Caltrans to be subject of independent review

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state has hired an independent organization to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the California Department of Transportation, which has come under scrutiny over safety concerns related to construction on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Acting Secretary Brian Kelly announced Wednesday that the state has hired a group called State Smart Transportation Initiative to conduct the assessment. The group is housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and includes members from 19 state transportation departments.

Democratic Sen. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, called it an encouraging move.

The $270,000 review is part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s state reorganization plan, which will consolidate all transportation-related departments into a single California Transportation Agency this summer. The study results are expected in seven months.

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