🛣 Headlines and Articles about California Highways – April 2019

Ah, April. A month that has moved us past the heavy rains of the winters, and allowed work to start on highway repairs. A month that started with significant updates to the highway pages. But that process never ends, and it starts, as always, with more headlines (♠  indicates headlines that were incorporated into the March highway updates):

  • ♠ Renters of Caltrans-owned homes in South Pasadena get to buy them $970,000 below market. It’s a modern-day story of David vs. Goliath. Three long-time tenants of homes within the path of the now-defunct, 6.2-mile 710 Freeway extension fought the mighty Caltrans in court and won. After decades of waiting, Angeles Flores, Marysia Wojick and Priscela Izuierdo received an offer from Caltrans last year to buy the homes they’ve been renting for a price that was hundreds of thousands of dollars less than any home on the market in tony South Pasadena, yet at a price that took into account inflation.
  • ♠ New transportation tax would focus on new bay crossing. Q: If they ever put a Bay Area-wide sales tax on the ballot, what will the likely projects be? Hopefully, another bridge or BART crossing across the bay.
  • ♠ Changes coming to Highway 17 at Big Moody Curve: Roadshow. Q: I drove past another accident last week at 7:45 a.m. near Big Moody Curve on Highway 17. One vehicle had turned over and another was also damaged with all lanes of southbound traffic backed up for miles. Clearly, the sandbags at this location are not an adequate fix of the situation at this dangerous curve.
  • ♠ State of emergency: Newsom allots $2 million for Highway 17 firebreak. Ed Orre, chief forester for Cal Fire’s Santa Clara County Unit, has been haunted by images of the main thoroughfare connecting Paradise with the outside world. He can’t help but imagine a similar scenario unfolding on Highway 17 in the hills above Lexington Reservoir.
  • ♠ State Route 41 roadway striping project begins, prompting lane closures. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced a roadway striping project beginning Wednesday, April 3, that will result in one-way traffic control and lane closures on several portions of State Route 41 in Kings, Fresno and Madera Counties.
  • ♠ The Birth And Life Of The Freeway In Hayes Valley (US 101, Route 480). How do you get around Hayes Valley? Before today’s debates about bike lanes, bulb-outs, parking spaces, taxis and ride-sharing, the answer for many had been a double-decker extension of the Central Freeway that stretched from Octavia into Western Addition. Patricia’s Green and a condo boom have taken the physical space of the concrete spur. But at one time it was the midpoint of twentieth-century freeway dreams – and many controversies.

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🛣 Updates to the California Highways Web Pages – March 2019

It is time for the first update of the year. This is a normal update to the naked eye; however, it is notably the first update after doing a tech-refresh at home. In other words, this update is being done with my new HP Envy 17 laptop, after years of updates done with my trusty Toshiba A665. The intended remodeling is still planned, but I need time to (a) read my responsive design book, and (b) pick a design that I like. As I’ve noted before, I have no plans to change the content or my method of content generation. I have settled on my replacement editor for HoTMetaL ProBlueGriffon. as it seems to have a good tag manipulation mode. I also plan to use Pinegrow to check the responsive design aspects. and plan to continue to use Amaya as the main editor (even though Amaya seems to be abandonware). You can see my thoughts on what I would like from the redesign here; it also explains how the site is generated.

