Two-thirds of the year is now past. This has been an … interesting August. We’ve had intense heat, and surprisingly, a tropical storm that has inundated our low-lying deserts and flooded roads. In the northern part of the state, we’ve had some intense brush fires. The impact of these should be showing up in future emergency road repair requests. Hopefully, everyone has been safe through all of this.
Work is continuing on the highway pages. I’ve gone through the June and July headlines; after this post is up, I’ll do the August headlines. I’ve also started working through the June and August CTC minutes. Also still to go is the review of the actions of the legislature, and the review of the posts since the last update on AARoads. Hopefully, I’ll have something to post by mid-September. I’m also working on writing the first few episodes of the next season of the podcast, so we can start recording them.
Roadtrips in July include a trip up and back to Davis, and a trip out to Las Vegas and back. Don’t care about the gambling. However, if you want to know some great restaurants in the area (off-strip), just ask.
Well, enough chit-chat. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for August:
[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.]
California Highways: Route by Route Podcast
The podcast is currently on a break between Season 1 and Season 2. Back episodes are available at the Podcast’s forever home, as well as on its Spotify for Podcasters home. The Spotify (nee Anchor.FM) link also has links to the podcast’s page on most major podcasting services.
- ＄Why the lights on freeway onramp can’t end traffic jams (Los Angeles Times). It’s hard to enter a highway in Los Angeles County without encountering a stoplight at the end of the entrance ramp — a pause that’s supposed to ease the crush of rush-hour traffic. But like many Angelenos, West Valley driver Liza Olson wonders what, exactly, those lights are accomplishing. “Have you ever sat at a freeway metering light that’s red while hardly any cars zip by? Have you ever driven through a freeway metering light that’s green only to join gridlock? What gives?” Olson asked in a recent email.
- Work on Avenue J interchange begins (Antelope Valley Press). Crews will start work Monday to expand the Avenue J interchange at the Antelope Valley Freeway/State Route 14. The $28.8 million project includes widening the existing northbound on- and off-ramps. There will also be four new retaining walls and new on- and off-ramps on the south side of Avenue J. The project will be funded with Measure R funds by the city of Lancaster, Caltrans and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Lancaster received $65 million in Measure R funds about 11 years ago to make major upgrades to the highway interchanges at avenues G, J, K and L and Columbia Way (Avenue M) over the next four years to improve traffic flow and safety.
- The cost of convenience (BenitoLink). San Benito County is changing. And while it might feel like it’s sudden to some residents as they watch construction machinery and safety rails along Hwy 156 between Hollister and San Juan Bautista taking over agricultural land, it’s been over 20 years in the making. Two other transportation projects moving forward are the Hwy 25 widening, between San Felipe Road and the county line, which will eventually go to the Hwy 101/25 intersection and the new trade corridor, which is connecting Hwy 152 to Hwy 25 somewhere in the area of Shore Rd.
- Work at Paul’s Slide on Highway 1 paused as crews assess recent slide activity (KSBY). Debris removal work at Paul’s Slide on Highway 1 has been paused as crews assess recent movement of the hillside, Caltrans announced Wednesday. Geological engineering (“Geotech”) crews studying measurements of recent slide activity will determine the specific next steps for repair efforts, which have prioritized — and will continue to prioritize — the safety of crew members who have been working “almost nonstop” since March to remove slide material and stabilize the hillside, according to Caltrans.
- Recent slide activity along Hwy 1 in Big Sur could further delay reopening (KSBY). Recent slide activity along the Big Sur Coastal Highway could further delay reopening. Adam Oates, who is visiting the Central Coast from Bakersfield, originally planned to drive north with his family all the way to Monterey. But he says the road closure along the Big Sur Highway drastically reduced the distance of their trip. “Uh it cut it in half. It literally cut the distance in half,” said Oates. Though disappointed the trip would be cut short — his family still decided to visit the areas that are open. “It is what it is,” said Oates.
- Caltrans adding ‘safety and beautification’ improvements along Highway 99 (Fox 40 Sacramento). If you’re driving along Highway 99 in South Sacramento, you may look out your windshield and notice some aesthetically pleasing visuals on your journey. Those visuals are courtesy of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which has begun implementing “safety and beautification” improvements to Highway 99. “Working with community groups, several ‘river-themed’ additions have been added to this 9-mile stretch of the highway,” the department said in a social media post. The accompanying image shows the bright blue river covering the wall of the underpass on Broadway and Florin Road. Another image shows a light brown wall with a black design that mimics the appearance of trees on the horizon.