🛣 Headlines About California Highways – April 2022

The last headline post was on April 1st, so I must confess that there was one falsehood in the post:  “Maybe the right answer is just to put a fake headline somewhere in the headline list, and see if anyone falls for the rickroll.” That was just a tease to get you to go through all the headlines. Nothing was false.

However, there was one near truth:

  • How about: I’ve heard a lot about the growth of podcasting. Maybe now is the time for me to do that podcast I’ve always dreamed about doing detailed Theatre Reviews. I could make 10s and 10s of dollars towards my retirement. Now that’s worth quitting my job for. Plausible, but… would folks really fall for it.

The real truth is that I am starting a podcast, but it isn’t on theatre reviews. Right, I’m doing it with Tom Fearer from Gribblenation, and we’ll be going route by route through all the numbered highways in California. Right now, we’ve got a teaser episode up, and a sample and first episode written. We’ll be getting more written in May, and recording the same and first few episodes. You can find the forever home of the podcast at California Highways: Route by Route (caroutebyroute.org); you can find the alternate route over on anchor.fm. Subscribe, and we hope to have the sample episode — exploring Route 105 — up sometime in May.  We are still looking for someone to donate a public domain theme for the podcast; contact daniel@caroutebyroute.org if this interests you. We will also (eventually) be looking for podcast donors and sponsors, but that isn’t set up yet.

I’m also still working on the March/April updates to Cahighways.org. The ✔ below means that I’ve gone through the headline for the pages; I still have to go through the Gribblenation updates, the AAroads updates, the legislative actions, the CTC and Coastal Commission minutes. I also will need to go through the updated STIP and SHOPP, as they were approved at the March meeting. So the March/April updates should be posted sometime in late May.

The headline list is much smaller this month. Perhaps there are more paywalls blocking things. Perhaps there are less articles of interest for my pages (there are loads of articles on transit, but few new roads or major road changes right now). But you take what you get. Still, there are a few things of interest.

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

  • ✔ Officials Approve $312 Million for 126 Highway Projects in California (Construction Equipment Guide). As part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s landmark $1.1 billion Clean California initiative, Caltrans is awarding $312 million for 126 projects along the state highway system. Designed to foster cultural connections and civic pride, the projects are expected to generate 3,600 jobs as part of the multiyear initiative led by Caltrans to upgrade interstates and beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets and roads while creating thousands of jobs for Californians. Ninety-eight percent of the projects will benefit historically underserved or excluded communities. […] Developed in close collaboration with tribal and local governments, non-profits and businesses, the 126 state beautification projects include art installations, green space and proposals that improve safety and promote community connections. Construction begins in April 2022. Some of the larger projects include: …
  • ✔ Public Feedback Wanted On Caltrans’ HWY 49 Project (myMotherLode.com). Caltrans and the Calaveras County Public Works Department want to hear from the public regarding a construction project on Highway 49 in San Andreas. The State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) construction project stretches from one end of town to the other along the highway. The town hall will give the public a chance to hear and see drawings of the project that will upgrade facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards with curb ramps, sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • ✔ Caltrans to add 41 parking spaces in Downtown Ramona starting this month (Ramona Sentinel). After a year-long delay, Caltrans will start a project to create 41 parking spaces in Downtown Ramona as early as this week, Caltrans officials said Tuesday. The parallel parking project between Eighth and 10th streets on state Route 78 could be done a few weeks after it starts, said Caltrans Public Information Officer Cathryne Bruce-Johnson. The restriping will create parallel parking spaces for 21 vehicles on the westbound side of SR-78/Main Street, and 20 parking spaces on the eastbound side of the street in currently designated No Parking areas.
  • $$ Temecula ‘smart freeway’ project could improve 15 Freeway commute (Press Enterprise). Transportation officials are banking on technology to ease the frustrating 15 Freeway commute in southwest Riverside County. The Riverside County Transportation Commission is investing $18 million in a “smart freeway” pilot project that will target the northbound drive along 8 miles of the 15, from the San Diego-Riverside county line near Temecula to the 15-215 freeways split in Murrieta. In that section, where commuters returning from San Diego County jobs daily encounter delays, the agency plans to work with Caltrans to install an array of sensors to measure traffic flow, volume and speed at various points, said David Lewis, capital projects manager for the commission.
  • ✔ Southern Marin routes eyed for flooding relief (East Bay Times/Marin IJ). Officials are considering plans to raise portions of Highway 101 and Highway 1 to ease flooding in southern Marin. A proposed project along Highway 101 would elevate a portion of the southbound lane and offramp at the Marin City exit; construct a 700-foot floodwall between the highway and a stormwater pond; and install pumping mechanisms to increase flow from the pond into the Richardson Bay, according to Caltrans and state Sen. Mike McGuire. The project also includes an effort to raise Highway 1 north of the Manzanita commuter lot, which is closed routinely because of flooding. An automatic tide gate would be installed at the lot and drainage would be reconstructed. The Mill-Valley-Sausalito multiuse path also would be raised by about 3 feet.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – March 2022

April 1st.  April Fools Day. So what could I tell you that you would plausibly believe, but would be completely false?

  • How about: I’ve decided that the numbering naysayers are right, and I-238 is truly an abomination and they should complete the I-710 no matter what it takes. No, you would see right through that as well. I’m too neutral to take positions like that.
  • How about: I’ve decided that the vaccy naysayers are right, and I’m not going to get that 4th shot. Nah, you’d see right through that.
  • How about: I’m getting close enough to retirement. I’ve decided to chuck it all and go out for one gigantic roadtrip, traveling every road in California. Nah, I think I enjoy my real job too much, plus gas is far too expensive for anyone to believe that.
  • How about: After all this time, I’ve decided that music streamers are right, and I’m going to chuck my iPod Classics and stream away. Me? Never. They are my Precioussssssss.
  • How about: I’ve heard a lot about the growth of podcasting. Maybe now is the time for me to do that podcast I’ve always dreamed about doing detailed Theatre Reviews. I could make 10s and 10s of dollars towards my retirement. Now that’s worth quitting my job for. Plausible, but… would folks really fall for it.

Maybe the right answer is just to put a fake headline somewhere in the headline list, and see if anyone falls for the rickroll. That sounds good. So with that, let’s get to the roads.

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

  •  Who decides what roads and freeways get fixed next? (Daily Bulletin). Q: Rosie Shaw asked about road construction. Shaw, who lives in Riverside County, asked how it’s determined which roads and/or freeways are tabbed for construction work or repairs, including roads in small cities, and where the funding comes from.
  • State Route 26/Fremont Street Bridge Replacement Project (FB/District 10). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is preparing to begin a project that will improve vertical clearance for freight vehicles by replacing the State Route 26 (SR-26)/Fremont Street Overcrossing of State Route 99 in Stockton. Beginning February 28, 2022, crews will work during day and night shifts for approximately 200 days – Sundays through Fridays – with completion expected in late 2022. Roadside message signs will be placed on SR-26/Fremont Street and on SR-99 to alert motorists of scheduled highway and ramp closures.
  • State Route 99 Rehabilitation Project Through the City of Merced (FB/District 10). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is preparing to begin a project that will rehabilitate approximately 20 lane miles of State Route 99 (SR-99) between Franklin Road and Childs Avenue through the city of Merced. Construction will be done in phases and is scheduled to start on Sunday, March 6, 2022, with completion expected in August 2023.
  •  The Ghost of Harry Bergman’s Roadside Museum on Highway 371 (Esotouric’s Secret Los Angeles). Greetings from your friendly historic Los Angeles sightseeing tour company, now offering digital programming until we can again organize groups to gather and explore the city we love. For our latest post that’s hidden from the rest of the internet, we want to take you on a very short road trip along State Highway 371, the rural road between Aguanga (pronounced Ah-WAHN-ga, from the Luiseño word awáanga, meaning “dog place”) and Anza—or between Temecula and Palm Desert, to use more familiar destinations.
  • Opinion: Alien circles in downtown? (Madera Tribune). Some years from now, passengers in a low-flying airplane may report seeing “alien circles” right in downtown Madera. However, unlike the “crop circles” that are sometimes reported to exist in mid-West farmlands, the local phenomenon has a logical explanation. After years of prompting and procrastination, Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) is finally going to do something to improve State Route 145 through the City of Madera. After multiple meetings with city officials and stakeholders, the state has produced “State Route 145 Pavement Project and Complete Streets,” under the direction of John Liu, Deputy Director, Caltrans District 6 Maintenance and Operations. The plan consists of a “South Segment” along 3,020 feet of South Madera Avenue, from Avenue 13 to the East Madera Underpass Bridge; a “Downtown Segment,” including major modifications from E Street to Lake Street; and a “North Segment” from Lake Street to an area a bit short of the High-Speed Rail (HSR) underpass.
  • The US highway that helped break segregation (BBC Travel). Along US Route 40, African diplomats were routinely denied service at local establishments. But their treatment set off a civil rights struggle that led to outlawing segregation. Adam Malick Sow had a headache. He was several hours into his trip from New York to Washington DC, and after his limousine crossed into the state of Maryland, he asked his driver to find a place to stop. A few miles later, the newly appointed ambassador to the United States from the African nation of Chad stepped into a diner along US Route 40 and asked for a cup of coffee. The answer on a summer day in 1961 would change history.