Moving on to the updates: Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the papers (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. This resulted in changes on the following routes, with credit as indicated [my research(1), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail) from Anneliese Ågren(2), Tom Fearer(3), ClassicHasClass on AAroads(4), DTComposer on AAroads(5), Mark F on AARoads(6), Kniwt on AAroads(7), Plutonic Panda on AAroads(8), richardwm15 on AAroads(9), Sparker on AAroads(10), Chris Sampang on AAroads(11), Oscar Voss on AAroads(12), Alex on AAroads(13): Route 1(1,2,3,9), Route 2(1), Route 4(1,3), I-5(1,6), I-10(1), Route 11(1), Route 12(3), Route 13(3), Route 14(1), I-15(1), Route 16(3), Route 17(1,3), Route 18(1), Route 20(1,13), Route 21(1,3), Route 22(1,6), Route 24(3), Route 25(1), Route 29(1), LRN 30(3), Route 33(1,3), Route 36(10), Route 37(1), I-40(1), US 40(3), Route 41(3), Route 45(3), Route 46(1), US 48(1,3), Route 49(1),US 50(1,3), Route 57(1), Route 59(1), Route 60(1,4), Route 61(3,10), LRN 69(3), Route 70(3), Route 71(1), Route 74(1), LRN 74(10), Route 75(1), Route 77(3,11), I-80(1,3), Route 82(3), Route 84(1,3,10), Route 87(5,10), Route 91(1,6,8), Route 92(10), Route 96(1), Route 99(1,3), US 101(1,3,8), I-105(1), LRN 105(3), Route 108(1), Route 110(1), Route 111(1), Route 112(3), Route 113(3), Route 117(10), Route 120(1,3,7), Route 123(3), Route 126(1), Route 128(1), Route 134(1), Route 141(3,10), Route 146(12), Route 149(3), Route 154(1), Route 162(3), Route 166(3), Route 179(3,10), Route 180(1),Route 185(3,11), Route 187(1), Route 191(3), Route 192(1), US 199(1), I-210(1), Route 220(3), Route 227(1), Route 229(3), Route 238(1), Route 241(1,6,8), Route 242(3), Route 243(1), Route 260(3), Route 262(3), Route 275(3), I-280(1,3,10), Route 282(1), Route 299(1), I-380(1,3), I-405(1,10),US 466(3), Route 480(1,3), I-505(3,10), I-580(1,3), I-680(3), I-710(1), I-780(3), I-880(1), I-980(3), County Sign Route G9(3), County Sign Route J2(3), County Sign Route J4(3), County Sign Route J7(3), County Sign Route J9(3), County Sign Route S21(7).

Thanks to Keilah Keiser, removed some broken links from the links page. Went through and updated all the regional links. If you identify any links that are bad, please let me know — they haven’t been checked in a long time. Kudos to those folks that kept their pages up or had redirects. Boos to those who took down their pages, abandoned their sites, or didn’t tell me when things moved. Surprisingly, all those Angelfire sites are still up. Tripod and Geocities, not all that much. I also went through and changed all the Sure Why Not? blog links to Gribblenation.org blog links. I also went through the Road Links on AAroads, which resulted in more changes and confirmations for all the links on the highway resources page, as well as updates to regional links.

Added some additional map sources to the maps page.

Reviewed the Pending Legislation page, based on the new 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. Although numerous bills have been introduced, none have gone to the Governor for signature yet. As many people are unfamilair 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.

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🛣 Headlines and Articles about California Highways – March 2019

March has continued the rains of February, eliminating our drought and adding to the snowpack. It has also been creating havok on the roadways. But all news is not bad — I’ve been getting closer to finishing the first round of highway updates for the year. Here’s the last batch of headlines, articles, and posts that will make it into that update. As always: ready, set, discuss.

