🛣 Changes to the California Highway Website covering June-August 2021

Blah blah blah introduction. Perhaps I should go with that.

Seriously, though. We’re at the end of Summer 2021, and the best thing I can say is that we’re not having to deal with a Presidential campaign again. COVID is still here, however, impacting travel. I did get some travel in over my summer, with drives to Los Osos, Scottsdale, and Las Vegas, and exploration of the Route 166 corridor and the Route 58 corridor between I-15 and Route 14. I got to see the construction they are doing S of Mojave on Route 14, and got to kill off a load of podcasts. Hopefully you’ve had a safe summer. As always: Please make sure you are vaccinated, and please continue to wear masks. Neither complete eliminates risk, but they are both key factors in reducing risk to an acceptable level. As someone who has been working in Cybersecurity for over 35 years, I understand how being risk adverse can blind you to the importance of doing the simple things to reduce risk. Just as with our highways, our goals should be to reduce the risks whereever we can.

On to the updates.

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the papers from the last week of May 2021 through xxxx 2021 (which are posted to the roadgeeking category at the “Observations Along The Road” and to the CaliforniaHighways Facebook group) as well as any backed up email changes. I also reviewed the the AAroads forum (Ꜳ). This resulted in changes on the following routes, with credit as indicated [my research(ℱ), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail or ꜲRoads) from Anthony R. Brooks(1), Tom Fearer(2), Brian Nordon(3),  Tony Ortega(4), Scott Parker(5), Joe Rouse(6), Chris Sampang(7), Carol Stephens(8): Route 1(ℱ,2), Route 4(ℱ), Marine Route 5 (M-5)(ℱ), I-5(ℱ,2), Route 11(ℱ), Route 16(2), Route 17(ℱ), Route 18(ℱ),  Route 25(ℱ), Route 29(ℱ), Route 33(2), Route 35(ℱ), Route 36(ℱ), Route 37(ℱ), Route 41(ℱ,2), Route 46(ℱ,2), US 50(ℱ,2), Route 58(6,5), Route 71(ℱ), Route 74(ℱ),  Route 77(ℱ,1), I-80(ℱ,2), Route 88(ℱ), Route 91(ℱ,1,4), Route 99(ℱ,2), US 101(ℱ,2), Route 110(ℱ), Route 113(2), Route 121(ℱ), Route 132(ℱ), Route 135(ℱ), Route 136(3),  Route 140(ℱ), LRN 148(ℱ), Route 152(ℱ), Route 156(ℱ), Route 166(ℱ), Route 174(ℱ), Route 176(ℱ), Route 187(ℱ), Route 207(ℱ), Route 247(ℱ), Route 249(8), Route 273(ℱ), Route 275(2), Former US 399(2),  US 395(ℱ), I-405(ℱ), I-580(ℱ),  Marine Route 580(ℱ), I-680(ℱ), I-710(ℱ), County Sign Route A13(ℱ), County Sign Route 66(7).
(Source: private email, Highway headline posts through August 2021 as indicated, AARoads through 09/05/2021)

Updated the links to the Cal-NexUS pages and the highway exits, because Caltrans went and moved things again(ℱ). Updated the El Camino Real Bells page to reflect the removal of the El Camino Real bell from downtown Santa Cruz, and the rationale therefore(ℱ). Updated the Statistics page to better reflect the shortness of Route 77(1).

Marine Highway SystemAdded information on the National Marine Highway System(ℱ):
(Source: CleanTechnica, 6/22/2021US DOT Maritime Administration: National Marine Highways, 6/2021)

In California waters, there are two routes: Route 5 (M-5) and Route 580 (M-580). The US Department of Transportation has a special webpage all about this system of marine highways, complete with a map of the system. The system’s highways are numbered the same as nearby Interstate Highways from which they could relieve congestion. The DOT Maritime Administration (MARAD)’s Marine Highway Program has one major goal: expand the use of America’s navigable waters. They closely with public and private organizations to:

  • Develop and expand marine highway service options and facilitate their further integration into the current U.S. surface transportation system, especially where water-based transport is the most efficient, effective and sustainable option
  • Highlight the benefits, increase public awareness and promote waterways as a viable (in some cases a superior) alternative to “landside” shipping and transportation options

The Marine Highway system currently includes 26 “Marine Highway Routes” that serve as extensions of the surface transportation system. Each all-water route is designated by the Secretary and offers relief to landside corridors suffering from traffic congestion, excessive air emissions or other environmental challenges. For the highways in California, a section was added to the appropriate route page providing information on the Marine highway route.

Reviewed the Pending Legislation page, based on the California Legislature site. As usual, I recommend to every Californian that they visit the legislative website regularly and see what their legis-critters are doing. As many people are unfamiliar with how the legislature operates (and why there are so many “non-substantive changes” and “gut and amend” bills), I’ve added the legislative calendar to the end of the Pending Legislation page. Noted the passage of the following:

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – August 2021

The end of August. Summer is coming to an end, although the hot days are still here (and the Santa Ana winds are still to come, which is scary given the fires we’ve had so far). I hope everyone is staying safe with all the dangers out there — COVID, brush fires, flash floods, monsoons. Please do what you can to stay safe. Get vaccinated. Vote “no” on the recall. Watch out for flash floods. Stay out of evacuation zones. Watch out for the draft. Stay away from Texas.

