And we that, 2021 is in the history books. Good riddance. May 2022 be the year that sees us back on the front roads and back roads of this great state, secure in our health. I give us perhaps a 60% chance.
Why so low? Do I need to say it?
[Insert pause so that the various link previewers put the rest below the fold]
I guess I do need to say it. There are those today who put politics and partisanship over science and reason. Refusing to do something simply because someone says you need to do it is the behavior of a child. “I won’t eat my spinach, even though you say it is good for me.”
We started 2021 with such promise. A number of new vaccines were approved, temporary public health restrictions were lessening. But getting to a global vaccine level is hard … and we didn’t get there. The end of 2021 with the rise of the Omicron variant is showing that. Omicron just may be what turns this from epidemic to endemic, at least for those who are vaccinated (and who, as is looking more likely, get regularly boosted as with the flu vaccine). For those who are not vaccinated, the news may not be as good. Sometimes, you lose the dice roll.
But this is a highway headlines post, you say. Why do you drone on each month about this? The answer is simple. If we want to get back on the roads we have to get a handle on this. We want our road workers to be safe. We want those travelling the roads to be safe. We want, if there is an accident on the roads, for there to be available caregivers and available hospital space so the injured do not turn into casualties. That’s why I talk about this.
Please do what you can to stop the further spread of this disease. Do all that is in your power to stay healthy. If you are hesitant about anything, please feel free to reach out to me and we can talk.
Let’s make 2022 the year we get back to our new normal, out of the roads happy and healthy. Of course, to do that, it is important to know what is happening on the roads. So, with that, I present to you the last headline post of 2021. May you have a happy, and most importantly, healthy, new year.
P.S.: I’ve been working on the updates to the California Highways site. Once these December headlines are reviewed and incorporated, I can regenerate the files and upload.
[Ħ Historical information | ＄ Paywalls, ＄＄ really obnoxious paywalls, and ∅ other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For ＄ paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]
- BTTF#12: Edward Everett Horton’s Encino Ranch Estate and the 101 Freeway; How A Celebrity Lost His Ranch to Suburbanization (San Fernando Valley Blog). Welcome aboard the Delorean! Marty McFly here to take you on a journey to the affluent and trendy community of Encino. The Delorean has the required plutonium plus some random garbage in the Mr. Fusion reactor ready for this trip. The time circuits are set to sometime in 1926 (actual date unknown) and the flux capacitor is………fluxxing. The engine is running (not stalled this time) so we need to hurry. Hang on, as the ride can be a little bumpy as we travel back in time to the Edward Evertt Horton Ranch Estate known as “Belly Acres” or “Belleigh Acres” at 5521 Amestoy Avenue in Encino.
- Metro breaks ground on I-5 North County Enhancements Project (The Source). Metro on Wednesday celebrated the groundbreaking for the I-5 North County Enhancements Project, which will improve the operations and safety of the I-5 freeway for motorists in the Santa Clarita Valley. Metro is planning, designing and managing the construction of the project in partnership with Caltrans. Watch the event here. This $679-million project is specifically designed to make the I-5 freeway safer, improve the movement of freight and people and accommodate expected population growth in the Santa Clarita Valley. Improvements include the addition of one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction along with other improvements in the 14-mile corridor between State Route 14 in Santa Clarita and Parker Road in Castaic.
- Napa County seems unlikely choice for Highway 37 reroute (Napa Valley Register). Relocating Highway 37 through Napa County’s Carneros wine country to avoid sea-level rise never looked like an appealing option and recent data makes it appear even less so. Regional transportation leaders say Highway 37 faces two big problems. One is sea level rise from San Pablo Bay they say could someday put parts of the road underwater. The other is congestion. One proposed solution is to elevate and widen the highway along its present route from Vallejo to Novato through Solano, Sonoma, and Marin counties. Another is to move the highway away from marshland to higher ground.
- Highway 101 carpool lane opening in Petaluma (Press Democrat). A temporary carpool lane is expected to open early Thursday on a stretch of Highway 101 that’s undergoing a widening project in Petaluma. The new northbound lane is on the Washington Creek Bridge between Lakeville Highway to the south and the Lynch Creek Trail bridge to the north, according to Caltrans. It was expected to be open by 5 a.m. Thursday, Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss said. “There will be three lanes the whole way, which is the first time it’s happened there,“ he said.
- Caltrans preps for 10-hour I-80 closure for bridge removal (Daily Republic). Crews on Thursday were making some of the final preparations for this weekend’s removal of the connector bridge from Highway 12 to eastbound Interstate 80. The work will cause a full I-80 closure from 11 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, the state Department of Transportation reported. Kiewit, of Fairfield, is the contractor on the $61 million project – the second package in the seven-phase $740 million Interstate 80/Interstate 680/Highway 12 Interchange Project.
- RAISE Grants Will Support Four California Transportation Projects (Streetsblog California). The federal transportation grants from what was the TIGER program created under President Obama have been released, and journalists and advocates note that this new version of the program is generally good news for sustainable and active transportation. The RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) grants, as they are now called, do support some road and highway expansion, but most of the money is going towards projects like greenways, transit planning, and pedestrian and bike improvements.
- Work crews complete I-80 bridge removal, reopen freeway on time in Fairfield (Daily Republic). A 10-hour closure of both eastbound and westbound Interstate 80 in Fairfield ended on time Sunday as crews reopened the freeway to traffic. I-80 was shut down in both directions for about 10 hours starting at 11 p.m. Saturday. The freeway was open again at 9 a.m. Sunday. Crews overseen by the state Department of Transportation removed the old Highway 12 to eastbound I-80 connector bridge. The work is part of the Interstate 80/Interstate 680/Highway 12 Interchange Project.