  • Caltrans District 4 – MacArthur Maze Vertical Clearance Project. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is holding two encore open houses for the
    Macarthur Maze (Maze) Vertical Clearance project. Caltrans is proposing to partially lower, raise, replace, or reconstruct connectors in the Maze. These four alternatives are being proposed to increase the vertical clearances at three locations in the Maze to meet the current Caltrans standard of 16 feet 6 inches to allow for more efficient travel of freight and oversized vehicles.
  • Caltrans Marks Completion of State Route 99 Realignment in Fresno. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 15 to mark the completion of work on the “State Route 99 Realignment for High-Speed Rail” project in the City of Fresno.
  • Westbound Highway 37 in Novato stays closed for now. State transportation workers are using motorized pumps to flush out the floodwater that has forced closure of westbound Highway 37, but it’s unclear when the traffic nightmare will end. Caltrans officials Thursday hoped to install up to six pumps along the highway that was closed in both directions Wednesday after a torrential downpour caused the swelling Novato Creek to overflow its banks.
  • Highway 154 now open after month-long closure. Highway 154 reopened Friday morning after a month-long closure, according to Caltrans. The highway that connects Santa Barbara to the Santa Ynez Valley has been closed since February 2 after heavy rain storms. A culvert near Cachuma Lake was clogged with debris, mud  and burnt trees from the Whittier fire following those storms. That caused flooding and damaged the roadway.
  • CHP reopens access to Idyllwild, San Jacinto Mountains, but warns the route will take longer.  Tourists can head back into San Jacinto Mountain communities after two weeks of restrictions caused by winter rainstorms that washed out sections of the two highways leading into the area, the California Highway Patrol said Thursday.  It’s welcome news for mountain businesses.  “We were almost an island,” said Frank Ferro, owner of Ferro Restaurant and Idyllwild Brewpub. “The entire community is very excited that the road is going to be open. It’s definitely been a hardship on the business community.”

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🛣️ Headlines About California Highways – February 2019

Another month has passed; we’re now one-sixth into the year. Out in California, it has been a month of snow — not only in the Sierras or the ski areas, but even in the low-lands. The snow level dropped as low as 1000′, and there was snow in Malibu, Calabasas, Granada Hills, Porter Ranch, Pasadena, and even in Orange County. Needless to say, combined with one of the rainiest months of February in a while, the roads have taken a beating. Here are your headlines for February:

  • I-5 to go to six lanes Anderson to Redding.Caltrans District 2 announced Thursday the construction of the Redding to Anderson Six Lane Project on Interstate 5 in Shasta County.The project will add an additional northbound lane and southbound lane on I-5 for 7.5 miles from the Route 273 and I-5 separation just south of the outlet mall in Anderson to just south of the Bonnyview and Churn Creek Road interchange near Redding, making it a continuous six-lane facility, according to a press release issued Thursday by Caltrans.
  • Romero and Toro Canyon Bridges Now Open Following Debris Flow. Caltrans has re-opened the Romero Canyon Creek Bridge (PM 10.92) and the Toro Canyon Creek Bridge (PM 12.49) on State Route 192 as of today, Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 3 pm.  These bridges were rebuilt following damage caused by the debris flows and flooding in January 2018.  Motorists will encounter protective barrier on these bridges until the bridge rails have been installed.  Motorists should drive safely in these areas.Caltrans is working with the contractor, Security Paving of Sylmar on this $20 million project to restore full access to all five bridges within this corridor and is striving to complete most of these projects in early 2019, weather permitting.
  • February 1: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History. 1936:  A new 400-foot tunnel under Colorado and Ocean Avenues in Santa Monica is dedicated and opened.
  • Part of Highway 154 washed away in storm; roadway closed indefinitely. A portion of Highway 154 near Cachuma Lake was destroyed during the weekend storm, closing off the roadway from Santa Barbara to the junction with Highway 246 for the foreseeable future. Highway 154 east of Cachuma Lake will be closed indefinitely because of damage created by this weekend’s storm. Water and debris from the Whittier fire have created another lake, and officials worry about stability of the roadway.

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🛣️ Headlines About California Highways – January 2019

It’s been a roller coaster month. Heavy rains and sunshine. Roads washing out and being repaired. But it is a new year, and hopefully once we get past the winter, a good one. Here are your headlines for the month:

  • Highway 101 in SLO County CA had big upgrades in 1960s. A quick way to start a heated conversation is to bring up the topic of highway improvements. Unlike water and sewer pipes, which are hidden underground, a highway represents public tax dollars and engineering on display right in front of the windshield. When highways work as planned, they are unmemorable. When we do remember them, it is often because of trouble — from inconvenient waiting in traffic to the tragic aftermath of collisions.
  • 2019 will be a busy year for big road construction projects in Orange County. It will be a busy 2019 for major freeways in Orange County. The 405 Freeway will continue to undergo a $1.9 billion expansion between State Route 73 and the 605 Freeway – adding regular and carpool lanes and widening or reconstructing more than 18 bridges.  Work will continue all year, with completion expected in 2023.  “It has been decades since there has been an expansion like this,” Orange County Transportation Authority spokesman Joel Zlotnik said. “This is the largest (project) that OCTA has undertaken.” Nearly $600 million will be spent on two major projects that will start on the 5 Freeway in 2019: Adding a carpool lane between State Route 55 and State Route 57, and adding a regular traffic lane between Avery Parkway and Alicia Parkway.
  • Discovery: CA 33 actually multiplexed CA 166.. Had an interesting little map discovery today regarding CA 33. It turns out that CA 33 actually multiplexed CA 166 East out Taft starting in 1950 which lasted all the way up the 1964 Highway Renumbering when it was routed to Ventura. The CA 166/CA 33 can be seen on this 1950 State Highway Map:
  • Solano freeway improvements still STA priorities for 2019. The top priorities for the Solano Transportation Authority have a familiar feel. With one critical funding source secured by voters and another approved by voters, the Solano Transportation Authority will move forward on projects that include the Interstate 80/I-680/Highway 12 Interchange, the I-80 express lanes, the I-80 westbound truck scales and the Highway 37 and Solano County Fairgrounds interchange.
  • Paving prompts lane closures along Highway 14. Commuters returning to work for the first time in the new year can expect to face lane closures along Highway 14 beginning Wednesday as Caltrans pursues a long list of paving projects. A check of the Caltrans website devoted to news of the latest lane closures lists scores of paving projects scheduled to begin Wednesday and continue each day and night until Sunday. Road work in both the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway is scheduled to begin at one minute after 9 a.m., according to the schedule. Some of the lane closures will see work crews working overnight and into the early morning hours. On Friday night, for example, paving is expected to shut down two northbound lanes of Highway 14 between Shadow Pines Boulevard at Soledad Canyon Road and Agua Dulce Canyon Road from 11 p.m. until 8 a.m. Saturday. No Caltrans official could be reached New Years Day to confirm the schedule or provide insight into any possible changes made to it.

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🛣️ December 2018 Headlines/Articles about California Highways

Another year has come to an end. It’s been a roller-coaster this year, with funding battles galore, the passage and fight over SB1, and lots of highway work, and great highway history research. In terms of my pages, it has seen the addition of maps to every page, and planning begun for a site overhaul. But the news, as always, continues. Here are your headlines and other related articles that I uncovered during the month of December:

  • Connecting Pasadena Project. Fill the 710 Ditch. (Facebook Page) Community Initiative to reconnect Pasadena by restoring city streets and replacing the 710 Highway Stub with buildings, homes, businesses, parks, gardens.
  • Plan calls for Route 66 to become National Historic Trail. A new proposal moving through Congress seeks to designate Route 66, the highway that connected Chicago to Los Angeles and was once an economic driver for small towns across a post-World War II United States, as a National Historic Trail. U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Jim Inhofe announced this week the introduction of a bipartisan bill that would amend the National Trails System Act and include Route 66 in an effort to help revitalize cities and small towns that sit along the historic corridor.
  • Long Beach’s Pico Avenue offramp closes permanently to make way for new bridge. As the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge moves closer to completion, traffic options around the Port of Long Beach are being reduced. Eastbound traffic coming off the Gerald Desmond has been funneled onto Pico Avenue to get around the construction site. That still will be the case, but now there will be only one offramp from Pico Avenue. The other offramp is being closed permanently to clear space for bridge construction.
  • 710 Freeway Extension Funds Redirected to So Pas Freeway Ramps. The positive ripple effects for So Pas stemming from the defeat of the 710 Freeway extension keep on coming. Not only is the extension dead in the water after years of struggle, but now funds that were once set aside for that project could be redirected to fix the 110 on- and off-ramps at Fair Oaks Avenue, according to city officials. If the Metro Board of Directors, at its next meeting, Dec. 6, approve the funding recommendation as expected, the money could be made available as soon as July of next year, according to city officials.
  • Caltrans Completes Project That Repaves 15 Miles Of State Route 49 In Tuolumne County. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has completed a highway improvement project that has repaved 15 miles of State Route  49 (SR-49) in southern and northern Tuolumne County. The project extended from the Tuolumne/Mariposa County line to the SR-49/SR-120 junction, a 6.5-mile stretch of highway. The project also paved north of Pesce Way and continued on SR-49 for 8.5 miles until it reached the Tuolumne/Calaveras County line.
  • Metro’s $400 Million Roads Plan Is an Act of Climate Change Denial. After decades on the books, community voices — supported by NRDC and countless others — prevailed and the 710 North “gap closure” project is dead. Good riddance. But the plan on how to spend the $400 million in leftover money is an affront to the health of San Gabriel Valley residents and our climate future.
  • County wants traffic action plan. County supervisors motivated by the “nightmare” traffic jam witnessed Thanksgiving weekend through the Grapevine and along Interstate 5 have called for an emergency mobility action plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a recommendation by Supervisor Kathryn Barger for agencies to devise emergency mobility action plans that would be used whenever the I-5 shuts down due to crashes, weather or construction.
  • McCarthy Announces $17.5 Million DOT Grant to Expand Route 46 through Lost Hills. Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy is pleased to announce the U.S. Department of Transportation’s intention to award a $17.5 million grant to the Kern Council of Governments for Kern County California State Route 46 Widening Segment 4B project. The grant award is from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant program. This project will widen a 5.3 mile segment of 2-lane highway to a 4-lane highway.

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🛣️ Headlines About California’s Highways – November 2018

We’re coming up on the end of 2018 — just one more month left. November saw a significant election result for California’s highways — the defeat of Proposition 6. As a result, SB1 will continue to funnel funds to improve highways, transportation, and transit throughout the state. November also saw me finish the second traditional update of the year. Most of these headlines are in that update; headlines being held for the first traditional update in 2019 will be indicated with ¤. With that, here are your headlines for November:

  • Important Events in Caltrans History. A timeline of Caltrans.
  • Overwhelming support of South Shore Community Revitalization Project at TRPA meeting. A standing room only crowd was in the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) board room on October 25, 2018 for an updated presentation, and plans for the next steps, of the U.S. 50 South Shore Community Revitalization Project, commonly known as the Loop Road. It reroutes Highway 50 from its current location in front of Heavenly Village and the casinos to behind Raley’s, the Village Center and Harrahs Tahoe.
  • After warning Modesto about risks, Caltrans goes down another roadModesto’s auditor advised city officials in a July memo not to use Meyers Nave — the law firm Modesto hired in 2014 to serve as its city attorney — for the legal work on a roughly $100 million project to realign and upgrade a stretch of Highway 132. Monica Houston wrote that doing so could expose the city to the risk of fraud, waste and abuse. But it turns out Caltrans was not so steadfast, and it appears it may have been a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing at the transportation agency. Houston’s memo is one of the reasons that her work is under scrutiny..
  • Rural groups: Rethink proposalMembers of the Association of Rural Town Councils hope the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will delay the public hearing for the proposed Centennial mas­ter-planned community to allow time for a more com­plete traffic study. The L.A. County Region­al Planning Commission voted Aug. 29 to recommend the project for approval to the board of supervisors. The board is expected to con­sider the project in De­cember, although a date has not yet been set. Proposed on about 12,300 acres along Highway 138 west of 300th Street West, Cen­tennial calls for 19,333 homes on the 150-year-old Tejon Ranch at the far reach­es of the northwestern Antelope Valley.