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🛣 Changes to the California Highway Website covering January-February 2022

And the first updates for 2022 to the California Highways Website are live. Enjoy. And as always… ready, set, discuss …

February 2022:

And with the flip of a calendar page, we’re in a new year. Hopefully 2022 will see the COVID numbers continue to decline, continuing infections go down, and our moving into an endemic vs a pandemic phase. We will eventually get this to a level where we can live with it, and it will be like a seasonal flu: fatal for some, a serious illness for others, mild for still others, and some will be resistant. As always, you can do your part to help us return to the new normal, when we can get out on the road again: do what you can do to stop the spread of the disease (wear masks, get vaccinated), and stay home when you don’t feel well or have been around folks that might have been contagious. I know this sounds like a broken record each update, but I’m tired of dealing with this from the last two years. I’m doing my part—with your help, perhaps we can get past this.

Beyond that, 2022 has started out really busy: We’re understaffed at work and the customer wants more (and we’re looking for good folks, so if you see something of interest let me know and I might be able to refer you in). My wife is still recovering from her fall in November, and I’m still acting as a caregiver. We still have the occasional theatre. But I’m taking some time to get these updates done for you. So let’s begin, shall we?

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the (virtual) papers in January and February 2022 (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 GaryA(2), Nathan Edgars (NE2)(3), Tom Fearer(4)Great Lakes Roads(5), Tike Narry(6)]: Route 1(ℱ,4), Route 2(ℱ), I-5(ℱ), US 6(3), Route 12(ℱ), Route 17(ℱ), Route 19(4), Route 22(4), Route 32(ℱ), Route 35(ℱ),  Route 37(ℱ), Route 39(4), US 40(4), Route 42(4), Route 47(3), US 66(4), Route 67(4), Route 75(ℱ), Route 78(ℱ), I-80(ℱ,4), Route 89(ℱ), US 91(4), Route 99(ℱ,4), US 101(ℱ), US 101A(4), Route 103(3), I-105(4), Route 118(ℱ,2), Route 123(ℱ), Route 125(4,5), I-215(ℱ), Route 133(ℱ,4), Route 138(ℱ), Route 198(ℱ), Route 231(ℱ), Route 238(ℱ),  Route 239(6), Route 241(ℱ,4), Route 261(ℱ,4), I-505(ℱ), Route 710(ℱ, 3), I-880(ℱ).
(Source: private email, Highway headline posts through February 27, 2022 as indicated, AARoads through 02/27/2022)

Added the Gribblenation page “Golden State Highways” to the appropriate regional links page. As a reminder: If you have a regional page (state, country), please let me know so I can add it to the links directory. Yes, this is old-fashioned in these days of search engines, but it still does serve to increase the visibility and ranking of all sites.

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. The last day for bills to be introduced is Feb 18; to get a new bill after that, and existing bill must be amended. As a result, quite a few “non-substantial changes” bills are introduced as placeholders. These bills that make a minor meaningless grammatical change in some provision, just so there is a bill in the system that can later be amended to do something else after the deadline for introducing bills has passed. Some of the more amusing ones are AB1673 (Counties); AB1901 (California State Boundaries); AB1953 (Assembly Great Seal); AB1967 (State Government); AB2174 (Traffic Control Devices); AB2493 (Cities and Counties); AB2760 (Utility poles and structures); and SB1243 (Counties). This also shows “hot topics” for the year, included bills related to retail shoplifting, cryptocurrency, catalytic converter thefts, broadband equity, and elections. At this point, no bills have been passed in the 2022 session. Note: As a side-impact of this, I made some formatting changes to make the legislative page easier to read.

Through the headline discovery I do, I discovered the online agenda of the California Coastal Commission. I reviewed the agenda for the 2021 and 2022 Coastal Commission meetings, and noted the following actions that rose to the level of Highway Page significance:

  • February 2022 (Weds., 11.a) Application № 4-21-0182 (Caltrans, Santa Barbara Co.).
    Application of Caltrans to replace Route 217 bridge at San Jose Creek with new bridge with four traffic lanes, standard bridge railings and shoulders, separated bicycle and pedestrian path, and coastal hazards adaptation features, located between the City of Goleta and the University of California, Santa Barbara in unincorporated Santa Barbara County. (SD-V)
    ❧ Moved to Consent Calendar, APPROVED WITH CONDITIONS
  • September 2021 (Thurs., 10.a): September 2021 Application № 1-21-0074 (Caltrans, Fort Bragg)
    Application of California Department of Transportation to widen two-lane Route 1 bridge over Pudding Creek to add shoulder width and separated pedestrian walkways with relocation of utility lines and drainage improvements at Highway 1 crossing of Pudding Creek in City of Fort Bragg, Mendocino County. (AL-A)
    ❧ Moved to Consent Calendar, APPROVED WITH CONDITIONS
  • January 2021 (Weds 11.a) January 2021 Application № 1-20-0422 (Caltrans, Del Norte County)
    Application of California Department of Transportation to demolish and replace existing two-lane U.S. Highway 101 (Dr. Fine) bridge over Smith River with new two lane bridge with separated pedestrian walkway and construct temporary detour bridge, relocate utility lines, and replace culverts at Highway 101 crossing of Smith River, Del Norte County. (TG-A)
    ❧ APPROVED WITH CONDITIONS

