Whew. And those years are a wrap. You’re probably confused, thinking the year doesn’t end for a few months. Not quite. The last two weeks have seen two years come to an end: the Jewish year of 5780, and the government fiscal year of FY19-20. And this year, I’ll take any year ending I can get, if it brings me closer to 2021, and perhaps getting back to the old new normal, as opposed to the new new normal. In any case, the year ends have been keeping me busy, but one thing that hasn’t changed is my collecting headlines about California Highways. So here, for your edification and enjoyment, are the articles of interest that came across my desk. Note: There seem to be a lot less headlines this month — I’m guessing due to impacts from COVID and slowdowns due to the fires. Oh, and as it is the end of September, I’ve started on the next round of updates to the highway pages (which will cover the August and September headlines, legislative actions (including the end of the session), and CTC actions).
So, as always, ready, set, discuss.
[💰 Paywalls and 🚫 other annoying restrictions: LAT/LA Times; SJMN/Mercury News; OCR/Orange County Register; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; PE/Press Enterprise; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; NVR/Napa Valley Register; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; SONN/Sonoma News; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram]
- Commuters may have to pay to use North Bay highways 101, 37, 12 under Bay Area plan. Toll roads may be more common for San Francisco Bay Area commuters in the coming years — but not at the speed one might think. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission sent a letter to the Bay Area’s county transportation agencies in early August to help with funding on projects that alleviate congestion on the highways. The primary option involves express lanes that require tolls to be paid if motorists are not in a carpool or public transit. In the North Bay, U.S. Highway 101, along with State Routes 12 and 37, were singled out as possible toll targets.
- 🎥 Virtual Open House for the State Route 99 Lomo Crossing Safety Project (Video). Welcome to our Virtual Open House for the State Route 99 Lomo Crossing Safety Project in Sutter County. Caltrans has produced a short video outlining the preliminary measures the Department is proposing to increase safety at the intersection of SR-99 and Live Oak Boulevard/Encinal Road.
- BYPASS SAFETY MEASURES ON THE WAY. Your odds of getting in a collision on the 120 Bypass as you near Highway 99 if you are trying to head south toward Ripon and Modesto is six times higher than the statewide average. That tidbit from a Caltrans study helped set in motion the first phase of a $131.5 million project at the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 to improve vehicle movements and capacity. The project, expected to break ground a year from now, won’t be in place until 2023. In the meantime Caltrans is taking steps aimed at reducing the potential for carnage until two lanes are in place for eastbound 120 Bypass heading toward Modesto are in place.
- Caltrans awards $6 million to construction company to fix highways damaged from CZU Lightning Complex. Caltrans is responding to highway damage in Santa Cruz County following the destructive CZU Lightning Complex Fire. Caltrans is mobilizing several contractors and sub-contractors to help with the repairs including fallen and hazardous trees, burned guardrails, destroyed traffic signs and markers and damaged retaining walls. Caltrans District 5 awarded Granite Construction of Santa Cruz a $6 million emergency contract to clear, repair and restore segments of Highway 1, 9 and 236 in Santa Cruz County.
- 💰/SONN Commuters may have to pay to use North Bay highways 101, 37, 12 under Bay Area plan. Toll roads may be more common for San Francisco Bay Area commuters in the coming years — but not at the speed one might think. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission sent a letter to the Bay Area’s county transportation agencies in early August to help with funding on projects that alleviate congestion on the highways. The primary option involves express lanes that require tolls to be paid if motorists are not in a carpool or public transit. In the North Bay, U.S. Highway 101, along with State Routes 12 and 37, were singled out as possible toll targets.
- Geotechnical Studies For Last Chance Grade Project Continue as Caltrans Fixes ‘Ski Jump’. Though environmental studies to find the best possible route around Last Chance Grade continue, Caltrans crews have been busy this summer to ensure U.S. 101 stays open. Caltrans continues to repair storm damage at the slide-prone area roughly 9 miles south of Crescent City, the agency stated in a “Progress Update Summer 2020” mailer sent to Del Norters recently. Crews are also correcting a dip in the highway, which locals have dubbed the ski jump, project manager Jaime Matteoli told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Wednesday.
- More than $1.6B allocated to for work on state’s transportation system. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated on Aug. 14 more than $1.6 billion for transportation projects throughout the state, including about $1.3 billion for State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects, Caltrans’ “fix-it-first” program aimed at preserving the condition of the State Highway System. The projects allocated for funding will create an estimated 21,720 jobs, including direct, indirect and induced economic impacts. [Santa Ynez] Area state highway projects allocated funds include: ..