Headlines About California Highways – April 2018

Another month has come to end — a month to busy for me to get to web page updates. But I can still share some headlines with you — both for your information, and my memory for when I do get to the updates :-). Stay safe on the roads, folks, and if you drive the Sepulveda Pass corridor, remember that Metro is doing a survey for future improvements in the corridor. Note: If you run into paywall problems on any of the sites below, try viewing the article in your browser’s private or incognito modes.

  • A look back at the beginnings of Highway 101. Mrs. Lucy Levy’s mud-stained trousseau while traveling through Santa Barbara County in the 1880s was testimony to the fact that we live in a land of little rain until it rains. On Presidents Day weekend, we were driving to a Mission Museums meeting in Solvang when a winter storm moved in. We suddenly realized there were many drivers on the road who might never have driven in a real rainstorm. Until the modern freeway, El Camino Real was hazardous during the best of times. It could be a long and dusty trail that also abruptly became a windswept and mud-flooded plain
  • Interstate 805 California. [Note: This is here because it had some immigration sign information I need to capture for my website.]
  • CALTRANS WANTS TO WIDEN LINCOLN BOULEVARD. Caltrans will host a community meeting on Wednesday (March 28) to discuss plans for widening Lincoln Boulevard between Jefferson Boulevard in Playa Vista and Fiji Way in Marina del Rey. The heavily trafficked 0.6-mile stretch of Lincoln traverses the upper and lower segments of the ecologically sensitive Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
  • Highway 246 passing lanes project continues. Drivers traveling on Highway 246 will encounter some lane closures with one-way reversing traffic starting Monday. Caltrans is completing a project to construct passing lanes in both directions of the road near Lompoc from Cebada Canyon Road to Hapgood Road.

  • State Route 36, Humboldt County. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA -CFLHD), in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, Six Rivers National Forest, are improving California State Route 36 (SR 36) in southeastern Humboldt County approximately 12.3 miles east of the community of Bridgeville (Humboldt County mile post 36.0 to 40.4). Improvements include realigning and widening SR 36 to attain two, 12-foot wide travel lanes with 4-foot wide paved shoulders. In addition, new signing, pavement markings, guardrail, and wetland restoration are included in the project. CFLHD is the lead agency for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Caltrans is the lead agency for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  • @CaltransD2 Tweet. Caltrans and Knife River Construction announce the construction of the Colby Curves Realignment project on Monday, April 9th in Tehama County.
  • $226 Million Allocation Paves the Way for Speeding Up Highway 101 Widening Project. The widening of Highway 101 should move more quickly after a key state panel awarded $226 million toward the project. The money will come from Senate Bill 1 state gas tax funding and will go toward the HOV widening project that eventually will bring a high-occupancy vehicle lane between Santa Barbara and Ventura County.
  • ROAD REHABILITATION PROJECT BEGINS ON HIGHWAY 36 IN RED BLUFF, DELAYS EXPECTED. The project encompasses about a 4-mile stretch of highway 36 in red bluff. and even though most of the work will occur during less busier times of day, some delays are expected. pkg red bluff is busy. it connects highway 99 to interstate 5, but it’s seen better days. lupita franco: the conditions on state route 36 up to the junction to state route 99 are not the best. the road needs to be re-paved, and that’s why we’re excited to bring this to the traveling public. over the next three months, caltrans will be making improvements to pavement, adding sidewalks, some driveway work and adding ada-compliant curb ramps.
  • Roadwork aims to improve SR-67 safety. Two car lanes on southbound state Route 67 from Archie Moore Road to the Cal Fire station are being reduced to one lane to widen the adjacent shoulder as part of $1.5 million in projects intended to make the highway safer. Although a dedicated bike lane is not currently planned at that location, the lane reduction by Caltrans is designed to give bicyclists more space to maneuver around cars parked near Mt. Woodson. The lane widening increases the previous 8-foot shoulder width by 2 to 4 feet, with 12-foot shoulder widths installed where cars turn in and out at the Mt. Woodson intersection.
  • State Route 18 Shoulder Widening and Rumble Strips. Mitigated Negative EIR (PDF).