I checked California Transportation Commission page for the results of the January 2022 meeting of the California Transportation Commission. As always, note that I tend not to track items that do not impact these pages — i.e., pavement rehabilitation or replacement, landscaping, drainage, culverts, roadside facilities, charging stations, or other things that do not impact the routing or history, unless they are really significant. As such, the following items were of interest:

[ Note: ° indicates items that were below the level of detail for updating the specific route pages; ♠ is an indicator used to keep track of what has been added to the pages; ❧ indicates the results from the meeting, if the meeting minutes were available. ]
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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – February 2022

February. Short month. Lots of headlines. Before we get to it, folks, just a reminder to keep doing what you’re doing. Numbers are going down, and that’s a good thing. Of course, that’s not our only worry these days. Please send strength–however you send strength–to Ukraine. May the people be strong and safe; may the country stand against this unwarranted aggression.

With that, let’s get to the roads.

P.S. Expect the Highway Page updates in the next day or two.

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

  • Coronado Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project (District 11/FB). We’re releasing the Coronado Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project study for community review. A suicide barrier would be installed from the Bayshore Bikeway in the City of Coronado to Newton Avenue in the City of San Diego. The official comment period runs from January 31 to March 1st.
  • Calaveras County Bridge Replacement Project (District 10/FB). Do you want a public meeting on changes proposed for the Calaveras County Bridge Replacement Project on State Route 12 in Calaveras County? Public comment will be accepted from February 3 to March 4, 2022. For more information, click on the flyer or visit the Caltrans, District 10 website at dot.ca.gov/d10/projects.html.
  • Caltrans seeks feedback in highway projects between Butte, Sacramento (actionnewsnow.com). Caltrans is looking for feedback from the community on a proposed project that could improve Highway 70 and Highway 99 between Butte and Sacramento counties. During a survey feedback in September, Caltrans developed a list of 80 proposed highway improvement projects for the corridor. Included in that list are new freeway interchanges, expanding park and ride capacity, designated bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways, and more highway or turn lanes.
  • Rehab project completed ahead of schedule (Antelope Valley Press). With traffic cruising by on the already completed southbound lanes of State Route 14, Caltrans and local officials celebrated the completion of the Rosamond-Mojave Rehabilitation Project, months ahead of schedule. Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony was held on the still-closed northbound lanes of the highway. They are expected to be fully opened Feb. 10, which will return the highway to a four-lane, divided route between Rosamond and Mojave.
  •  San Jose ditches Charcot Extension Overpass near school (Mercury News). In a major victory for parents and teachers who fiercely fought the idea, a longtime plan to build a new overpass next to a primary school in North San Jose has been abandoned. The San Jose City Council voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to drop a proposal that’s been on the books for nearly three decades, marking a sharp reversal from the council’s stance in 2020 when they approved the project’s environmental impact report. The overpass would have extended North San Jose’s Charcot Avenue about .6 miles from Paragon Drive over I-880 to Oakland Road.
  • Express lanes to open in San Mateo County (San Mateo Daily Journal). The new tolled express lanes on Highway 101 are set to open Friday, Feb. 11, from the Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City but drivers will have to get a new FasTrak device to use them, according to officials. The Express Lanes will operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and all drivers must have a FasTrak Flex device to qualify for free or reduced tolls. Users of flex devices move a switch to show how many passengers they have on each trip. Those without the special device can be fined or penalized. Tolls will be adjusted depending on demand and traffic patterns.
  • Residents call for increased safety on major Petaluma roadway (Petaluma Argus Courier). Petaluma residents are calling for an increase in traffic safety as part of long-awaited plans to improve conditions along the busy North McDowell thoroughfare. In a virtual meeting last Wednesday, city officials and the Parisi Transportation Consulting group presented plans to reconstruct a section of North McDowell Boulevard in a multiple-phase project set to break ground later this year. David Parisi, founder of the consulting firm, said the project’s first phase would focus on pavement repairs, while the next phase could entail a “Complete Streets” approach.
  • Ryer Island ferry will be removed from service during scheduled maintenance (Local News Matters). A vital connection to one of the Delta’s inhabited islands will be out of service for several weeks beginning this month, Caltrans announced. The Real McCoy II ferry boat that serves as a link between Rio Vista and Ryer Island along State Route 84 in Solano County, will be out of operation beginning Feb. 7 so that required engine upgrades can be completed. The work is expected to be finished sometime by “late” March, according to Caltrans.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – January 2022

As we flip the calendar into 2022, we breath a deep sigh of relief (and hope there wasn’t anything infectious in that deep breath we took).

Hopefully, this will be a year where we will finally start to move out of this. You can do your part. Take all the measures you can to prevent further spread of this disease, and to protect you, your family, and those around you. This is what we need to do to get back out on the road having roadtrips.