This post was delayed a bit because I was on vacation in Las Vegas. I plan to do some posts about that: one looking at the subtle racism that is still present in the town that once you see, you can’t unsee. The other looking at how the town — and the roads — have changed. We all wax rhapsodic about “Classic” Vegas, but classic vegas is no more. There are no headliners like the headliners of old, there are no lounges or showrooms like the ones of old, there are no hotels like the hotels of old, there are no signs like the signs of old. There are glimmers, fleeting, of the past. But was the past better? Is today’s Vegas better? You’ll have to read my upcoming posts to know.

One thing the trip to Vegas makes clear is that change is here to stay (unless you are exchanging it for a gambling voucher or playing Pinball at the Pinball Hall of Fame). The days of driving US 91 to Vegas, seeing the signs for the hotels and for Foxy’s Deli are gone. Stuckey’s is only a memory. The roads are crowded, and filled with people trying to get there an extra five minutes earlier. The headlines this month capture the change.

One other thing the end of summer will bring us is another round of highway page updates. They are almost done, and these headlines will be included in that update. So watch this space. After the headlines are posted, all that will remain is reviewing the AARoads Pacific Southwest forum for updates. As always, if you see a naming sign in the wild (i.e., a sign with the name of a highway) and I don’t have a picture of that sign in the NAMING section for the route, please send me the photo. Your name will be immortalized as a contributor.

And lastly, all together now: “Ready, set, discuss”.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • Full closure of northbound State Route 113 to Interstate 5 begins Monday (California News Times). According to the California Department of Transportation, the full closure of State Highway 113 to Interstate 5 will begin on Monday, according to Caltrans. Drivers are advised to plan ahead. The road will be officially closed at 9 pm on Monday and will reopen at 5 am on August 23. Caltrans recommends the following detours: NBSR-113 to NBI-5. Remove Main Street from the ramp (Exit 37) and turn right onto East Main Street. Use I-5 South On Lamp (Sacramento) from East Main. From SB I-5, take County Road 102 (Exit 536) and turn left. Proceed to the right and take the NB I-5 (Reading) from CR-102 back to I-5 bound for the north. Everyone living in this area expects loud construction noise, and drivers in this area need to anticipate lane restrictions and be aware of commercial vehicles.
  • Why improving the drive to Southern California is so complicated (Las Vegas Sun News). Jim Nares is all too familiar with the Sunday morning routine of waking up early in his Las Vegas hotel room to get a head start on the drive back to Southern California via Interstate 15. Sleeping in poses a seemingly unavoidable hurdle: Long hours stuck in traffic getting home to Winchester, Calif. Nares has been traveling by car with his wife to Las Vegas for 20 years for outdoor recreation, restaurants and light gambling. To keep the return drive at the minimum of four hours, Nares opts for either an early-morning departure or late-night arrival back home. Leaving in the afternoon when thousands of others hit the road is out of the question, he says. “I don’t like traveling back on Sunday,” he said. “Sometimes it just happens. … If we do, we definitely try to be past state line by 9 a.m., otherwise we just stick around (Las Vegas) until, like, 6, 7 p.m.” The parade of bumper-to-bumper traffic is a Sunday afternoon ritual heading back to California. Residents of California accounted for 21% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2019, according to the most recent Visitor Profile Study by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. During the pandemic when air travel was limited because of safety concerns, drive-in visitors from California helped keep the local economy moving. Having those visitors stalled in traffic is concerning, Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom said. After all, the last impression of someone’s visit shouldn’t be delays on the road.
  • How does the Caltrans project on Highway 41 compare to other similar endeavors? (KMPH). After decades of accidents along a two-lane stretch of Highway 41 in Fresno County, Caltrans is installing a center barrier that will keep people from crossing into oncoming traffic to pass slower drivers ahead of them. That came after a push by a group called Widen Highway 41 that a woman named Lorna Roush founded after her cousin’s husband Ken Atkins was killed in a head-on crash. “This is a temporary fix. It’s a Band Aid,” Roush said of the K-Rail. “We’re going to save lives from head-ons while we work on the logistics of getting that widened to four lanes.”
  • American Canyon plots the future look of Highway 29 (Napa Valley Register). American Canyon is trying to keep its Highway 29 of the future from becoming an irrevocably entrenched Anywhere, USA blur of strip malls, parking lots and clashing architecture. “That is the front door to our city,” city Community Development Director Brent Cooper said. It’s also a front door/first impression for Napa County. A sign in American Canyon along Highway 29 depicts vineyards and pristine hillsides and proclaims, “Where your Napa Valley experience begins.”
  • Newsom Signs S.B. 51, Durazo’s Legislation that Changes Law on Caltrans Tenant Property Sales (Streetsblog California). Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed S.B. 51, state legislation that changes a four-decades-old law that governs how Caltrans-owned residential properties along the 710 corridor will be sold. Critics contend that the changes will make it harder for tenants, some of whom have lived in the properties for forty years, to purchase the properties. The legislation’s author, Senator Maria Elena Durazo, contends the legislation will make it easier to preserve the existing stock as affordable housing for current and future generations.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – July 2021

July. We’ve seen heat. We’ve seen fires. We’ve seen floods (especially if you were in Arizona).

