Caltrans Grant Application Guide: California SB 1 - Adaptation Planning grants

California Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, was signed into law on April 28, 2017, to invest $54 billion over the next 10 years to repair roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California. These funds will be split equally between state and local investments and administered by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The new SB 1 planning grant funds include $20 million over three years for Adaptation Planning Grants to local and regional agencies for climate change adaptation planning. $7 million dollars are available for the FY 2017-18 grant cycle, $7 million dollars will be available in 2018-19, and $6 million dollars will be available in 2019-20. The current round of grant applications was due as of October 20, 2017. 

Caltrans has released the FY 2017-18 Grant Application Guide for the funding from SB 1. The purpose of the adaptation grants as stated in the guidelines is to: “Support planning actions at local and regional levels that advance climate change adaptation efforts on the transportation system, especially efforts that serve the communities most vulnerable to climate change impacts.”  

Caltrans encourages applicants to address transportation needs of disadvantaged communities, including communities vulnerable to climate change impacts. Applicants may also consider other population characteristics, such as income or level of education. Tools and resources are suggested in the guidelines to help applicants define a context-dependent definition of a disadvantaged community.


The minimum application amount is $100,000 and the maximum application amount is $1,000,000. The required local match is 11.47 percent. The following are eligible to apply as a primary applicant: MPOs, RTPAs, Transit Agencies, Cities and Counties, Native American Tribal Governments, Local and Regional Agencies, and Special Districts. 

Grant Specific Objectives as described in the Caltrans guidelines include the following:

Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed effort will:

  • Demonstrate on-going collaboration and partnerships between sectors and jurisdictions, across levels of government at a regional scale
  • Identify co-benefits of the adaptation work, such as benefits to public health, natural ecosystems, air quality, social equity, the economy, or reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

Applicants should demonstrate how the proposed effort will accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Identify system-wide climate change impact risks to multimodal transportation infrastructure in the project area
  • Identify specific transportation infrastructure vulnerabilities to climate change impacts
  • Identify adaptation strategies and specific actions to remedy identified climate related vulnerabilities
  • Advance the planning of specific climate adaptation projects, such as developing a cost estimate or conceptual design
  • Include economic analysis and/or cost-benefit analysis of identified adaptation strategy or strategies

Competitive applications should include one or more of the following:

  • Identify benefit to disadvantaged and/or vulnerable communities, including transit-dependent populations (when applicable)
  • Demonstrate collaboration and partnerships with diverse external stakeholders such as businesses, non-governmental agencies, community-based organizations, and community residents


Publication Date: September 2017

Related Organizations:

  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Funding program

States Affected:

Go To Resource