Headlines About California Highways – January 2018

Ah, a new year. But what a start, with floods in Montecito on top of the recent fires. Let’s look at the headlines, shall we?

  • SR 67 tunnel would potentially connect trails throughout county. A vision hatched nearly three years ago to create an interconnected trail system that stretches across much of the county is inching ahead with a recent vote of the Poway City Council. Officials agreed to fund the creation of designs for a pedestrian tunnel that would be built beneath state Route 67 just north of the intersection of Poway Road and the highway. The designs, which will cost the city $22,000, with half that amount being reimbursed by the county, would then be submitted as part of a state grant application.
  • Sacramento Road Sign in Ocean City to be Updated. For a westbound driver on U.S. Route 50 departing Ocean City, it’s a long road ahead, according to a green highway sign than hangs near the Harry Kelley Bridge. But the cross-country trip to California may not be as long as the sign indicates.
  • The Harse Beauty and Banality of the 110-105 Interchange. The 110-105 interchange holds a unique place in the psyche of Los Angeles. I’ve always called it The Cathedral, because it feels like you’re inside one when you’re driving under the towering, chapel-like crests of the ramps connecting the highways. The sounds of speeding engines in trucks and cars amplify against the network of massive concrete pillars sustaining the bridges, so it almost sounds like voices singing from a hymnal.
  • Golden Gate Bridge gets security upgrade in past year. The Golden Gate Bridge this year has undergone a tightening of security, prompted by terrorism, suicides and two interlopers who made their way to the top of the span in the dead of night.
  • Caltrans: Rising Waters From Climate Change Will Endanger Bay Area Freeways. A new Caltrans study released Wednesday revealed the havoc rising water levels in the San Francisco Bay caused by climate change could create on Bay Area roadways. It is the first of 12 studies Caltrans will conduct — one for each of its regions — as the transportation agency begins to plan for the future impact of climate change

  • Pulitzer-winning photographer will publish Route 66 book in the fall. Photographer Edward Keating, who won the Pulitzer Prize for documenting the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks in New York City, announced he soon will publish a book of his Route 66 photography he’s compiled over the last 17 years. Keating wrote in a Facebook post last week the book, titled “MAIN STRƎƎT,” will be published by Damiani, an art-book publisher in Italy, in September.
  • A proposal for the 405: Unclog West L.A. streets by blocking exits and entrances during rush hour. To the editor: The 405 Freeway is more than just an annoyance for drivers. Trying to cross underneath it on the Westside’s surface streets at rush hour (for example, from Santa Monica to Los Angeles) can take hours and is dangerous.
  • California State Route 180 east of Fresno to Cedar Grove (Kings Canyon Highway). Back in May California State Route 180 opened east of the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park through Kings Canyon proper. I took the opportunity given the somewhat early clearing to take the Challenger out on a scenic mountain drive.
  • Marin agency seeks views on Highway 37 improvements. Transportation planners want to hear from the traveling public on ways to improve vexing Highway 37. The Transportation Authority of Marin and other regional agencies have launched an online survey to get a better handle on how the public feels about improvements to the highway that stretches from Novato to Vallejo.
  • Orange County sees future in transit-oriented development as freeways get more jammed. Terri Swanson lives at the Crossing apartment community, a transit-oriented development adjacent to the Anaheim Canyon Metrolink Station. Swanson and her husband moved to the complex in June so she could take a Metrolink train to Orange Station, from which she walks to her administrative assistant job at Chapman University’s Attallah College of Educational Studies.
  • On the Donner Pass, the Lincoln Highway once forced motorists through an active train tunnel. While the threat of having your fellow traveler cannibalize you had more or less passed for motorists crossing the Donner Pass in California, they had another, far more ominous challenge to face on the route: a long, unlit, and utterly unpredictable trip through a railroad tunnel.
  • California State Route 59/Signed County Route J59. Saturday morning I had some free time and decided to finish up a couple nearby routes. I made my way up from Fresno to California State Route 152 in Madera County to the south terminus of CA 59.
  • California State Route 219. My second route clinch on Saturday was the tiny 5 mile California State Route 219. After making my way west on CA 108 I found the only CA 219 shield that I could find in the fog which just happened to have an “odd” design.