For me, July brought a trip to Phoenix and Tucson (and some side exploration into the Arizona state highway system). It saw completion of the pool remodel, together with some unanticipated gas line work. It saw me spending more time in the pool than I’ve spent in the previous 15 years in this house, now that the pool is fixed. In terms of highway page updates: I’ve started on them. I’m currently working through the June headlines — my goal will be to finish them and upload around Labor Day, but we shall see.

In the larger world, it saw the Delta variant spread. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Get vaccinated. It is the best way to get us back to something approaching normal and back on the roads again. If you have any questions or hesitancy, drop me an email and I’ll try to work you through it. Of course, if you say it is spinach and to hell with it, you get to live with the consequences.

August will see one more driving trip: Back to Vegas, perhaps this time with a bit more road exploration. What are you doing out on the roads that is interesting? Share your stories, or discuss the headlines. In any case, “ready, set, discuss”.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls,  really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; DS/Desert Sun; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; EBT/East Bay Times; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; MIJ/Marin Independent-Journal; NVR/Napa Valley Register; PD/Press Democrat; AC/Argus Courier; SIT/Sonoma Index Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK); ENR/Engineering News Record .  Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • Yolo Causeway Grant (Dept. of Transportation). The Yolo County Transportation District will be awarded $85.9 million in grant funding to improve traffic flow in the I-80 corridor on the west side of the Sacramento-Yolo metro area. Project elements include: implementing approximately 17 miles of managed lanes from the Yolo/Solano County line through Yolo County to West El Camino Avenue on I-80 and to I-5 on US-50 in Sacramento County; the construction of new lanes on some segments and restriping to add lanes or using existing lanes for approximately 2.7 miles of the project; adding ITS elements along I-80 and US-50, including fiber optics, detection, changeable message signs, and ramp meters; improvements to the Yolo Causeway cycling and pedestrian facility through reduced curve radii and additional crosswalk, sidewalk lighting, and safety elements. The project will also include two auxiliary lanes and will add ramp meters at seven locations.
  • $86 Million Approved to Upgrade the I-80 Corridor in Yolo County (Davis Vanguard). With the economy re-opening, the reprieve that Davis felt for the last 15 months or so with regard to traffic backing up from I-80 bottlenecks at the Causeway—and causing spillover impacts on local roads like Mace—could be letting up. While the city has pledged to restructure Mace to hopefully alleviate some jam, the longer term fix is likely to free up traffic on I-80, some of which backs up from the Causeway. The long-term fix is more vehicle travel lanes and that just got a big boost in the form of a grant to CalTrans.
  • UPCOMING STATE ROUTE 4 PROJECTS IN SAN JOAQUIN DELTA (Caltrans District 10 on FB). Please see info-graphic for details on upcoming, major projects on State Route 4 between Stockton and Discovery Bay, including start dates and detour information. Exact dates for lane closures and 55-hour weekend closures will be made available in future traffic advisories once the schedules are finalized.
  • /SACBEE Yolo Causeway on I-80 freeway in CA to get new toll lane (Sac Bee). Interstate 80 over the Yolo Causeway is the only direct entrance from the Bay Area to the capital region. For years, it’s become increasingly congested – a bottleneck that delays and aggravates commuters, commercial truckers and recreational travelers alike. “It paralyzes the region,” Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor said. “Sacramento is the capital of the largest state in the country, and approaching it on I-80 is gridlocked.” That appears about to change. Sacramento officials say they have won a major federal grant to widen a 17-mile stretch of I-80 and Highway 50 through Yolo County by adding a “managed” lane in each direction. Some drivers may pay a toll to use the lane during certain hours. Sacramento-area U.S. Rep. John Garamendi announced Wednesday morning the federal Department of Transportation has agreed to grant the region $86 million toward planning, designing and building the lanes, which would start near the Yolo/Solano county line and run east to the Highway 50 bridge over the Sacramento River between West Sacramento and downtown Sacramento. “This project will greatly improve traffic flow across the Yolo Bypass,” Garamendi said, as well as “reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve agricultural and manufactured goods movement to the Port of Oakland, Port of West Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the greater Sacramento region.”
  • /SIT Road projects complicate travel through Sonoma (Sonoma News). Sonoma motorists are in the midst of a cross-town facelift for Highway 12, a Caltrans resurfacing project for the state route though the city. That project will follow Sonoma Highway through summer and fall, with the aim to be complete by October – or taken up again early in 2022. But work isn’t limited to the Caltrans effort. At present, motorists are directed through a busy construction zone on Sonoma Highway between Lichtenberg and Boyes Boulevard. It’s part of the on-going PG&E natural gas main replacement that’s been going on for well over a year, much of it accomplished already but much of it still ahead. Now that PG&E pipeline project has also just started on a common cross-town route, on West MacArthur Street, from Fifth Street West to Highway 12, Broadway. Work began on that section on June 28 and is not expected to be completed until October. PG&E and its contractor, ARB, will be replacing a portion of a natural gas transmission pipeline, work that includes trenching underneath West MacArthur to replace approximately 2,730 feet of 6-inch steel transmission main pipe with an 8-inch steel pipe.
  • I-80 project in Yolo County to get $86M from feds (Daily Republic). The Yolo County Transportation District is in line to receive $85.9 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow on Interstate 80 on the west side of the Yolo-Sacramento metro area. Project elements include implementing approximately 17 miles of managed lanes from the Yolo-Solano counties line through Yolo County to West El Camino Avenue on I-80, and to I-5 on Highway 50 in Sacramento County.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – June 2021

