Road Programs is responsible for developing and administering the transportation multiyear program and updating the annual Capital Improvement Programs. This unit is also responsible for securing and administering various funding sources which include Federal, State and Measure M grants for a multitude of road improvement projects.

Project Funding

Project Funding secures grant funds for the planning, design and construction of road and bridge projects within unincorporated Orange County. Grants are received from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) through Measure M, and through the State and Federal government. Project Funding staff actively monitor project development to ensure critical milestones are met and projects stay within budget. Staff extensively coordinate with various governmental agencies, including other divisions within the County, cities, OCTA and Caltrans, as well as private consulting firms. Project Funding staff also prepare cooperative agreements with other agencies for the implementation of capital projects. Staff identify possible projects for inclusion within the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), and assists Road Finance in preparing the road component of the County’s budget to ensure adequate funding for transportation related projects is secured.

Master Plan of Arterial Highways (MPAH)

The Master Plan of Arterial Highways (MPAH) is a critical element of overall transportation planning in Orange County because it defines a countywide circulation system in response to existing and planned land uses. First adopted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 1956, the MPAH has often been looked to as a model of coordinated planning, requiring the cities of Orange County to work cooperatively with the County in implementing a regional transportation system. In 1995, through a transfer agreement between the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the County of Orange, OCTA assumed responsibility for the MPAH. As the administration of the MPAH, OCTA is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the MPAH through its coordination with Orange County cities and the County.

The MPAH establishes a system of county-wide surface roadways and is a key factor in the definition of Orange County’s transportation policy. OCTA’s role as the administrator of the MPAH is to coordinate with the cities and the County of Orange to develop a consistent inter-community arterial highway system, to effectively serve existing and future land uses in the County.

The MPAH depicts a network of major thoroughfares comprising freeways, transportation corridors and five main arterial highway classifications; Principal, Major, Primary, Secondary and Collector. In addition, one other arterial highway sub-category (Smart Streets) is identified on the MPAH. This highway network plays a major role in regional travel by connecting to and complementing the State highway system and local street network. The Principal, Major and Primary arterial classification and Smart Streets predominately serve through travel. Secondary and Collector arterial highways function as collectors funneling traffic from local streets to Primary, Major and Principal Arterials. Streets that serve predominately as local collectors are generally not shown on the MPAH because they do not contribute to regional circulation. The overall network of thoroughfares is designed to accommodate existing and projected traffic. The MPAH classifications are a statement of policy intended to reserve adequate right-of-way for future highway improvements. The MPAH can be viewed on the OCTA web site.

The County and cities’ Circulation Elements are reviewed for consistency every two (2) years to ensure compatible roadway networks that demonstrate adequate carrying capacity for the circulation system, and to detect possible inconsistencies resulting from General Plan amendments

To aid in establishing consistency among plans, all jurisdictions are encouraged to use common land use assumptions and travel demand projections. OCTA facilitates the use of these common assumptions through administration of the Orange County Transportation Analysis Model (OCTAM).

Measure M

One of the primary sources of grants funds for County road projects is Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Measure M grants. These funds became available through an Orange County voter-approved twenty-year ½ cent sales tax, enacted in 1990, to pay for transportation improvements throughout Orange County. This twenty-year sales tax was extended for another thirty years, November 2006, through voter approval of “Renewed” Measure M. OCTA administers these transportation funds.

To simplify the administrative burden, OCTA has combined the Measure M grants most used by the County and cities into one programming process called the Combined Transportation Funding Program (CTFP). The CTFP program includes: Smart Street, Regional Interchange Program (RIP), Intersection Improvement Program (IIP), Transportation Demand Management Program (TDM), Master Plan of Arterial Highways Program (MPAH), Growth Management Area Program (GMA), Arterial Highway Rehabilitation Program (AHRP), Grade Separation Projects, and Grade Crossing Safety Enhancements.

The County has been very successful in supplementing its share of gas tax funds with Measure M CTFP grant funding, allowing the county to implement many of its roadway improvement projects sooner.

To obtain more information on OCTA’s Measure M and Renewed Measure M programs, please visit the OCTA website.

Proposition 1B

Prop. 1B, also passed by California voters in 2006, provides bond funds for road capital and maintenance projects. The County’s approximate $61.6 million allocation of Prop. 1B funds will be applied towards transportation improvements within Orange County as determined by the County’s Board of Supervisors.

Road Finance

Road Finance prepares the Road's annual budget to ensure adequate funding for transportation-related projects is secured, administers the transportation multi-year program and updates the annual Capital Improvement Program (CIP) with the assistance of Project Funding. Road Finance reviews proposed legislation in order to identify any road related impacts.