One thing you can do from your desk is collect headlines, and that’s what I’ve been busily doing. Here are your headlines for January. My goal is to get the updates to the highway pages back to an every other month cadence, so look for updates in early March. And with that, here are your headlines. 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

  • Crews working to remove rocks, dirt at site of Hwy 1 rockslide in SLO County (KSBY). A roughly 10-mile stretch of Highway 1 remains closed due to a rockslide a couple of miles south of Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County. The popular road is traveled by millions of people each year from all over the world. “We are heading to San Francisco and now we are stuck in here,” said Fabio Queiroz of Brazil. If you’re planning on taking the coastal highway into Big Sur, you’ll be met with a road closure sign at the elephant seal viewing area in San Simeon. There are also a couple of signs warning of the closure miles before that.
  • SR-135 RESURFACING PROJECT IN SANTA MARIA BEGINS NEXT WEEK (Edhat). A project to resurface six-miles of State Route 135 (Broadway) from the US 101/State Route 135 Interchange to Lakeview Road will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 5. Travelers will encounter weekly lane closures in each direction of State Route 135 Sunday night through Friday morning during the overnight hours between 8 pm and 6 am. Adjacent streets may be closed during the overnight hours and during the day with traffic control from 9 am until 3 pm. Delays should not exceed 10 minutes. Travelers are encouraged to proceed safely in this work zone. The contractor for this $12 million dollar project is CalPortland Construction of Santa Maria, CA.
  • Golden Gate Bridge announces fix for noise nuisance (Marin I-J). Engineers have developed a $450,000 plan to muffle the loud humming noise that has been emanating from the Golden Gate Bridge on windy days. The sound was an unintended result of wind upgrades on the bridge railing last year. Residents living in nearby communities such as Sausalito and San Francisco’s Presidio area were most affected, but the strange humming could be heard from several miles away. The noise is generated by fast northwesterly winds passing through the new railings and wind fairings that were installed on the western side between the two towers.
  • Local leaders representatives respond to Caltrans’ plans for Union Avenue (KBAK). Back on December 15th, Ward 2 Bakersfield City Councilman, Andrae Gonzalez, and other city group leaders and representatives from local bike groups announced they were sending a letter to Caltrans, urging them to make needed improvements to Union Avenue, to stop deaths of pedestrians and cyclists that are happening. “I think we need to remember and put all of this in context, that 28 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have occurred, within a three-mile stretch on Union Avenue, since 2009. That’s far too many casualties,” Andrae Gonzales, Bakersfield City Councilman for Ward 2, said.
  • City removes historic lampposts off Glendale-Hyperion bridge following thefts (The Eastsider LA). This weekend reports circulated that more classic bronze lampposts had gone missing or were stolen off the Glendale-Hyperion bridge, which links Atwater Village and Silver Lake. While reports of the thefts have not been confirmed, it turns out city crews have been removing some of the nearly 12-foot-high lights for safe keeping before they could be stolen. The Bureau of Street Lighting has removed and stored 18 lights from the bridge, said Department of Public Works spokeswoman Elena Stern. Following reports of thefts in September, the city determined that a total of 7 lampposts had been stolen. But that number has now risen to 17, Stern said.
  • An Ode To Highway 1 (The Nob Hill Gazette). As we contemplate travel in 2022, road trips continue to hold a lot of appeal. And with access to such a storied thoroughfare as Highway 1, Californians aren’t complaining. We celebrate our coastal passageway with a three-part look at its engineering, its personal charms and worthy reasons to explore anew.
  • I-80 Yuba Pass Separation Overhead (SOH) Replacement (FB/District 3). Caltrans is currently seeking public feedback on two proposed Interstate 80 (I-80) improvement projects in Placer and Nevada counties. A $101.8 million project proposes to replace and widen the Yuba Pass Separation Overhead (SOH) bridges near the State Route 20 separation in Nevada County. The project would improve freight efficiency along I-80 by increasing the load carrying capacity and address structural deficiencies that necessitate bridge replacement: concrete cracking and spalling, high corrosive chloride content, superstructure repainting, bridge deck concrete degradation, and weight-bearing pad failures.
  • State Route 18 Emergency Repair Project Update (KBHR 93.3). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) continues repairs on an emergency project at a washout section of State Route 18 (SR-18) near Panorama point between 40th St and SR-138 near Crestline. Crews continue to make repairs and bring in necessary equipment and materials. Currently, crews work to keep the area as dry as possible take priority as more winter weather is predicted. To expediate the repairs, the route will remain closed to the public until further notice so crews can utilize the full roadway. Caltrans is evaluating all traffic handling situations and will have more updates on this in the future. Emergency responders will have access for emergency situations.

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🛣 Changes to the California Highway Website covering November-December 2021

The following is the change log for the November-December 2021 updates to the California Highways pages:

2021 is done. You had such promise, 2021. Why did you have to piss it away by falling in with the low-life loser crowd? Luckily, there were a growing number that put the public good over blatant self-interest. Not far enough, though.