We can now put June in the record books, and with that, half of 2021 is gone. What a June it has been, filled with high heat across much of the state and concerns about water and drought. Those have been concerns of mine as well, as June has been a construction month around Chez Cahighways. We replaced one of our HVAC units (excellent work by Camacho Air, who we’ve been using for over 20 years at this point). We are completing a pool remodel, which took the pool down to the concrete, repaired cracks, and then replastered and resurfaced the pool (again, excellent work from Premier Pool Plastering), and then refilled the pool. All of this was made possible with a ReFi working with Dave Cantrell at AFF and MCCU. The only bad contracting experience we had was with City Plumbing and Rooter, who we will not use again.

June also saw us on the wonderful highways of California. We drove to Las Vegas, taking Route 14, Route 138, Route 18, and I-15 out, and came back via I-15, Route 58, and Route 14. We also drove to Los Osos, using Route 118, US 101 and Route 154 out, and exploring a new way back: US 101, Route 166, and I-5. Next time: Route 33 and either Lockwood Valley or Hudson Valley to Mt. Pinos to Frazier Mtn Parkway to I-5.

June also saw the world increasingly getting vaccinated… but it also saw the Delta variant spreading. If you know me, you know I’m Jewish. While America celebrates freedom (and celebrate it we will this coming July 4th), Judaism teaches duty. One article I read expressed it well: “If everybody does their duty, that makes the world better. It’s a completely different paradigm than the American paradigm. Individual rights are not the building blocks of Judaism, duty to your fellow human being is the building block of Judaism. If you want to get Judaism right, there are certain times you have to suck it up and do things you don’t want to do.” Do your duty. Make the world a better place. Get vaccinated, and continue to wear a mask indoors in shared spaces (even if you are not required to do so). By doing your part now, we can make the world a better place for everyone.

With that said: What did you do in June, out on the roads and in the state? Hopefully one thing you’ll be doing right now is discussing these headlines. So, as I always say, “ready, set, discuss”.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, really obnoxious paywalls, and other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; DS/Desert Sun; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; EBT/East Bay Times; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; MIJ/Marin Independent-Journal; NVR/Napa Valley Register; PD/Press Democrat; AC/Argus Courier; SIT/Sonoma Index Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK); ENR/Engineering News Record ]

Highway Headlines

  • /LAT 6th Street Bridge: See photos of the viaduct construction. The project to replace Los Angeles’ historic 6th Street Bridge is well on its way to reality. The new span that crosses the 101 Freeway and Los Angeles River will feature 10 lighted sets of arches forming a “Ribbon of Light” along the viaduct. It stretches across 18 sets of railroad tracks as well as a new 12-acre park with access to the river, and will feature 10-foot-wide bicycle lanes in both directions. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Metro Board Suspended 710 Freeway Widening, Approved: Budget, Fareless, and Bus Rapid Transit. […] The board unanimously approved two motions reining in Metro’s 710 Freeway Corridor Project that would widen the lower 710, demolishing adjacent homes and businesses. One motion, spearheaded by Boardmember Hilda Solis, called for Metro to “Immediately cease further work” on the project. Boardmember Fernando Dutra sought a 30-day pause instead of ceasing work on the project. Ultimately Dutra supported the motion when “cease” was changed to “suspend.” Solis was adamant that Metro needed to stop widening freeways in areas already heavily burdened by freeway pollution. […] (Streetsblog)
  • Removing highways could revitalize cities without increasing traffic. So you might’ve noticed that infrastructure is very much in the news right now, as well as how, exactly, it should be addressed. The New York Times recently put together a look at a relatively new infrastructure strategy that’s starting to play out in cities around the country: removing highways. The report shows there could be some major benefits for local residents, and traffic might not be a problem. But there are ways the strategy could backfire. The report spends some time focusing on Rochester, N.Y., where the city has already removed a major section of freeway around the city’s downtown. After decades in the planning stages and a few more years for removal, the city now has more walkable areas and is working on developing newly available land. And there haven’t been any signs of traffic in and around the area getting worse. (Autoblog)
  • /MIJ Marin-Sonoma Narrows: $76M to complete Highway 101 project. A decade-old project to unclog one of the North Bay’s worst traffic bottlenecks on Highway 101 will be fully funded for construction after a $76 million agreement by Marin and Bay Area transit agencies this week. The funds will complete the final section of the $762 million Marin-Sonoma “narrows” project between Novato and Petaluma, where traffic congests as the highway narrows from four or three lanes to two depending on the direction. The project will add a carpool lane in each direction along this 17-mile stretch of the highway, which will result in commuters having continuous carpool lanes from north of the Golden Gate Bridge into Santa Rosa. (Marin IJ)
  • Caltrans to begin pre-construction for the Separation Bridge project in Vallejo. Caltrans is scheduled to begin pre-construction work for the Interstate-80 (I-80)/State Route 29 (SR-29) Separation Bridge project in Vallejo. For public and worker safety, the following I-80 onramps near Maritime Academy Drive in Vallejo are scheduled to be closed starting June 10 and will remain closed until approximately 2023: • Sequoia Ave. onramp to WB I-80-to be closed • SR-29/Sonoma Blvd. onramp to WB I-80-to be closed. During these I-80 ramp closures, motorists are advised to use Magazine Street onramp and offramp and other I-80 entrances to access I-80 in Vallejo. (Times Herald)
  • California Transportation Commission Allocates $920 Million To Improve Transportation. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) at its May meeting allocated more than $924 million for projects to improve critical transportation infrastructure throughout the state. Nearly half of this major investment – $458 million – comes from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. […] Projects approved include: (EdHat Santa Barbara)
  • Traffic-Interfering Maintenance Work Ahead on Sierra Highways. PLACER/NEVADA COUNTIES – Caltrans is alerting motorists to scheduled traffic-interfering maintenance work on State Routes (SR) 89 and 267 this weekend and the week ahead. On Sunday, June 6, crews will be performing crack sealing work on SR-267 between Old Brockway Road/Soaring Way and Truckee Airport Road/Schaffer Mill Road. Work is scheduled from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. with one-way traffic control anticipated during crack sealing work. (YubaNet)
  • Officials hope $4 million project eases congestion, safety concerns. The interchange between State Route 37 and Fairgrounds Drive can be very confusing for drivers who join lanes and get off offramps. Mostly Sonoma Raceway Lights. Adrenaline is a rush for adventurous people and those who want to die, but it’s a scary suggestion for heart feints and pedestrians who need cheetah-like speed to avoid cars. (California News Times)