  • California State Route 165. The final route clinch of Saturday was California State Route 165.
  • Public Can Weigh In on Santa Monica Pier Bridge Reconstruction. The nearly 80-year-old bridge that leads to Santa Monica’s iconic pier will soon be torn down and replaced, with a meeting focusing on the environmental impacts of the reconstruction scheduled for next week. The more than $8 million project comes after the California Department of Transportation deemed the bridge “structurally deficient” and “functionally obsolete.”
  • Fake signs removed from California highways ‘welcome’ gang members, ‘felons, illegals’. At least two fake posters placed beneath longstanding “Welcome to California” signs on state freeways have been removed, according to a Caltrans spokesperson. The signs, first noticed by a handful of Twitter users, read “Official Sanctuary State,” and “Felons, Illegals, and MS13 Welcome! Democrats Need The Votes!”
  • Route 66 Wednesday; the Californian Mojave (Cajon Pass to the Arizona State Line). This week for Route 66 Wednesday I look back at old US Route 66 in the Californian Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County as it was back in 2012 from the top of Cajon Pass east to the Arizona State line.
  • SF considers paid express lanes on highways to ease traffic congestion. San Francisco may see paid express lanes on its oft-clogged highways in an effort to combat traffic congestion. When the San Francisco County Transportation Authority staff gave its governing board a sneak peek at a study to create carpool lanes on Highway 101, as well as Interstate Highway 280, on Dec. 5, transportation staffers also revealed they are considering turning those carpool lanes into paid high-occupancy vehicle express lanes.
  • Route 66 Wednesdays; Santa Monica to Pasadena. Back between 2011 and 2013 I traveled on various western parts of the former US Route 66 for work between Santa Monica, CA east to Albuquerque, NM. That being the case I spent a ton of time tracking down old alignments and pretty much anything of interesting, at least enough to justify a stand alone day. This week I’ll be looking back at US Route 66 between Santa Monica to Cajon Pass.
  • Mile Marker: A Caltrans Performance Report, December 2017. In This Issue: Mile Markers; Projects Transform Popular Route; SB 1 Quickens Bicycle-Walking Pace; On These Routes, Leave the Car Behind; Rounding Out a Traffic Strategy; Plan Pictures Future of Train Travel in State; A Rail Renaissance; SB 1 Repair Projects Pick Up Speed; Ready to Chop, Chip, Blast Away Winter; Panels Deflect Danger; TAMP Ramps Up Caltrans Expectations; Landmark Road Fix Tops List of New Laws; ShakeCast Alert System Becomes Model; Unspent Highway Dollars Steered Here
  • Stinson Beach-Muir Beach Highway 1 section to reopen. After being closed for almost a year, Highway 1 between Muir Beach and Stinson Beach is set to re-open Thursday — but it won’t be smooth sailing. The roughly 5-mile stretch of roadway has been closed since February 2017 after extensive storm damage spurred by record rains. Before noon Thursday, Caltrans anticipates the roadway re-opening, but navigating the stretch won’t be swift.
  • LA should dismantle its freeways. A new Los Angeles Times investigation confirms what researchers have said for years: Living near freeways is not only extremely unhealthy, the most dangerous pollution travels farther and sticks around longer than previously thought. This expands the area in our cities where it is unsafe to live. The Times report includes a link to a story documenting residents’ anger that Los Angeles continues to let apartments and condos rise so close to freeways.
  • Roadshow: Changes coming to Capitol Expressway. Q: Every morning traffic on Capitol Expressway is backed up from the northbound Interstate 680 entrance to Tully Road. The problem is attributed to several issues.
  • An exclusive look at the new Hwy. 1 over Big Sur’s massive landslide. As Caltrans workers and private contractors work seven days a week to rebuild Highway 1 at Mud Creek, they’ve learned to watch for water coming at them from two directions: the surf below and the sky above. There’s been plenty of progress on the work site, and Caltrans says the $40 million project should be complete by late summer. Resident engineer Rick Silva said it remains on schedule.
  • How to fix the Bay Area’s nasty commute? Locals weigh in. Traveling the cramped roadways and packed public transportation of the Bay Area can make one feel like an anonymous speck in an amorphous blob of motion. SFGATE sought to give these everyday commuting warriors a voice, so we reached out to our readers for insight into how the daily grind from Point A to Point B could be improved, or at least made more enjoyable.
  • Richmond-San Rafael Bridge third lane could open next month. Commuters should see some traffic relief when a third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge opens, a move set for April that could happen as soon as next month if testing of systems proves successful, transportation officials said.
  • Santa Monica moving forward with plan to cap 10 freeway near downtown area. A years-old proposal to cap the 10 freeway near its Santa Monica terminus is part of a plan that will soon be considered by the city of Santa Monica, reports the Santa Monica Lookout. According to a report prepared for the Santa Monica City Council, the Gateway Master Plan will address planning in the area “adjacent to the I-10 Freeway that links Downtown to the Civic Center” and to Santa Monica High School, and it could include covering the freeway with decking that could create new space for a park.
  • Napa County, American Canyon push to take truck traffic off Highway 29. A push to complete Devlin Road and provide at least a smattering of traffic relief on Highway 29 between Napa and American Canyon could be finished in 2019 or 2020. Devlin Road is to run from Soscol Ferry Road to Green Island Road about 3.5 miles away. Much of it exists, with a quarter-mile gap in the middle and a half-mile gap at the southern end. Build these two missing links and Devlin Road would be complete.
  • Highway 127 roadwork planned. Caltrans is planning on widening the shoulders for Highway 127 this fall and installing rumble strips between mile marker 28 and 28.5. The safety project, scheduled to be completed in early 2019, is taking comments and requests for a public hearing to be submitted no later than Jan. 29.
  • The Gaviota Pass. Goleta is a unique place. We are surrounded by the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains on one side and the blue Pacific Ocean on the other.
  • Roadshow: Much work remains on Highway 84 widening. Q: When is the project to widen Highway 84 at Isabel Avenue and Concannon Boulevard in Livermore going to be completed?
  • Big Sur suffers another round of weather woes. As rains drenched the San Francisco Bay Area, and Southern California dealt with its own storms that have caused at least five deaths this week, the coastal stretch in between the two regions remain locked in a sort of on-and-off embrace with Mother Nature: a bridge knocked out by a 2017 mudslide has been replaced; work crews race to redo a stretch of highway taken out by a gigantic mudslide; and the latest rains are causing more slides and more worries up and down the iconic if beleaguered connector between Monterey and Morro Bay.
  • House panel unanimously advances bill for Route 66 National Historic Trail. A U.S. House of Representatives committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would federally designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. The National Resources Committee advanced H.R. 801 to the full House of Representatives. It can become law if the House and Senate pass it before the end of the year. The House committee heard about the bill during a hearing in November. It encountered no discernible opposition at the time.
  • Norwalk drivers, the 5 Freeway is no longer in your way on Bloomfield Avenue. Life for commuters heading north or south on Bloomfield Avenue in Norwalk just got a little easier. Since 1954, motorists have had to head east and then west to get back to Bloomfield to avoid the 5 Freeway, which blocked the most direct path. All that changed Wednesday. As part of the $1.9 billion 5 Freeway widening project between the 605 Freeway and Orange County line, Caltrans elevated the freeway and created an underpass for Bloomfield. Once complete, the existing six-lane freeway will expand with a general purpose and car-pool lanes on each side
  • Traffic relief nears for Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Commuters should see some traffic relief when a third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge opens, a move set for April that could happen as soon as next month if testing of systems proves successful, transportation officials said.
  • Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County to remain closed indefinitely. Caltrans announced a projected timetable for reopening Highway 101 on Monday. Read more: Hwy. 101 could reopen as soon as next week.
  • James Dean highway to be widened 55 years after he died in a car crash. The notorious accident black spot, known as “Blood Alley” because of its long history of crashes, has been a place of pilgrimage for fans of the iconic Hollywood actor for decades. Many stop at Blackwells Corner Grocery in Lost Hills, where Dean filled up his tank and bought Coca-Cola and apples a short time before his death on Sept 30, 1955.
  • 1939 Era Bridge to the Santa Monica Pier to be Replaced by Two Other Bridges. The Santa Monica Pier is the symbol of the City. However, the bridge we have all walked down to get to the 100 year old wooden structure from Ocean Avenue has been ruled seismically unsafe and is slated to be replaced by two modern bridges.
  • A Look Into The Past: Roads in California in 1940. I have finally been able to put together this awesome thread. California has been the location of some very significant, interesting road history. California was notorious for decomissioning US Highways by the masses when the Interstate Highway System came around in the 1950s and 1960s. U.S. Routes that went through California that were completely decommissioned in their entirety include US 466, US 399, US 299, US 99, US 66, and US 48 (the original). U.S. Routes that were truncated to the point where no part of it remained in California any longer (being fully decommissioned in the state of California) include US 40, US 60, US 70, US 80, and US 91. U.S. Routes that were truncated but still remained in California, even if only just a little bit, include US 6, US 50, US 395, and US 101 (Note: most of US 101 still remains, and it does pride itself as the most widely known, loved, traveled, and significant US Highway that still exists in California). U.S. Routes in California that have pretty much stayed the same include US 95 and US 97. US 99W and US 99E were split suffixes of U.S. Route 99 that traversed the land in California between Sacramento and Red Bluff. These were, of course, along with US 99 as a whole itself, decommissioned in the 1960’s.
  • New Oakland bridge expected to be two years late, millions over budget. A bridge in Oakland that was supposed to cost no more than $24 million could now come to well over $30 million, and the city says toxic dirt is mostly to blame. On top of the extra dollars, the project won’t be completed until December — two years later than the original target. Though some City Council members said they felt Oakland was being overcharged, they nonetheless approved the cost increases, reasoning, in part, that most of the funds are from the federal and state governments and that abandoning the contracts midway through construction would be more disastrous than pumping additional money into the work.
  • Marin supervisor iffy on bike lane for Richmond bridge. A plan to put a bike lane on the westbound top deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is being questioned by a Marin supervisor who says using the space for vehicles makes more sense. Commuters should see some traffic relief when a third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge opens on the bottom, eastbound deck, a move set for April that could happen as soon as next month, transportation officials said. That project is coming in at $27 million.
  • Caltrans plans $53M I-80 bridge project. Caltrans is targeting a 2021 start on a $53 million project to rehabilitate or replace seven bridges from Weimar to Cisco Grove. The Weimar overcrossing, just south of Colfax, along with bridges over the freeway at Crystal Springs, Baxter, Drum Forebay, Yuba Pass and Cisco are the subjects of a draft environmental report that is open for public comment through Jan. 26.
  • Storm-damaged Highway 33 to stay closed for weeks. A rural stretch of highway in the hills above Ojai likely will stay closed at least three more weeks as crews work to clear mud and debris. Highway 33 from Fairview Road to Lockwood Valley Road was shut down during last week’s storm, said Caltrans spokesman Michael Comeaux.
  • AARoads New Website Format. Discussion about a new format for AAroads, which impacts my links to their California pages.
  • Pasadena’s 710 Freeway Has Been Rated One Of America’s Most Disliked Highways. Congress for New Urbanism (CNU), an urban planning nonprofit, has put together a list of highways in America that are, they claim, causing a blight on surrounding neighborhoods. The CNU has rated the portion of the 710 in Pasadena as one of America’s “Freeways Without Futures.” The CNU list highlights how mid-20th-century urban planning is starting to fall out of favor, so much so that many of the cities and states where these freeways are located are now planning to remove them.
  • Auto Club Members Learn about the I-405 Improvement Project. With the publication of the January/February issue of Westways, the magazine for AAA members in Southern California, more than 4.2 million households gained awareness of the I-405 Improvement Project. Scheduled to begin construction early this year, the I-405 Improvement Project will improve 16 miles of the I-405 and add one regular lane in each direction from Euclid Street to I-605. It will also construct the 405 Express Lanes from SR-73 to I-605.
  • Caltrans’ $171M Project Improves I-5 Though Santa Clarita in LA County. Caltrans is conducting a $171 million project to smooth the drive on I-5 though Santa Clarita in northern Los Angeles County. The I-5 Roadway Rehabilitation Project will replace concrete on 15.8 mi. of freeway from a mi. south of Route 14 to a mile and a half north of Lake Hughes Road.
  • Traffic roundabouts once drew skepticism. Now Caltrans is among their biggest fans. In the tiny town of Plymouth, gateway to Amador County’s growing wine tourism area, road crews recently ripped out the four-way stop on a busy section of Highway 49 to replace it with a traffic approach that literally will have drivers going in circles. Plopped in the middle of the intersection where Main Street crosses the highway, the big oval forces drivers to slow to 15 mph but doesn’t require them to stop. Instead, traffic from four directions merges and flows in a choreographed, counterclockwise direction.
  • Agency adds Highway 37 to list of Solano transportation priorities. Highway 37 – believed to be sinking as sea levels also rise – was added to the Solano Transportation Authority’s top project priorities list, but will not yet be placed in the funding pipeline. The agency board approved the project priorities as well as the agency’s annual legislative objects and platform at it meeting Jan. 10.
  • Rare highway roundabout taking shape in Valley Center. Construction of a rare roundabout on a state highway at the intersection of state Route 76 and Valley Center Road is on schedule. Designed to curb serious accidents at the dangerous intersection, the roundabout and associated road realignment are expected to be completed by July.
  • AARoads Page Updates. More on the AA Roads Updates
  • Millions of dollars in changes in store for Richmond Bridge, but is it money well spent?. Even on its best day, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is no basket of fruit. Unlike its Bay Area brethren — the icons with their pleasing arcs and majestic towers, and even the more utilitarian structures with their (mostly) uncomplicated designs — the crossing named for John F. McCarthy is 5.5 miles of hard labor. Starting on the Richmond side, it roller-coasters up and down, ultimately curling north down to water’s edge. The low railing and the elevated sidewalk give you an unusual — and unnerving — view of the bay almost directly below your feet. The scenic vistas are a treat on a clear day, assuming you are comfortable taking your eye off the roadway for a second or two. I am not.
  • I-5 Rosecrans Ave. / Bloomfield Ave. Interchange is Complete!. The new year marked a significant milestone in local transportation for the city of Norwalk in Southern California. On Wednesday, January 10, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) celebrated the completion of the I-5 (Santa Ana Freeway) Rosecrans Avenue / Bloomfield Interchange Project, which included opening through-access on Bloomfield Avenue under I-5 for the first time in more than 60 years.
  • Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County reopens, nearly two weeks after a massive mudslide. Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County reopened Sunday, nearly two weeks after a massive mudslide in Montecito closed the busy roadway. The highway, a key north-south route in California that carries about 100,000 vehicles through the Central Coast each day, was shut down after the roadway was covered by twelve feet of mud and debris following the deadly Jan. 9 mudslide.
  • Fewer suicides occurring at Golden Gate Bridge. Officials say the number of people jumping to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge has decreased thanks to the addition of five officers whose job is to spot people trying to commit suicide. The Marin Independent Journal reports the bridge patrol team last year assisted 245 people who presented a risk of suicide and that there were 33 confirmed suicides. In 2016 there were 184 successful interventions and 39 suicides.
  • Here are the major highway improvement projects happening in Southern California through 2023. Just about every major highway in Southern California has a plan to improve. The largest of those is the widening of the I-405 freeway, slated to begin this Friday, Jan. 26. Here’s a look at the big road projects that are underway or proposed.
  • Alternative to 10 Freeway – a new road between Banning and Cabazon — moves ahead. The long-discussed bypass to the 10 Freeway through the San Gorgonio Pass is taking its next step forward. An environmental report on the project has been created and will be discussed at a meeting this week. The Riverside County Transportation Department wants to build a road between Banning and Cabazon that will link the communities and offer an alternate route in case of a freeway closure.
  • 2018 Mojave Road Trip Part 2; The deadly desert highway (California State Route 127 and Nevada State Route 373). After leaving Barstow via Old Highway 58 my next destination was in Death Valley. To access Death Valley from rural San Bernardino County required a trek on north on Interstate 15 to California State Route 127 which becomes Nevada State Route 373 at the state line.
  • Public Hearing Set on Proposed Bypass Project in Banning. A public hearing on the proposed construction of a long-awaited frontage road from Banning to Cabazon, providing motorists with an escape route in the event of a closure on Interstate 10, will be held Thursday in Banning.
  • Marin mulls Richmond-San Rafael Bridge upper deck lane. The Transportation Authority of Marin will consider sending a letter to a regional agency asking that a third westbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge be considered for vehicle traffic. A third lane on the north side of the upper deck coming into Marin had been envisioned for bicyclists and pedestrians, separated from car traffic by a movable median barrier.
  • Observation decks proposed for old Bay Bridge piers. The public may soon get two new places to view San Francisco Bay if observation decks are built off Yerba Buena Island and Oakland on piers from the old Bay Bridge eastern span, according to a memo by the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee. The two projects involve building observation decks on piers that were part of the old eastern bridge span instead of demolishing the remaining piers.
  • Upcoming Westbound SR-91 Improvements Project community meetings. Metro and Caltrans District 7, in collaboration with the Gateway Cities Council of Governments (GCCOG), are proposing to make improvements along westbound SR-91, between Shoemaker Avenue and the I-605/SR-91 Interchange, and at the I-605 northbound exit to Alondra Boulevard.
  • Holman Highway 68 Roundabout. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Holman Highway 68 Roundabout Project was held on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Elected officials, community members and representatives from the Transportation Agency for Monterey County, Caltrans, Harris & Associates, Granite Construction, Pebble Beach Company, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, gathered on the sidewalk near the roundabout to celebrate the occasion.
  • Tweet: Holman Highway Roundabout. Thank you to @TAMC_News for honoring City of #Monterey & partner agencies with a TRANSPORTATION EXCELLENCE AWARD today for completion of the Holman Highway 68 Roundabout! Learn more about the project & list of agencies involved
  • AARoads Sitewide Revamp. This week’s long awaited site change to use a content management system (CMS) based design culminates over 18 months of work. As site visitors may have noticed, blog entries, updates on the main page and Interstate-Guide, and new content additions trickled down due to the back end work. A lot of back and forth with Matt over at TWCClassics, who helped tremendously with both coding and also teaching, and assistance from my cowebmasters and wife led to a design we were all happy with.
  • Old Bay Bridge piers to be reused as public boardwalk, vista points. Four piers from the eastern span of the old Bay Bridge will live on as a public boardwalk and vista point in Oakland and on Yerba Buena Island. Hailed as a “once-in-100-years opportunity” to give the public access to bay waters, transportation officials agreed earlier this week to save the piers from demolition. On the Oakland side, the piers will be reused as part of a larger park project that has long been planned as part of the redevelopment of the Bay Bridge.
  • Solano projects part of enticement to voters for $4.5B RM 3. A trunkload of projects described as crucial for congestion relief and other needs in Solano County are being dangled before voters as an enticement to support bridge toll increases on the June 5 ballot. The Bay Area Toll Authority this week adopted a resolution to place the $4.45 billion Regional Measure 3 on the ballot in all nine Bay Area counties.
  • Twenty-Eight by ’28 Plan approved; Metro Board meeting roundup. Meeting minutes with details on LA Metro Highway Plans.
  • LA’s notoriously stealthy freeway sign artist still up to his old tricks. Richard Ankrom knows a little something about traffic signs: Despite hours of staring at them each day, you really don’t notice them until you miss them. That’s what spurred the artist and sign maker to make a national splash back in 2001, when he secretly designed, built and installed a 5 Freeway north traffic sign over the 110 Freeway.
  • Construction to begin on a $1.9 billion widening of the I-405 freeway in Orange County. A decade of planning for an ambitious widening of the I-405 freeway will soon give way to construction – kicking off five years of roadwork that transportation officials say will ease gridlock, ultimately, on one of the busiest routes in the nation. “That corridor is one of the most heavily congested corridors in the nation,” said Ryan Chamberlain, director of the Caltrans district that covers Orange County. “(Driver’s) are sitting in stop-and-go traffic, wasting time looking at tail lights instead of moving to where they need to be.”
  • 400 celebrate groundbreaking for 405 Freeway expansion project. More than 400 guests celebrated the Orange County Transportation Authority’s groundbreaking for a $1.9-billion 405 Freeway expansion project during an elaborate event Friday in Costa Mesa. A portion of the IKEA parking lot, which abuts the 405’s Susan Street offramp, was used for the ceremony, which featured guitarist Isaiah Mauga singing the national anthem, plus food trucks, two giant tents, centerpieces with flowers and toy trucks, and custom T-shirts, pens and coffee mugs promoting the project.
  • Massive widening of the 405 Freeway in Orange County is about to begin. An epic $1.9-billion widening of the 405 Freeway in Orange County is about to begin after years of debate. The project will affect the 16-mile portion of the 405 between the 73 Freeway in Costa Mesa and the 605 Freeway near Rossmoor. It is expected to be completed in 2023.
  • SANDAG faces nearly $20 billion shortfall for transportation projects. As more San Diegans shop online and spend more of their income on housing and health care costs, the region is projected to see a troubling decline — some $20 billion — in sale tax revenue collected for roads, highways and public transit. Transnet — the region’s half-cent sales tax for transportation — is now expected to bring in $19.2 billion over its 40-year life, down from an estimated $39 billion, according to an independent review.
  • Officials driving for upgrades to critical 101/92 interchange. In the race to respond to regional traffic congestion, local transportation officials are pushing plans to improve a key intersection commuters use to drive between the Peninsula and the East Bay. Short- and long-term ideas for the Highway 101 and State Route 92 interchange are taking shape as an early round of funding to consider options is coming together. The San Mateo County Transportation Authority, or TA, is leading the project that involves working with Caltrans, the City/County Association of Governments, and the cities of Foster City and San Mateo.
  • Sure, why not take a roadtrip. Discussion on AAroads with links to loads of California roadtrips.
  • Why Pasadena is Considering Closing One of Its Busiest Freeway Off-Ramps. Even on weekends and off-hours, hundreds of cars per hour frequently pour off the I-210 Freeway connector stub off-ramp at California Boulevard and rush southward along South St. John Avenue towards South Pasadena. But the City of Pasadena has made plans to permanently shut down the popular offramp. At City Council Monday night, Pasadena’s Department of Transportation will ask that Mayor Tornek send a letter to Los Angeles Metro on behalf of the City requesting money from a pot of nearly $600 million remaining in Measure R sales tax funds earmarked for Early Action Projects in lieu of the State Route 710 North Extension Tunnel Alternative.
  • California State Route 17. Monday morning I had a chance to drive a highway I had never entirely completed before; California State 17.
  • Transportation association names Bay Area’s worst ‘structurally deficient’ bridges. Anyone who drives the Bay Area’s rough roads knows the state’s highways are in desperate need of upkeep. And now one group has named the state’s most-traveled structurally deficient bridges. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association, a trade association that advocates for transportation infrastructure, released its compilation of America’s worst bridges Monday. According to their analysis of the Department of Transportation’s 2017 National Bridge Inventory, 54,259 bridges nationwide are rated “structurally deficient,” which means one of the key elements of the structure is in poor condition.
  • Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to get new traffic lane in April. Within months, drivers weary of the eastbound crawl to and across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge every evening should get relief with the addition of a new traffic lane. But bicyclists, who were supposed to get their own path on the upper deck at the same time, will have to wait, perhaps up to a year, and they might have to surrender the path to cars for a few hours each weekday morning.

One Reply to “Headlines About California Highways – January 2018”

  1. Stumbled across your comments about SDC buildings and sure brought back memories of my time there from early 1964 to late 1969. I worked for the engineering dept under Jack Cambell and Vince Golite as an electronics engineering technician, heading the group that did PM stuff on the various projects, housed in Building 5 and later moved to Q7 when we were doing Leviathon related stuff. Worked mostly with Bob Gray an engineer at SDC. Also responsible for the ‘Donut Room’ and insuring everything worked perfectly for presentations. Built a small TV studio to prepair decent looking presentation material and info/progress reports on SDC/AF projects.

    Great job and great people, but I didn’t like what was coming down the pipe, so went to SDS in El Segundo where I built and operated their TV studio and later to Leesburg VA where I managed the construction and operation of the Xerox Training Center TV facilities. Also now gone.

    Best regards,
    Rod Paine

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