For me and my family, the end of 2021 has been hard. My wife fell the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and broke her knee and the surrounding bones. She was in acute care for a week, then in-patient rehab for two more weeks (meaning three weeks of travel back and forth between Northridge and Burbank), and now is getting in-home rehab — with no weight bearing until the end of February. This has added caregiving to the load—I don’t mind doing it, but it does add to the work and stress.

But the hospital was there when we needed it, because the people in the area headed the pleadings of the scientists and got vaccinated. This meant that there was acute care and rehab space. Many throughout this country are no so lucky. Hospitals are overloaded, and the new Ο (Omicron) variant doesn’t help with its faster spread. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue: The nation came together for the sake of the common good and to fight a common enemy in the first half of the 20th century. We saw our “freedoms” temporarily limited during WWI and WWII through rationing and other controls, and cheerfully did it to bring the nation out of a crisis. But that attitude of America coming together to fight a common foe has been lost today. Whether it is poor leadership or leaders taking advantage of a crisis for their political power, what should be a common fight against a public health enemy has become partisan. Move beyond that partisanship. Just like the nation stepped up for their Polio and Smallpox vaccines to defeat those public health scourges, step up and get your COVID vaccines and boosters unless there are legitimate medical reasons not to do so. Together we can fight this, so we can get back out on the roads. If there are any questions I can answer to ally your vaccine hesitancy, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Those reading this on ꜲRoads will miss my usual pleadings related to Mr. Spike Protein and his antics over the last two years, because some feel that public health is a partisan issue. Those who want to see my pleadings can go over to the full Changelog on the site; those who want to stick their heads in the sand can go to (a city in Michigan). All I’ll say is that you know what you can do to help make 2022 better, and help bring the nation (and the world) out of this crisis, so we can get back on the roads and stumble headfirst into the next one.

But let’s turn our attention to something more pleasant: the roads of the great state of California. From the rural areas in the far northern environs of the state to border commerce in the south, from the deserts of Nevada and Arizona to the Pacific; from the great Sierra mountains to the depths of Death Valley; from the urban areas to rural farmland—California has a vast road network to maintain and grow. It is a network that is vital to the success of the state: its commerce, its people, its growth. It is the mission of the California Highways website to document that network: its history, its peculiarities, and the significant changes that are coming down the road. It is a journey we go on together… once you show proof of vaccination and your boosters, and you wear your mask. After all, I have a sick wife at home, and what you do with respect to communicable diseases impacts not just you, but the broader community.

So here are your updates covering the months of November and December:

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the (virtual) papers in November and December 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 Concrete Bob(2) , Tom Fearer(3)mrsman(4): Route 1(ℱ), Route 3(ℱ), I-5(ℱ), US 6(3), I-8(ℱ), Pre-1961 Route 10(3), Route 11(ℱ,3), I-15(ℱ), Route 25(ℱ), Route 37(ℱ), Route 42(3), Route 43(ℱ), Route 46(ℱ), Route 70(ℱ), Route 84(ℱ), Route 96(ℱ), Route 99(ℱ,3), US 101(ℱ,3), Route 125(ℱ), Route 129(ℱ), Capitol Southeast Connector/Route 148(2), Route 152(ℱ),  Route 156(ℱ), Route 174(ℱ), Route 182(3), US 199(3), Route 247(ℱ), Route 260(4), Route 263(ℱ), Route 266(3), Route 299(3), US 395(ℱ), US 399(3), I-580(ℱ), I-880(4), Route 905(ℱ,3).
(Source: private email, Highway headline posts through December 2021 as indicated, AARoads through 12/31/2021)

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. A new fiscal year starts October 1, but the legislature does not reconvene until January 2022. As such, there were no new bills or resolutions from either chamber of the state legislature.

I checked California Transportation Commission page for the results of the December 2021 meeting of the  California Transportation Commission. As always, note that I tend not to track items that do not impact these pages — i.e., pavement rehabilitation or replacement, landscaping, drainage, culverts, roadside facilities, charging stations, or other things that do not impact the routing or history, unless they are really significant. As such, the following items were of interest:

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – December 2021

And we that, 2021 is in the history books. Good riddance. May 2022 be the year that sees us back on the front roads and back roads of this great state, secure in our health. I give us perhaps a 60% chance.

Why so low? Do I need to say it?

[Insert pause so that the various link previewers put the rest below the fold]

I guess I do need to say it. There are those today who put politics and partisanship over science and reason. Refusing to do something simply because someone says you need to do it is the behavior of a child.  “I won’t eat my spinach, even though you say it is good for me.”