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – May 2021

May has been an interesting month, as my last post shows. I’ve been spending weekends since March going through these headline posts, including this one as it was being built ( indicates posts that were included in the highway page update). May also marked the passage of the two week period after my second vaccine, so if I choose to, I could go maskless (however, I still plan to wear a mask, at least in indoor, recirculated air situations*). Please, unless you have a real medical reason not to do so or real religious objections, get yourself vaccinated so that we can all breath freely when we’re together and on the road again.

And with that said, as I say every month, “ready, set, discuss”.

Footnotes
*: So why will I still choose to wear a mask? A number of reasons: Some people are of the belief that the vaccine protects you 100% percent. It doesn’t, although it reduces the odd of getting COVID significantly, and it makes COVID if you get it not life threatening. The vaccine also is much less effective in people with certain underlying health conditions (such as being immune impared, like my wife). Lastly, there is still a small chance even vaccinated folks can be asymptomic carriers. So folks who have been vaxxed wear the mask because the odds are not zero and they want that extra risk reduction (and don’t mind the small inconvenience when inside, in enclosed higher risk shared air spaces). We also don’t know who isn’t vaxxed, and wearing a mask encourages those folks to wear their mask and not be singled out. Lastly, I just learned that if you are vaccinated for COVID, wearing a mask afterward prevents the microchip that is implanted with the vaccine from transmitting or receiving signals. Evidently they designed the microchip to implant in your sinuses, and so making sure the mask covers your mouth and nose attenuates the directional signal just enough…**
**: JK on that “Lastly”.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, really obnoxious paywalls, and other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; DS/Desert Sun; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; EBT/East Bay Times; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; MIJ/Marin Independent-Journal; NVR/Napa Valley Register; PD/Press Democrat; AC/Argus Courier; SIT/Sonoma Index Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK) ]