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🛣️ Changes to the California Highways Website – October/November 2018

What did you do over the Thanksgiving weekend? Me? I didn’t eat turkey; instead, I finished updating the California Highways web pages with all the changes accumulated since the end of June.

You can thank me later. For now, read on, McDuff.

After two updates that added maps to every route page, it’s time to do a regular update. As I’ve written before, I’m do some remodeling around here. Over the past year, the site has been moved to HTTPS: all the time, and (as noted) maps will be added. I’ve gotten a book on Responsive Design, and after I read it, I’ll be moving the site to a responsive design, together with some basic graphic changes of the headers and menus. I have no plans to change the content or my method of content generation. As always, I’m on the lookout for a good WSYWYG with “Tags Mode” HTML editor that I like (both of the ones I use, HoTMetaL Pro and Amaya are abandonware). You can see my thoughts on what I would like from the redesign here; it also explains how the site is generated.

Moving on to the updates: Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the papers (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. This resulted in changes on the following routes, with credit as indicated [my research(1), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail) from Tom Fearer​ (​Max Rockatansky)(2), Andy Field(3), Mark F/AARoads(4), Gonelookin/AARoads(5), Alex Nitzman(6), Joe Rouse(7), Chris Sampang(8), Sparker/AARoads(9), Jim Umbach(10), Joel Windmiller(11): Route 1(1,2), Route 2(1), Route 4(1,2), I-5(1,2), US 6(2), Route 8(1,2), Route 9(1,8), Route 11(1), Route 12(1,2), Route 14(1), I-15(1,9,6,10), Route 16(11,8,9), Route 20(2), LRN 23(2), Route 24(11,8,9), Route 25(1), Route 26(2), Route 28(2), Route 29(1), Route 30(8), Route 31(9), Route 32(1), Route 33(2,9), LRN 34(2), Route 36(1), Route 37(1), Route 41(1), Route 42(1), Route 44(8), Route 49(1,2), US 50(1,2,5), Route 51(2,9,7), Route 52(1), Route 57(1), Route 58(1,2,8), Route 60(1), Route 61(1), Route 65(1,2), Route 74 (including the Mid-County Parkway)(1), Route 76(1), Route 79(1), I-80(1,2,9,7), Route 82(1,8), Route 84(1), Route 85(1), Route 88(2), Route 89(1,2), Route 92(8), US 97(2), Route 99(1,2,11,9), US 101(1,9), Route 108(1,2), Route 110(1),Route 111(1), Route 118(1,9), Route 122(9), Route 128(1), LRN 129(1,2), Route 132(1,2,9), LRN 136(1,2), Route 138(1), Route 141(6), Route 155(1,2), Route 156(1), Route 161(2), Route 163(1), Route 166(1), Route 174(2), Route 188(2), Route 190(1,2), Route 196(9), Route 198(1), Route 201(1), Route 202(2), I-210(1), I-215(1), Route 211(1,2), I-215(1), Route 216(1), Route 221(1), Route 229(2), Route 237(1), Route 238(1,9), Route 241(1,4), Route 249(9), Route 263(1), Route 267(2), Route 275(1), Route 276(1,2), Route 283(1), Route 299(1,2), US 395(1), Route 371(1), I-380(1), I-405(1), US 466(2), I-580(1), I-680(1), I-710(1), I-780(6), County Sign Route E2 – Capitol Southeast Connector(3,8), County Sign Route E15(2), County Sign Route E18(2), County Sign Route G1(2), County Sign Route J16(2), County Sign Route J22(2), County Sign Route J28(2), County Sign Route J29(2), County Sign Route J37(2), County Sign Route J41(2), County Sign Route N2(1), County Sign Route N3(1).

Noted the useful responses to an AAroad query for when I move to the “one highway per page” as part of Phase 3 of the site refresh.

Updated the Chronology based on the Caltrans chronology.

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