians to work immediately to provide critical flood protection in historically vulnerable areas of Northern California,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “While we continue to work towards a comprehensive water plan to upgrade our state’s water infrastructure, it is important that we take swift action to get projects like these moving, both to protect California citizens and to reinvigorate the economy.”

Previously, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) awarded $138.5 million in Prop 1E EIP funds to TRLIA for levee improvements on the Feather River, which is nearing completion. The Upper Yuba River flood protection construction has a targeted completion date of June 2011. The total cost of the Upper Yuba River work is estimated at $68 million. TRLIA is required to provide 30 percent of the cost, or just over $20 million. Combined, these projects will create over 200 jobs.

Proposition 1E – the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2006 – authorized $4.09 billion in general obligation bonds to rebuild and repair California’s most vulnerable flood control structures. DWR evaluates requests for local assistance funding as part of FloodSAFE California, a strategic initiative to better manage flood risk and lessen the consequences of floods when they do occur.

Today’s action builds on the Governor’s commitment to strengthen California’s flood control system. Additionally, he has:
· Announced $211 million in Proposition 1E funds to four critical levee improvement projects in Northern California, including the TRLIA Feather River levee improvements.
· Signed legislation in October 2007 that will lead to the development of a comprehensive Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, reform the Reclamation Board to improve efficiency, require cities and counties to increase consideration of flood risks when making land use decisions and create a new standard in flood protection for urban development in the region.
· Signed AB 140, the $4 billion levee repair and flood control bond element of the Strategic Growth Plan approved by voters in November 2006, and signed AB 142 that appropriated $500 million from the general fund to the Department of Water Resources for levee evaluation and repair.
· Declared a State of Emergency in February 2006 for California’s levee system and ordered the DWR to develop a plan to begin immediate repairs to prevent catastrophic flooding and loss of life. As a result, and with funding from AB 142, thirty-three of the most vulnerable levee sites in Northern California were repaired.