  • Roadshow: Castroville Improvements. Q: The worst stretch on Highway 156 is at Castroville Boulevard. Any chance of doing some work there?
  • Segment of Marin-Sonoma Narrows project nears completion. A big chunk of the ongoing Marin-Sonoma Narrows project should be ready for drivers next week, but it won’t ease traffic just yet. Transportation officials Wednesday showed off a $73 million, 2.5-mile realigned segment of Highway 101 at the county line, which includes a new flood-proof bridge over San Antonio Creek. It was to open Friday, but expected rain pushed the timeline back to a yet-to-be-determined day next week.
  • Bay Area voters could kickstart long-delayed plans for Highway 37 overhaul. Bay Area voters this June hold the key to unlocking $100 million in new funding to help rebuild the North Bay’s traffic-plagued Highway 37, which each weekday carries enough motorists to fill a capacity crowd at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. On weekends with the Sonoma Raceway in action at Sears Point, legions more traverse the 21-mile route from Vallejo to Novato, and backups extend for miles.
  • State Sen. Anthony Portantino Says The Proposed 710 Freeway Tunnel Extension Is ‘Dead’. Sen. Anthony Portantino called proposed 710 freeway tunnel extension “dead,” and said it wasn’t “going to happen,” reports the South Pasadenan. He also said that while it could come back at any time, from his perspective, he wants to put all concerns to bed.
  • California State Route 136; a lone desert highway. After leaving Mammoth I headed south on US Route 395. Out in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I took a turn on California State Route 136.
  • Do ‘beach cities’ freeway signs in Inland Empire actually lead to the beach?. If you travel through the Inland Empire, you may have noticed signs on the 91 Freeway supposedly guiding you to the “beach cities.” But if you rely on these signs, it might take you a while to reach the shore. It’s safe to say the Southern California freeway system is pretty complicated, but at least there’s signage to help get you where you want to go – like signs that lead you to Barstow, Pasadena and Los Angeles. (Warning: Autoplay video)
  • @CaltransDist10 Tweet. The State Route 4 corridor between Stockton and the Contra Costa/San Joaquin County line will see several new projects in the near future. See graphic for details.
  • California State Route 166. The final route I took this past Wednesday was California State Route 166.
  • Former California State Route 176. After taking Cat Canyon Road to Palmer Road I took it north to Sisquoc on Foxen Canyon Road which was once the eastern terminus for California State Route 176.
  • Cat Canyon Road. After completing California State Route 135 I jumped on the US 101 expressway and quickly pulled off onto Cat Canyon Road to reach Sisquoc which was the eastern terminus of CA 176. I had scouted out Cat Canyon Road the day prior to my drive but it turned out to be far more fun than originally anticipated.
  • California State Route 135. After completing California State Route 227 I headed south into Santa Barbra County to check out an old alignment of US 101 which is now partially incorporated into California State Route 135.
  • California State Route 227. After taking California State Route 46 west to US 101 I continued south to San Luis Obispo to give California State Route 227 a try.
  • Legacy of US Route 466 Part 1; California State Route 46. This past Wednesday I made it back out on the road to try out some routes along the coast I hadn’t clinched before. To get to those coastal routes I took California State 46 from CA 99 west to US 101 which had been part of US 466. This will be a three part series on US 466 west of Bakersfield and the several branches of state highways it spawned from being decommissioned.
  • AMERICA BEGINS CAPPING FREEWAY SCARS OF THE PAST. Interstate 5, the West Coast’s main north-south artery, cuts an angry, 12-lane slash through Seattle, severing upscale residential neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and First Hill from the central business district. For now. Citizens are lobbying their elected representatives to take up a plan for a 45-acre ribbon of public space running atop I-5 for 2 miles. The Seattle C.A.P.itol Hill Park, envisioned by local architects Patano Studio, would include as its centerpiece a multiuse arena, part of an existing plan to expand the Washington State Convention Center and a more aspirational effort to attract NBA and NHL teams to the state.
