🛣️ Headlines about California Highways – July 2019

Ah, July. The middle of the year. The month started with Caltrans redesigning all their websites in response to AB 434, which required all state websites to be accessible. In doing so, a number of resources went permanently or temporarily unavailable. I was in the middle of a highway page update when this happened, so this made life fun. I will repeat the offer I made to Caltrans and the CTC then: If you have resources you can no longer make available due to AB 434, I will be glad to either host them here or help find a roadgeek website to host them, as roadgeek websites are not subject to AB 434. Of course, modulo the updates, I’ve been collecting headlines. Items marked with ✔ have already been incorporated into the highway page updates; 💲 indicates an annoying paywall may be in place (I don’t mark the LA Times, as I subscribe to the LA Times):

  • Actions taken by the Metro Board of Directors at their June meeting. Includes an update on projects connected to Measure R, as well as certification of the Final Environmental Impact for the Link Union Station project.
  • 💲 New Embarcadero Bridge over Lake Merritt channel finally opens. Two and a half years late, the replacement of Oakland’s Embarcadero bridge over the Lake Merritt Channel — linking Jack London Square and Brooklyn Basin — finally opened this week. Because the old bridge was seismically unsafe, the city opted to demolish it in 2015. An 18-foot wider, 6-foot taller bridge was built in its place. The new bridge features a 5-foot sidewalk on one side and a 12-foot sidewalk on the other side, as well as bike lanes on either side of the two-lane road. The bridge is part of the San Francisco Bay Trail — a 500-mile walking and cycling path in the works around the entire San Francisco Bay. Oakland Department of Transportation director Ryan Russo, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the bridge Friday, touted the new bridge as complementing the housing development at Jack London Square and the 3,100-unit Brooklyn Basin complex — one phase of which will open later this summer.
  • San Rafael offramp project cost surges by $4.3M. The cost to replace an aging Highway 101 offramp that crosses San Rafael Creek went up by $4.3 million following issues with construction bidding, according to the California Department of Transportation. Caltrans plans to re-advertise the construction contract, delaying to 2020 the project that was supposed to begin construction this summer.
  • ✔ 💲 City blames poor Caltrans maintenance for CarMax fire, issues emergency resolution. A fire that burned 86 vehicles in a CarMax lot has sparked frustration among local leaders, who say the damage could have been prevented if Caltrans had better maintained the median where the fire began. The Bakersfield Fire Department has determined that the conditions of the grass and brush along Highway 99, where the fire began, allowed the fire to spread rapidly across the median, and eventually caused $2.1 million in damage to vehicles in the lot last week.
  • ✔ 💲 Carbon Canyon truck ban in the hands of Caltrans. Chino Hills and Brea have each adopted resolutions requesting Caltrans to ban large truck traffic from using Carbon Canyon Road. The cities submitted the resolutions to Caltrans June 19. State Route 142 extends from Chino Hills Parkway in Chino Hills to Valencia Avenue in Brea and is in the jurisdiction of Caltrans 8 and Caltrans 12.

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