We started 2021 with such promise. A number of new vaccines were approved, temporary public health restrictions were lessening. But getting to a global vaccine level is hard … and we didn’t get there. The end of 2021 with the rise of the Omicron variant is showing that. Omicron just may be what turns this from epidemic to endemic, at least for those who are vaccinated (and who, as is looking more likely, get regularly boosted as with the flu vaccine). For those who are not vaccinated, the news may not be as good. Sometimes, you lose the dice roll.

But this is a highway headlines post, you say. Why do you drone on each month about this?  The answer is simple. If we want to get back on the roads we have to get a handle on this. We want our road workers to be safe. We want those travelling the roads to be safe. We want, if there is an accident on the roads, for there to be available caregivers and available hospital space so the injured do not turn into casualties.  That’s why I talk about this.

Please do what you can to stop the further spread of this disease. Do all that is in your power to stay healthy. If you are hesitant about anything, please feel free to reach out to me and we can talk.

Let’s make 2022 the year we get back to our new normal, out of the roads happy and healthy. Of course, to do that, it is important to know what is happening on the roads. So, with that, I present to you the last headline post of 2021. May you have a happy, and most importantly, healthy, new year.

P.S.: I’ve been working on the updates to the California Highways site. Once these December headlines are reviewed and incorporated, I can regenerate the files and upload.

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

  • BTTF#12: Edward Everett Horton’s Encino Ranch Estate and the 101 Freeway; How A Celebrity Lost His Ranch to Suburbanization (San Fernando Valley Blog). Welcome aboard the Delorean! Marty McFly here to take you on a journey to the affluent and trendy community of Encino. The Delorean has the required plutonium plus some random garbage in the Mr. Fusion reactor ready for this trip. The time circuits are set to sometime in 1926 (actual date unknown) and the flux capacitor is………fluxxing. The engine is running (not stalled this time) so we need to hurry. Hang on, as the ride can be a little bumpy as we travel back in time to the Edward Evertt Horton Ranch Estate known as “Belly Acres” or “Belleigh Acres” at 5521 Amestoy Avenue in Encino.
  • Metro breaks ground on I-5 North County Enhancements Project (The Source). Metro on Wednesday celebrated the groundbreaking for the I-5 North County Enhancements Project, which will improve the operations and safety of the I-5 freeway for motorists in the Santa Clarita Valley. Metro is planning, designing and managing the construction of the project in partnership with Caltrans. Watch the event here. This $679-million project is specifically designed to make the I-5 freeway safer, improve the movement of freight and people and accommodate expected population growth in the Santa Clarita Valley. Improvements include the addition of one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction along with other improvements in the 14-mile corridor between State Route 14 in Santa Clarita and Parker Road in Castaic.
  • Napa County seems unlikely choice for Highway 37 reroute (Napa Valley Register). Relocating Highway 37 through Napa County’s Carneros wine country to avoid sea-level rise never looked like an appealing option and recent data makes it appear even less so. Regional transportation leaders say Highway 37 faces two big problems. One is sea level rise from San Pablo Bay they say could someday put parts of the road underwater. The other is congestion. One proposed solution is to elevate and widen the highway along its present route from Vallejo to Novato through Solano, Sonoma, and Marin counties. Another is to move the highway away from marshland to higher ground.
  • Highway 101 carpool lane opening in Petaluma (Press Democrat). A temporary carpool lane is expected to open early Thursday on a stretch of Highway 101 that’s undergoing a widening project in Petaluma. The new northbound lane is on the Washington Creek Bridge between Lakeville Highway to the south and the Lynch Creek Trail bridge to the north, according to Caltrans. It was expected to be open by 5 a.m. Thursday, Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss said. “There will be three lanes the whole way, which is the first time it’s happened there,“ he said.
  • Caltrans preps for 10-hour I-80 closure for bridge removal (Daily Republic). Crews on Thursday were making some of the final preparations for this weekend’s removal of the connector bridge from Highway 12 to eastbound Interstate 80. The work will cause a full I-80 closure from 11 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, the state Department of Transportation reported. Kiewit, of Fairfield, is the contractor on the $61 million project – the second package in the seven-phase $740 million Interstate 80/Interstate 680/Highway 12 Interchange Project.
  • RAISE Grants Will Support Four California Transportation Projects (Streetsblog California). The federal transportation grants from what was the TIGER program created under President Obama have been released, and journalists and advocates note that this new version of the program is generally good news for sustainable and active transportation. The RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) grants, as they are now called, do support some road and highway expansion, but most of the money is going towards projects like greenways, transit planning, and pedestrian and bike improvements.
  • Work crews complete I-80 bridge removal, reopen freeway on time in Fairfield (Daily Republic). A 10-hour closure of both eastbound and westbound Interstate 80 in Fairfield ended on time Sunday as crews reopened the freeway to traffic. I-80 was shut down in both directions for about 10 hours starting at 11 p.m. Saturday. The freeway was open again at 9 a.m. Sunday. Crews overseen by the state Department of Transportation removed the old Highway 12 to eastbound I-80 connector bridge. The work is part of the Interstate 80/Interstate 680/Highway 12 Interchange Project.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – November 2021

