Sacramento — Caltrans today released the initial findings and recommendations of the policy and practice review of state Airspace leases across California along with the latest site inspections.
In a statement, Caltrans said:
Caltrans’ top priority is safety. To improve safety and help ensure the protection of the state highway system infrastructure, Caltrans is conducting a top-to-bottom assessment of its Airspace lease program to identify any potential modifications.
Caltrans’ review includes an inventory of all Airspace sites to identify locations, potential concerns, proximity to sensitive infrastructure, tenancy status, site use types, and inspection status, among other details. Caltrans is in the process of completing inspections at high-priority sites, as well as those that were due for their annual inspection. This memo also contains preliminary findings and recommended improvements to the policies and practices governing the Airspace lease program.
Since Caltrans first began leasing Airspace sites in the 1970s, the properties have benefitted small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local governments, including being used as a hub to connect transit users with buses, trains, and other clean energy transportation opportunities. Nonetheless, as demonstrated by the recent I-10 fire, the Airspace program also presents risks. Caltrans’ ongoing review of the program will take into account both the benefits and risks of the program, as well as explore potential program improvements to mitigate risks.