August: A month that has seen lots of highway work, from repaving to rerouting, as agencies take advantage of the hot summer months to get work done. For me, it has brought exploration of northern California, driving some highways I’ve never been on before. But all along the way, I’ve been collecting headlines for your enjoyment:
Note: 💲 indicates sites with obnoxious paywalls. The LA Times is excluded, as I subscribe to the LA Times.
- 💲 Moffett Park Drive ramp to permanently close at 101-237. Q: Why are they closing Moffett Park Drive between Mathilda Avenue and Bordeaux Drive permanently in Sunnyvale?
- Final construction of state Route 11 kicking off, linking to future Otay Mesa border crossing. Officials are breaking ground on the final segment of state Route 11 on Wednesday — connecting the San Diego region’s highway system to the future Otay Mesa East Port of Entry. Sections of SR-11 have been completed since 2016, but currently the highway ends at Enrico Fermi Drive in Otay Mesa. This final leg of construction, which includes several highway interchanges, would connect the envisioned port of entry to state Routes 905 and 125.
- Fuming about Caltrans projects but I appreciate them. The Camp Fire was snuffed by a rainstorm on Thanksgiving Day — finally. Since then getting back and forth to Chico, Oroville or other flatland destinations has been an adventure. The sign “Road Work Ahead” could mean anything from a 10-minute to 30-minute wait and there were lots of ’em. Initially there were teams of workers with chainsaws falling burnt timber. Then that material had to be limbed, chipped and hauled off. Some logs still had enough moisture to be made into lumber, the rest was disposed of by however the contractor decided. In the process of removing trees, rocks were subjected to the usual forces of gravity falling from the steep cliffs onto the road. They had to be removed.
- Forgotten Railways, Roads & Places: The 10 Most Pointless 3-digit Interstate Highways. What makes a highway pointless, especially one built to the highest road standards in the world? It can be length, as many of these routes are only a mile or two in length, but it doesn’t have to be. There are quite useful interstate highways that nonetheless very short (I-190 in Illinois and I-238 in California are good examples). Another qualification is the area they serve; many of these routes either don’t connect to a significantly populated area, or don’t facilitate downtown traffic. Here’s my list of the Interstate highways I find the most useless. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments.
- Stories from the Map Cave: Los Angeles Street Guides. Map Librarian Glen Creason explains the history of the street guide in Los Angeles, and shares some highlights from our extensive collection.
- Route 36 Improvement Updates. This is an update from Caltrans District 2 regarding construction on State Route 36. Caltrans is adopting the recommendations by the Susanville city council as follows: no bike lanes will be added, parking will remain the same, and the curb extensions known as “bulb-outs” will remain, except for Weatherlow St.
- The First Map of Proposed US Interstate Highways Is Released – Transportation History. August 2, 1947. About nine years before President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the bill formally establishing the Interstate Highway System, the general locations of the first designated routes for that proposed network were announced. This announcement was made by Major General Philip B. Fleming, administrator of the Federal Works Agency (which included the Public Roads Administration); and Thomas H. MacDonald, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads.