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.