Eleven down, one to go. Perhaps 2022 will be better than 2021 was. We went into 2021 with so much optimism after 2020 and its craziness. It looked like things were going better, but then we were slammed with supply chain woes, and people that seemed more concerned with themselves and partisan political positioning than with making the world a better place (Tikkun Olam). But we can make 2022 better. You can do your part. Get vaccinated (and get a booster if have your first shots). Put your vaccine card in your digital wallet (it makes things easy). Wear your masks. Let’s keep beating this virus down until we can get that R0 to 1 or below. Right now, the R0 is at 1.1, so we’re getting closer. This chart visualizes how infectious SARS-COV-2 is without the vaccine, compared to other diseases.

But November has been crazy in other ways. On the plus side, theatre is coming back and I saw two shows in November: Hamilton and Head Over Heels. That’s the good. The bad is that I saw the last show with a friend, not my wife. That’s because my wife fell in a store the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and has been in the hospital since. They repaired the broken kneecap and tib-fib fracture, and now it is just rehab until mid-December at least. That sees me on the roads more, but not for a good reason.

But at least I can give you something fun. Here are the headlines I collected for November. As always: Ready, Set, Discuss, and get your vaccine or booster.

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

  • Goodman urges California officials to widen I-15; Caltrans says not so fast (Las Vegas Review-Journal). After an end to any busy weekend in the Las Vegas Valley, you can almost count on two things happening: a miles-long traffic backup on Interstate 15 southbound, and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeting about it. With the interstate going from three lanes on the Nevada side to two on the California side, traffic can back up more than 20 miles on some busy holiday weekends. Last week’s EDC music festival drew hundreds of thousands of people, with many driving in from Southern California. The backup on Monday, after the festival ended, got up to at least 15 miles long, according to Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada traffic alerts. Goodman took to her Twitter account to urge California transportation officials to help ease the congestion.
  • $$American Canyon looks at gas stations and hotels on Highway 29 (Napa Valley Register). American Canyon’s main drag of Highway 29 could get another hotel, though adding gas stations beyond an upcoming Circle K looks doubtful. This week, the city Planning Commission had two discussions that could affect the Highway 29 ambiance. It recommended the City Council allow a Hampton Inn and favored a ban on new gas stations, pending a few details to be worked out. American Canyon’s highway stretch is the first look at Napa County for many visitors. It is a mixture of new shopping centers, old buildings and vacant lots. A three-story, 112-room Hampton Inn with such features as a fitness center and meeting room would be just south of Donaldson Way. It would replace, among other things, a house with a windmill in front of it on a 2.5-acre lot that is largely vacant.
  • Who killed L.A.’s streetcars? We all did (Los Angeles Times). Suppose you’re thinking of moving to Los Angeles, and you ask your friends, what movies should I watch to learn all about the place? Easy, they say. “Chinatown,” “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” That’s fine — if you’re willing to let movies teach you history. But do remember, please, that “Chinatown” is a brilliant but truth-adjacent film and that “Once Upon a Time” delivers a happy grisly alternate ending to the Charles Manson saga. And as for “Roger Rabbit,” do you really want your source material about L.A.’s electric streetcar system to come from a cast of animated lagomorphs? Next to the Black Dahlia, that is probably L.A.’s favorite murder-conspiracy whodunit: Who killed the Red Cars, once the grandest electric streetcar system in the nation?
  • Phase 2 of the Route 70 Safety and Passing Lanes Project (District 3/FB). Caltrans and its partners celebrated the completion of Phase 2 of the Highway 70 Safety and Passing Lanes Project in Butte County this morning. The new roadway improves safety along Highway 70 corridor by providing continuous passing opportunities for vehicles from East Gridley Road to the Butte-Yuba county line. The project is the third of six major roadway improvement projects completed on Highway 70 between Oroville and Marysville.
  • South Fresno Corridor Project (District 6/FB). District 6 will host a virtual public hearing for the South Fresno Corridor Project. The hearing will be held on November 4th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. You may access the virtual hearing through the project website: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-6/district-6-projects/06-0h240
  • Golden State Bridge Inc. Delivers Unique Reconstruction Project (Construction Eqpt. Guide). The new $18 million Klamath River Bridge, a 300-ft. long, one lane in each direction, arch structure located north of Yreka, Calif., constructed by Golden State Bridge Inc. for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), was fully delivered on Oct. 1 of this year. The complex project dealt with many environmental hurdles, which required a unique falsework system envisioned and implemented by Golden State’s Project Manager Paul Lukaszewicz, Superintendent Jim Banbury and Project Engineer Evan Huber to meet all concerns of the permitting agencies with no temporary structures in the flowing water. An engineered bridge removal plan also was required to dismantle the old structure and prevent debris from falling into the river.

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