Another month, another bunch of headlines. February was quieter. Here in Southern California, it was mostly dry and quite windy. In Northern and Central California, it was a different story. But beyond that, it was the new new normal. So recovery from COVID-19 as the numbers stabilize and the vaccine rollout continues, and the big news from DC was that there was no real big news. Nice for a change, to have the blustery hot air to be coming from the high desert.
Here are your headlines for February. As always: Ready, set, discuss.
[Ħ Historical information | ＄ Paywalls and ∅ other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; EBT/East Bay Times; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; MIJ/Marin Independent-Journal; NVR/Napa Valley Register; PD/Press Democrat; AC/Argus Courier; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK) ]
- ＄/LAT 23 miles of Highway 1 near Big Sur close, require repairs. Caltrans officials say landslide repairs will keep Highway 1 south of Big Sur closed for months, rewriting travel plans for anyone who had been hoping to make a coastal road trip from Southern California in early spring. Beyond that, “It is too early to establish a timeline,” Caltrans spokesman Kevin Drabinski said. Though Monterey County officials partially lifted a storm-related evacuation order in the area Monday afternoon, the debris flow in some places “is still active. … And we have rain coming as soon as tonight.”
- Peninsula Avenue interchange revamp returns. San Mateo city officials presented residents on Wednesday with updated information about its Highway 101/Peninsula Avenue Interchange Project, designed to improve public safety and reduce traffic while removing the Poplar ramps to the south. The project would address long-term safety and traffic operations and reduce travel times within the Peninsula Avenue interchange area for San Mateo and Burlingame residents. It would include improved bicycle and pedestrian travel options on Peninsula Avenue from just west of North Humboldt Street to North Bayshore Boulevard. City officials said the project would improve safety in the area near schools, reduce travel times and accommodate future traffic. San Mateo expects to have a significant traffic congestion reduction in the area during peak hours in the morning and early evening.
- ＄/PD Work starts on final phase of 20-year $750 million Highway 101 project in Sonoma-Marin counties. Blink and you might miss the recent lane shift on northbound Highway 101, just west of the dog park at Deer Creek Village in north Petaluma. In mid-January, Caltrans redirected northbound traffic onto a pair of lanes in the median, just as the highway begins a gentle incline and crosses over the SMART railroad tracks. Most drivers probably don’t even notice that subtle shift, which allows workers from Ghilotti Construction in Santa Rosa to keep widening that section of freeway from two to three lanes. To those tracking the progress of the Marin-Sonoma Narrows Project, that lane shift was a very big deal. It marked the beginning of a final part of this 20-year undertaking which, at long last, is on the homestretch.
- ＄/SJMN Storm could complicate Highway 1 slideout recovery. As crews continued working to assess the scope of the Highway 1 slideout south of Big Sur while starting clean-up and repair work, this week’s anticipated storm could make those efforts more difficult. According to Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers, additional rain and runoff in the wake of last week’s atmospheric river storm that drenched the Big Sur coast could delay progress being made on the 150-foot section of washed-out highway at Rat Creek about 30 miles north of the San Luis Obispo County line. “Any additional runoff or rain could create a scenario of more time to clean up, (and) more slide activity,” Shivers said. “Water is pooling in areas above the highway and we need to deal with that. Dryer conditions allow for more steady progress.”
- Highway 101 at 135 bridge replacement to start Feb. 1. A project to reconstruct the bridges on US Highway 101 at the Interchange with State Route 135 in Los Alamos will begin on Monday, Feb. 1. Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control on State Route 135 between Main Street and San Antonio Boulevard Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4 pm and during the overnight hours from 8 pm until 6 am.
- ＄/SDUT Caltrans seeks public input on widening state Route 67. Caltrans is seeking public comments to bolster its environmental studies that will be used to determine the practicality of widening state Route 67, including portions connected to Poway Road. Also under consideration for project inclusion are bike lanes plus human and animal crossings.
- North Coast Corridor Program: Reflection and anticipation for 40-year vision. The North Coast Corridor (NCC) program jointly operated by SANDAG and Caltrans is a balanced set of transportation, environmental, and coastal access projects to improve the quality of life for residents, create a stronger local and regional economy for the future, and enhance the north San Diego County coastal environment. The $6 billion, 40-year vision is an implementation blueprint for developing and building projects as part of a holistic and connected system of mobility facilities. These efforts align with SANDAG’s vision for the 2021 Regional Plan, which reimagines how people and goods could move throughout the region in the 21st century, fundamentally shaped by five key strategies for mobility, collectively known as the 5 Big Moves—Complete Corridors, Transit Leap, Mobility Hubs, Flexible Fleets, and the Next OS.