🛣 Headlines About California Highways – September 2023

Happy new year to those who celebrate: Be it the new Jewish New Year, or the new US Government Fiscal New Year. We have a continuing resolution; we don’t have a shutdown—this is good news. And so: Happy New Year.

September has been muchly getting ready for the new season of the California Highways: Route by Route podcast. I’ve been busily writing episodes. This season, we’re covering Route 1 and Route 2, and I’ve written six episodes covering Route 1 from Orange County through and including San Francisco. Next to write is the episode on the Golden Gate Bridge. A side effect of this is that I’ve discovered a number of interesting historical articles and sources. Some will be in the entries for the episodes themselves, but I’ve also saved some to the headlines list so that I’ll go through them again to update the pages. These articles will be marked in the headlines list with the Historical (Ħ) flag. I’ll soon be coordinating with Tom to start recording episodes. If you think you might know a good interview subject for the following segments of Route 1, please let me know ASAP: 2.01 Orange County; 2.02 Los Angeles County; 2.03 Ventura and Santa Barbara County; 2.05 Monterey and Santa Cruz; 2.06 Pacifica and San Francisco.

I also expect to get back to working on highway page updates, now that I have a headline post to go through. First will be catching the legislative updates, as the session has concluded and bills sent to the governor for signature. My goal is to have the next update round cover September and October.

No roadtrips on the horizon, although there will be a So Cal Games Day in October.

Well, you should now be up to date. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for September:


[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

California Highways: Route by Route logoThe 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.

Highway Headlines

  • Stretch of highway in California named after slain Indian-origin police officer (The Hindu). To honour a fallen national hero, a stretch of a highway in the US state of California has been named after 33-year-old Indian-origin police officer Ronil Singh who was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant in 2018. The stretch of Highway 33 in Newman was dedicated on Saturday to Mr. Singh from the Newman Police Department, the Modesto Bee newspaper reported. Signage proclaiming the “Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Highway” stands at Highway 33 and Stuhr Road.
  • State allocates more than $39 million to highway projects in Mendocino County (Fort Bragg Advocate-News). The California Transportation Commission allocated more than $3.1 billion for projects described as “improving the state’s transportation infrastructure, making it safer, more sustainable and more reliable,” the California Department of Transportation announced this week. According to a Caltrans press release, “the allocation includes nearly $1.8 billion in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021and almost $200 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.” […] The projects funded in Mendocino County were listed as:
  • Napa has bridge replacements planned – drivers beware (Napa Valley Register). Here is a tale of five bridges to be replaced in coming years — one smack in the city of Napa, the others farther afield — and the traffic impacts that might result. Don’t take these bridges for granted even though they cross small creeks instead of mighty rivers. You can’t get here from there without them, not without a detour. That leaves the challenge of how to handle traffic while replacement work is underway. Caltrans and Napa County are already making plans for bridge replacements that are to start in 2024 and 2025, giving plenty of advanced warning. Here’s a preview of what’s to come:
  • Roundabout coming to State Route 121 and Eighth Street East intersection in Sonoma (Sonoma Index Tribune). Elected officials met at the intersection of State Route 121 and Eighth Street East on Thursday to celebrate $1.5 million in new federal funding for a roundabout to replace the current T-intersection. Leaders of the proposed roundabout project — and an accompanying bike lane — say its introduction will help increase vehicle safety, but it will require drivers to operate outside of the box — and into a circle. “During the recession years ago, (the roundabout) fell off in the shop plan,” First District Supervisor Susan Gorin said. “Sonoma County Transportation Authority) were working on the roundabout at the four corners down there. And so it just made sense for them to continue their work with Caltrans on the design.”
  • September 4: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History (Metro’s Primary Resources). 1948: Lankershim Boulevard opens to traffic under a newly completed Hollywood Freeway overpass as part of the “Barham-to-Vineland” segment of US-101. Much of the construction involved overpass accommodation for both the Pacific Electric rail lines and six lanes of freeway.
  • Caltrans completes $8.7 million SB 1-funded project to repair State Route 14 in the Mojave Desert (The Ridgecrest Daily Independent). Caltrans today announced the completion of the Freeman III Project, an $8.7 million State Route 14 project that repaired 15 lane miles of pavement, stretching from one mile north of Red Rock Canyon Road to three-and-a-half miles south of the Freeman Gulch Bridge. The project was fully funded by Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The contractor Griffith Company used a sustainable partial depth recycling (PDR) technique, which supports Caltrans goal of leading climate action by recycling existing pavement. During the PDR process, crews dug out current road material in localized sections and recycled it, combining the material with Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA). The HMA was then reapplied to the excavated areas. Crews then laid a two-and-a-half-inch layer of Rubberized Hot Mix Asphalt on top of the PDR to restore the high-quality ride and serviceability of the existing roadway.
  • OHLA Converting Expressway Into Freeway in California (Construction Equipment Guide). OHLA USA Inc. began work on Phase 1 of the California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) SR-71 Expressway to Freeway Conversion Project in spring 2021 and crews are hard at work to deliver it by summer 2025. The $174.544 million project, taking place in the city of Pomona, covers 2.7 mi. between SR 71/I-10 interchange (Mission Boulevard) and the Los Angeles/San Bernardino County Line. Phase 2 of the project, the North Segment, covers the area from the SR 71/I-10 interchange to Mission Boulevard. Construction is expected to begin next spring, with a completion in spring 2027. Thus far, OHLA USA has completed Stage 1 of the roadway jointed plain concrete pavement (JPCP) roadway project, which included demolition of existing AC/JPCP, excavation and backfill of base, placement/revisions to existing drainage systems and placement of new JPCP.

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