A new year. New beginnings. Maybe a site rework. Maybe not — I’ve been promising it for a while. But one thing I can promise is to keep collecting those highway headlines and sharing them with you. So as we enter 2020, here are some headlines about California’s numbered highways, together with a few other things of interest for my highway pages. As always, I welcome your discussion of these headlines. May your drives and explorations in 2020 be interesting, fruitful, and safe.
[💰 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]
- MTC: I-880 Express Lanes Between Milpitas, Oakland To Open In Summer 2020. Express lanes on Interstate Highway 880 between Milpitas and Oakland are scheduled to open late in the summer of 2020, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said. Workers are converting to express lanes the existing Highway 880 HOV lanes that run from Hegenberger Road in Oakland to Dixon Landing Road in Milpitas in the southbound direction and from Dixon Landing Road to Lewelling Boulevard in San Lorenzo in the northbound direction.
- 💰SJMN Letter: Too few cyclists use the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike lane. Letter: Too few cyclists use the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike lane. Yet the MTC, Caltrans and elected officials spent $20M giving a third of the westbound car lanes to cyclists. Aug. 31, 1956: Gov. Goodwin Knight opens the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge. The July-August 1956 issue of the journal California Highway and Public Works stated “the structure will then provide two 36-foot roadways; three 12-foot lanes of traffic on the upper deck to San Rafael and the same provision on the lower deck to Richmond.” Now, 82,000 cars cross the bridge westbound daily, along with public bus lines and endless streams of trucks. Westbound rush-hour back-ups are a daily nightmare for commuters.
- Granite Awarded $33 Million Highway Reconstruction Project in Central California. Granite (NYSE: GVA) has been awarded a contract by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the reconstruction of four miles of State Route 99 (SR 99) near Kingsburg. A primary source of funding for this project is Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 that is expected to invest $54 billion over a ten-year period to improve California’s roads, freeways and bridges. Granite booked the $33 million contract in the fourth quarter of 2019. This four-mile project includes reconstructing two lanes in both directions of SR 99 with continuously reinforced concrete pavement as well as reconstructing ten off- and on-ramps with hot-mix asphalt.
- More Toll Lanes Coming to California Freeways. “California is expanding toll lanes on freeways like never before, not just to raise revenue for transportation projects but to change behavior as well,” writes Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, a Metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, in a comprehensive piece that covers Northern and Southern California.
- California Transportation Plan (CTP) 2050 | Caltrans. The California Transportation Plan (CTP) 2050 is the state’s long-range transportation plan that establishes an aspirational vision that articulates strategic goals, policies, and recommendations to improve multimodal mobility and accessibility while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The purpose of the plan is to present innovative, sustainable, and integrated multimodal mobility solutions. These will help guide the planning and implementation of a low-carbon transportation system that fosters economic vitality, protects the environment and natural resources, and promotes health and well-being equitably for all Californians. The CTP 2050 update will focus on meeting current and emerging trends and challenges affecting transportation, including economic and job growth, air quality and climate impacts, new technologies, freight movement, transportation funding, and public health.
- Big shakeup coming next week to major streets serving downtown Napa. The freeway entrance into downtown Napa will be shaken up next week with the debut of a second roundabout, then the one-way directions of First and Second streets flipping on Friday between California Boulevard and Jefferson Street.
These will be the most significant traffic changes in the downtown area since First and Second in the business district became two-way in 2014 after being one-way for over a half century, said Eric Whan, the city’s deputy public works director.