Highway Headlines

  • /NVR  Big Highway 12 project underway to end Jameson Canyon backups for Napa motorists. Here’s a sight for congestion-weary eyes — orange-vested construction workers driving piles, bulldozing dirt, and building bridges where Highway 12 meets Interstate 80. Call them the Jameson Canyon bottleneck-busters. They are building what is supposed to be the solution to eastbound, mile-long evening Highway 12 backups. While the highway through Jameson Canyon is two lanes in each direction, that drops to one eastbound lane just before the freeway.
  • Security Paving Reaches Midway Point of Ventura County Highway Job. Security Paving Company Inc. has completed nearly 50 percent of the California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) $91 million State Route 23 (SR 23) Pavement Rehabilitation Project taking place on 8.2 mi. of highway in Ventura County from U.S. 101 to SR 118 in order to extend the lifespan of the busy highway.
  • Visalia Continues Close Cooperation with State on SR 198. Visalia officials have been working closely with state agencies on cleanup projects along State Route (SR) 198, and coordination continues. “We understand that there are citizen concerns regarding Highway 198 in terms of trash and debris and the presence of those camping on the embankment,” shared Mayor Steve Nelsen. “We share concerns about blight and keeping the sides of the roadway clear, and we continue to work with both Caltrans Central Valley District 6 and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to address the issues and keep both motorists and citizens safe.”
  • Gilman Interchange Project: Interview with Alameda County Transportation Commission Executive Director Tess Lengyel. Beginning in May, Caltrans will begin a major overhaul of a busy traffic interchange in Berkeley on Gilman Ave. at Interstate Highway 80. Tess Lengyel, the Executive Director from Alameda County Transportation Commission said the Gilman Interchange project will pave the way for a more efficient and safer commute. Interview with reporter Gianna Franco.
  • Valley congressman requests $20 million to widen Hwy 41. Congressman David Valadao has requested $20 million from the House Appropriations Committee to have the 6-mile gap of Hwy 41 widened to 4-lanes. This section of the highway is in Fresno County from the Kings County Line north to Elkhorn Ave. That stretch has a long history of fatal crashes due to drivers trying to pass slower-moving cars, and merging into incoming traffic to do so.
  • State Route 132 Dakota Avenue to Gates Road Project (FB). District 10 and our local partners will be hosting a virtual open house for the State Route 132 Dakota Avenue to Gates Road Project. The event begins at 6 pm on Thursday, May 6, 2021. See below for full information, as well as online access & dates for the public comment period.
  • Car Pool Lanes Coming to Park Presidio and GG Park. Motorists traveling through the Richmond District and Golden Gate Park along California State Route 1 can expect some road-sharing changes soon. North- and south-bound traffic on Park Presidio Boulevard, Park Presidio Bypass and Crossover Drive from Lake Street to Lincoln Way in the Sunset District will see the outside lanes (right-hand lanes) reserved for cars with two or more occupants and public transportation vehicles because of a new but temporary program.

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🛣 Changes to the California Highways Web Site covering January-May 2021

What a long, strange year it has been. In March 2020, I saw my last live theatre for over a year: Passion at Boston Court. I had just returned from a trip to Madison WI to visit my daughter. We were just starting to worry about the Novel Coronavirus, with no idea of the long haul in front of us. Working from home had just begun. We were at the start of the 2020 election year, long before we had any inkling that the losing candidate would attempt an insurrection to overturn the election result and present Congress from doing their congressional duty. A long, long, strange year.

On the highway page front: I was continuing work on the major site redesign and rework, which was coming up in May. That behind me, updates preceded apace. I think the new site is fast. This year, due to some problems, I got rid of one of the plugins on the WordPress side of the site, and suddenly that became faster and more reliable. I may be getting back into the blogging side of the equation.

As for 2021: Let’s hope for a return to the new normal. We have a vaccine, and hopefully we’ll all be vaccinated by the summer—and so we might start to be able to do events and roadtrips again. We’ll likely still want to wear masks, as there will be those who refuse the vaccines, or for whom the vaccine is not 100% preventative. We have a new President, who is behaving a lot more…presidential. I don’t have major site changes planned. The hope for 2021 is: a new normal, and an uneventful new normal.  כן יהי רצון Ken Yehi Ratzon—Let It Be So.

I do want to share one thing I saw going through the CTC Minutes that didn’t make it into these pages. The following was amended into the SHOPP at the May meeting, and is $730,000 of your tax dollars at work:

May 2021 CTC Agenda Item 2.1a.(1a): 05-Mon-1 PM 10.5. Route 1 Near Gorda, at the Willow Springs Maintenance Station at 72115 Cabrillo Highway (Route 1). Repair failed electrical system. In January 2021, a microwave oven caught fire while not in use at the maintenance station employee housing facility.  A follow-up investigation of this incident, an ongoing low-voltage issue, and a history of damaged electrical appliances has identified numerous safety related issues due to undersized wiring, corrosion of components, long undersized wire runs, and all power runs connected to a ineffective single main breaker. This project will remove existing electrical components, install new pull boxes, conduit, wiring, and service panels.

On to the updates.

