City Begins Highway Litter Abatement Pilot Program

On Monday, the City of Fresno began its Highway Litter Abatement Program that will service all four State highways (SR-41, SR-99, SR-168, and SR-180) within the city limits on a 30-day cycle.  The program is done in partnership with Caltrans District 6 and the Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA).  Funding for this project comes from monies from the City of Fresno and Measure “C”.

The program was originally proposed by Mayor Lee Brand and then-councilmember Steve Brandau in 2018 after the FCTA Board amended the Measure “C” Transportation Expenditure Plan to include a pilot Litter Abatement Program.  The Pilot Program was intended to demonstrate the feasibility of using Measure “C” and other local funds to enhance litter abatement activities currently performed by Caltrans on the State Highway System.  It was recognized that the highway investments made by the original Measure “C” program, as well as the Measure “C” Extension program, have added a significant amount of freeway mileage with no additional resources for freeway maintenance.

“I want to thank my Public Works Director Scott Mozier and FCTA Executive Director Mike Leonardo for their hard work in bringing this pilot program to life. This is all about being creative and collaborating with our partners to look at our problems in new ways and find solutions that work,” said Mayor Brand. “That’s why I appreciate the relationship the City has with Caltrans and the Fresno County Transportation Authority to develop a sustainable program to keep our highways as free of litter as possible. Combined with our new Keep Fresno Beautiful initiative, the community will soon start to see significant improvement in the look of our great city.”

Caltrans has committed to matching any local funds on a one-for-one basis up to a maximum of $500,000 over two years, essentially providing 50% of the necessary funding.  The FCTA amendment provides another 25% of the funding, with the City providing the remaining 25%.  This new FY2020 program for the City of Fresno provides a total of $400,000 in funding, with $200,000 from Caltrans, $100,000 from FCTA and $100,000 from the City of Fresno.

On January 16, 2020, the City awarded a one-year contract for services to Landscape Maintenance of America with the option to renew one additional year.  Their crew will rotate abatement services on a weekly basis, starting this week with SR-99, followed by SR-41, SR-168 and then SR-180.

The City is also exploring other options such as using the Adult Offender Work Program (AOWP) to provide additional support in the highway cleanup efforts – an idea brought forth by Councilmember Garry Bredefeld.  The goal for the AOWP crew will be to deploy them by October 1, 2020, once the State budget is approved, the City-Caltrans agreement is in place and City leadworker and van are made available to work full-time with the AOWP crew.