Whittier Narrows Dam is a 56- foot tall earth dam on the San Gabriel River and the smaller, parallel Rio Hondo. The dam is located, as the name implies, at the Whittier Narrows. It provides water conservation storage and is also the central element of the Los Angeles County Drainage Area flood control system.

In September 2017, the United States Army Corps of Engineers officials warned local residents that the dam no longer met the agency’s ‘tolerable-risk’ guidelines. The risk of dam failure was elevated from “high urgency” to “very high urgency” after a re-inspection revealed a greater threat of erosion and breach that would cause massive downstream flooding to 1 million Southern California residents in the event of a very large, very severe storm.

Last year, Napolitano and U.S. Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, D-Norwalk, spearheaded a letter with other local representatives to House Appropriators requesting more than $100 million in funding for Whittier Narrows. Napolitano has directly advocated for funding for this project over the past decade. The announcement was released July 12, 2020 stating that over $300 million has been secured for this very important infrastructure investment.

75% Support Gas Tax Infrastructure Maintenance Increase

According to a new survey exploring public support for raising federal transportation revenues through gas taxes and mileage fees, 75 percent of respondents support a 10¢ increase in the gas tax if the revenue raised is dedicated to maintenance projects. The annual national survey – What Do Americans Think about Federal Tax Options to Support Transportation? – now in its 11th year, also found that only 3 percent of respondents knew that Congress had not raised the rate of the federal gas tax since 1993.

Conducted by The Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University, the research study asked participants if they would support raising the federal gas tax rate by 10 cents per gallon. Seventy-five percent of respondents support a 10¢ gas tax increase if the revenue raised is dedicated to maintenance projects, yet only 44 percent support the same increase if the money is used more generally to maintain and improve the transportation system. The survey also found that half of Americans support the idea of mileage fees. For example, 49 percent supported replacing the gas tax with a ‘green’ mileage fee that charges an average rate of a penny per mile, with lower rates for less polluting vehicles and higher rates for more polluting vehicles. Additionally, 54 percent of people supported such a fee on delivery and freight trucks, and 52 percent supported such a fee on either taxis or ridesharing vehicles. Respondents thought mileage fee rates should be lower for electric vehicles than for gas and diesel vehicles. 

 

By The Southern California Partnership for Jobs, //socalworks.org/