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the papers from January through May 2021 (which are posted to the roadgeeking category at the “Observations Along The Road” and to the California Highways Facebook group) as well as any backed up email changes. I also reviewed the the AAroads forum (Ꜳ). This resulted in changes on the following routes, with credit as indicated [my research(ℱ), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail or ꜲRoads) from Ꜳ GaryA(2), Michael Ballard(3)Ꜳ Bing101(4), Shirleigh Brannon(5)Ꜳ DT Composer(6), Tom Fearer(7)Ꜳ HeyNow415(8), Cameron Kaiser(9), Rick Kelly(10)Ꜳ Kniwt(11), Scott Parker(12),  Francesca Smith(13), Chris Sampang(14), and Joel Windmiller(15): Route 1(ℱ,7,12), Route 4(7), I-5(ℱ), I-8(ℱ), Route 9(ℱ), I-10(ℱ), Route 12(ℱ), Route 13(7), I-15(ℱ,7,12), Route 16(7), Route 20(7), Route 24(7,11), Route 25(ℱ), Route 29(ℱ), Route 37(ℱ), I-40(7), US 40(ℱ,8), Route 41(ℱ), Route 42(ℱ),  Route 46(ℱ), Route 47(ℱ), US 48(10), Route 49(ℱ), US 50(ℱ,7,15), Route 55(ℱ), Route 57(ℱ), Route 62(ℱ), Route 67(ℱ),  Route 70(ℱ),  Route 74(ℱ), Route 75(ℱ), Route 78(ℱ), Route 79(ℱ), I-80(ℱ), Route 84(ℱ), Route 86(ℱ), Route 90(ℱ), US 91/ Route 91(ℱ,7,12), Route 92(ℱ), Route 99/US 99(ℱ,3,7,15), US 101(ℱ,2,7,12,6), I-105(ℱ,13), Route 108(ℱ), Route 111(ℱ), Route 118(ℱ), Route 120(ℱ), Route 123(4), LRN 125(7), Route 128(ℱ,7,8), Route 132(ℱ), Route 134(ℱ), Route 135(ℱ), Route 136(9),  Route 138(ℱ), Route 140(ℱ), Route 143(ℱ), Route 148(ℱ), Route 152(7,14), Route 154(ℱ), LRN 174(ℱ), Route 174(ℱ), Route 198(7), Route 204(7), I-210(ℱ), Route 222(ℱ,7), Route 229(7), Route 236(ℱ), Route 241(ℱ), Route 254(ℱ), Route 263(ℱ),  I-280(ℱ), Route 282(ℱ), I-305(ℱ,7), Route 371(ℱ), I-380(ℱ), US 399(7),  I-405(ℱ), US 466(7,12), I-505(ℱ), I-580(ℱ), I-605(ℱ), I-680(ℱ), I-710(ℱ), I-980(ℱ), County Sign Route G8(7) .
(Source: private email, Highway headline posts through May 2021 as indicated, AARoads through 5/28/2021)

For those interested, there is an interview with me in Caltrans News 2021 № 1.

At the request of a long-time friend and contributor to this site(5), captured the “lost” Caltrans series of pages about the 50th Anniversary of the start of the Interstate system that occurred in 2005/2006. These pages were published on the Caltrans site in 2005, and disappeared during a site rework in 2019 (likely because they were felt to be outdated). But for those of us here at California Highways, we love that history—and so we have preserved them. Please contact Caltrans if you want to use the pictures, and say you saw it on the Wayback Machine (wink).

Added some information on the earliest days of this website to the 1996 and before changes page. Ronald J Hall at Caltrans sent me a correction for the statistics page regarding the highest point on Route 270.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – April 2021

Yet another month rolls over, meaning its time for two things: (1) swapping to the other iPod Classic, and (2) a headline post. April was an interesting month. I’ve been slowly working through the headlines (I’m about halfway through March), so maybe I’ll be able to finish the highway page updates before the May headline post. April also saw me completing the Moderna Vaccine regime — and we may very well do a roadtrip today to celebrate and kill off podcasts: Route 118 to Route 23 to Route 126 to Route 150 to Route 33 to Route 166 to Route 99 to I-5 and back to Route 118.

So, first and foremost: <PUBLICSERVICEANNOUNCEMENT>You need a road trip. You can do it safest — for you and for others — if you are vaccinated. GO GET YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE. Anyone over 16 can. It DOES NOT implant a chip. It DOES NOT give you COVID. It’s been in use for four months, on top of all past testing, and is proving extremely safe. But more important: consider the safety vs. the alternative … getting COVID or living in fear of getting COVID. The vaccine will protect you, or at least make any case you contract much less serious. GO GET THE SHOT. </PUBLICSERVICEANNOUNCEMENT>

With that said, here are your headlines for April, together with other things I found of potential interest for the highway pages. Ready, set, discuss, … and get your shot.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls and  other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; DS/Desert Sun; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; EBT/East Bay Times; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; MIJ/Marin Independent-Journal; NVR/Napa Valley Register; PD/Press Democrat; AC/Argus Courier; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK) ]

Highway Headlines

  • Metro to present proposal to reduce much of Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock to one car lane each way. The push is on for a bus rapid transit (BRT) route through Eagle Rock that would reduce Colorado Boulevard to one car lane each way between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Linda Rosa Avenue. The car-lane reduction would create room for dedicated bus lanes and enhanced bike lanes, while preserving most on-street parking.
  • Antlers Bridge Replacement on I-5 (Shasta County, California). This $131M bridge was constructed on a new parallel alignment just east of the existing bridge, which spans the Sacramento River arm of Shasta Lake, California’s third largest lake and largest reservoir. The new bridges are twin cast-in-place segmental box girder superstructures consisting of 5 spans, 1,942’ long and 104’ wide connected with diaphragms at the piers as well as a full length closure pour, connecting the wings. The superstructure depth varies from 29’-6” deep to 12’ deep. The structure, designed for a 100-year life, consists of 13 million pounds of steel and more than 36,000 cubic yards of concrete.
  • Have a say in the future of Highway 37. Have thoughts on the future of Highway 37 in Vallejo? Share your views with Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and transportation agencies for Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties, who are seeking input. All will participate in an upcoming online public Townhall meeting hosted by senators Mike McGuire, D-North Coast and Bill Dodd, D-Solano. Agency officials are expected to discuss three coordinated planning efforts to develop solutions for improving Highway 37.
  • /DS State Route 62 road construction project set to begin next week. The initial stages of a road construction project set for more than 20 miles of Highway 62 in Riverside and San Bernardino counties will begin next week, and Caltrans urged motorists to brace for future delays. The $48 million project will see a new layer of pavement placed on two major segments of Highway 62. The first is from Indian Canyon Drive near Desert Hot Springs to roughly Yucca Mesa Road in Yucca Valley. The work will pick up again in Twentynine Palms, from Bermuda Avenue to near Utah Trail.
  • Caltrans awards millions for local roadway safety projects. Caltrans has awarded over $227 million to fund safety projects designed to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries on city and county roads. Funding is provided through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program. “Safety is always our number one priority,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “These projects will enhance systemwide safety features, including expanded access to protected walkways and bikeways, and will move us closer to our goal of reducing serious injuries and fatalities on California roadways.” San Benito County is included in the funding: …
  • Measure A paid for $14.6M in North County projects in 2019-20. Almost $14.6 million of Measure A funds were spent on North County transportation projects in the 2019-20 fiscal year, according to the annual report recently released by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. The expenditures bring the total amount of Measure A funds spent in the North County since the transportation sales tax was approved in 2008 to more than $157 million, according to the report.
  • California invests $491 million for transportation improvements. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) in late March allocated $491 million to address transportation needs throughout the state. This investment, which includes $273 million generated from Senate Bill 1 (SB1), known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, will repair highways and bridges and improve California’s growing network of mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian routes. … The following are a few projects aimed at improving or repairing some of the state’s roads and bridges. District 3 — Marysville …

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – March 2021

Hard to believe, perhaps, but one quarter of 2021 is in the books. I had hope to get out a highway page update in March, but it is slower going than I expected. So I get to add one more headline post to the mix, slowing it down even further. On the plus side, the first of the Moderna shots has been achieved, bringing closer the day that I’ll go out for a roadtrip. So here are the headlines and other things of interest that I collected during the month of March. As I always say, “ready, set, discuss”.

[Ħ Historical information | Paywalls and other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; EBT/East Bay Times; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; MIJ/Marin Independent-Journal; NVR/Napa Valley Register; PD/Press Democrat; AC/Argus Courier; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK) ]

  • Driving apps divert motorists to dangerous mountain road. The U.S. Forest Service warned people not to trust their driving apps and GPS devices after hearing from motorists the apps were diverting them to Salmon River Road. That happened after people posted on social media they were searching for alternative routes to a stretch of state Route 96 that is partially blocked by a mudslide.
  • /DNT Significant slide activity continues to hamper Last Chance Grade. U.S. Highway 101 was open to one-lane travel Tuesday night after another week of landslide activity blocked the road at Last Chance Grade. Crews have been working on the road since last week, when precipitation caused the hillside above the highway to crumble down, blocking both lanes for extended periods of time. As of Tuesday evening, crews warned motorists of possible 30-minute delays overnight, as well as three-hour delays scheduled between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to allow for removal and prevention work.
  • ‘The Big Sur we all dream about’: Why some residents are delighted that Highway 1 collapsed. In late January, an atmospheric river dumped heavy rains over the Dolan Fire scar, triggering a debris flow in Big Sur that overwhelmed drainage infrastructure and carried a giant chunk of Highway 1 thousands of feet down the cliff and into the sea. The dramatic slide left behind a 150-foot chasm where the road once was at mile marker 30, another beautiful stretch of California land reclaimed by the elements. Friends and family members living on opposite sides of the hole were separated. Residents living to the south were cut off from basic services, schools and jobs in the north. The postmaster had to start going the long way around, as did angry tourists attempting to visit from or return to LA. And yet, for some residents, this “disaster” was exactly what they had been waiting for.
  • State Route 84 Ferry Service Restarts After Temporary Closure. Caltrans has restarted the State Route 84 ferry service after the ferry boat – The Real McCoy II – passed its inspection required by the Coast Guard every five years. The ferry is classified as an extension of State Route 84. It provides service to Ryer Island residents and its visitors by crossing the Cache Slough to Rio Vista.
  • Did You Know That the 101 Freeway Widening Project Has an Aquatic Resource Biologist?. In this, the Journal’s third profile of the people who work behind the scenes in the biggest infrastructure project to hit Montecito in recent memory, we meet Sarah Sandstrom, Caltrans’ aquatic resource manager. According to Tim Gubbins, Caltrans District 5 Director, Sandstrom is a key player in the agency’s effort to protect the environment as it widens the 101 freeway. “Sarah is a highly educated and trained biologist,” Gubbins said. “She is a valued member of our biologist team and focuses her skills on helping our project meet high environmental standards and improve wetland and habitat areas as part of this larger congestion-relief project. Our construction projects benefit the larger community in many ways, and our work on improving wetlands and habitat areas near the freeway is important for all of us.”
  • PCH: Climate change threatens California’s ‘highway at the edge’. Soaring mountains on one side of the road and the Pacific Ocean on the other: It was 1956, and Gary Griggs was experiencing California State Route 1 for the first time. He was a child, but in the following decades he would drive this scenic stretch of road, called the Pacific Coast Highway, dozens of times. He also would learn how fragile it is. In 2017, Griggs consulted on a major repair to the highway as an erosion expert. Now, he says, the iconic road’s days may be numbered – at least in its current form.

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