  • Fix for crucial, clogged Silicon Valley freeway is stuck in the slow lane. Traffic on Highway 85, one of Silicon Valley’s most important freeways, grinds to a standstill during rush hour — and everyone is pointing fingers over who should pay to find a fix. Highway 85 is the essential but narrow link between Apple’s Cupertino headquarters and the Googleplex in Mountain View. Every year, nerve-fraying traffic jams worsen as companies feverishly hire workers who, due to the region’s housing crunch, often must commute from far away.
  • Richmond-San Rafael Bridge third lane set to open. Coming Friday to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge: traffic relief. A long-awaited eastbound third lane is planned to open April 20, according to Metropolitan Transportation Commission officials. “The project engineers expect the third lane to be ready that day,” said Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the agency, which has been working on the project. “The official announcement will come early next week along with more details on how it will operate.”
  • Richmond bridge lane opening is ‘just a start’. Later this month, the eastbound third lane of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge will reopen to commute traffic, a welcome and long-anticipated development that should bring some modicum of relief to Marin commuters who depend on the bridge. When the ribbon is cut April 20, we’ll say goodbye to the stress-inducing experience of sitting bumper-to-bumper on the bridge, inching along right next to an unused lane that seemed almost to mock our frustration.
  • New Bridge, Elevated Roadway Opens On Highway 101 In Marin County. A new highway segment on U.S. Highway 101 in Marin County has been completed, Caltrans announced Sunday morning. The segment of roadway has a raised section and a new bridge to mitigate flooding during rainy seasons, according to Caltrans.
  • Could long-delayed makeover of 71/91 freeway interchange in Corona finally happen?. Lari Tonti used to navigate the 71/91 interchange every morning on his way to his sales job in Anaheim. But the Chino Hills man got fed up with the incessant backups and delays. “I quit going through there,” he said. “I take Carbon Canyon (Road).” Tonti and other Orange County-bound commuters may soon benefit from a long-promised-and-postponed makeover of the 71/91 interchange that finally may be built.
  • Update on Long-Term Reconstruction of Northbound I-405 Connectors to Eastbound & Westbound I-105. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has reconstructed the following two connector ramps: The northbound I-405 (San Diego Freeway) connector to eastbound I-105 (Century / Glenn Anderson Freeway) was closed for 14 weeks for reconstruction. It re-opened at 5 a.m. on January 3, 2018.
  • Carpool lane project back on track. A judge from the Santa Barbara Superior Court ruled Tuesday morning in favor of moving forward on the South Coast 101 HOV Lanes Project. The court upheld a Revised Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which focuses specifically on the topic of intersections analysis. The ruling by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderle removes the final remaining hurdle on the South Coast 101 HOV Lanes Project.
  • LA supervisor wants to ‘decriminalize’ Metro’s Express Lanes on 110 and 10 freeways by letting drivers use them without first registering. When a driver inadvertently enters a pay lane on a Los Angeles County freeway, he is breaking the law and must pay a fine. If he ignores the fine, he faces add-on delinquent charges and a hold on his registration. The fines for illegal use of what Metro calls Express Lanes represented 36.4 percent of the revenues collected by Metro from 2014 to 2016, according to an audit obtained by this newspaper in a public records request. Total revenues reached $130.9 million, with $47.3 million from fines and $83.6 million from the actual paid tolls.
  • SR-58
    Kramer Junction Expressway
    . This project proposes to widen the roadway to accommodate 4 lanes of Expressway on State Route 58 (SR-58), in the County of San Bernardino, near the Kern County line to 7.5 miles east of (E/O) US Highway 395. This project involves the realignment of the roadway and will provide a grade separation for the railroad (RR) crossing. The scope is to construct new pavement and widen the median, construct/improve geometrics to accommodate the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) trucks. This project will use CM/GC method for project delivery.
  • Bay Area bridge gets new peak-hour lane beginning Friday. Starting Friday, eastbound commuters on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge will have a third lane to drive on — but, for now, during their evening rides. Caltrans officials are expected to flip a switch sometime Friday, illuminating an electronic “Right Lane Open” sign on the bridge’s Marin County side and 20 sets of overhead green arrows indicating that vehicles can pour into the new lane.
  • Work begins on new I-680 carpool/express lane. Construction of a nine-mile carpool/express lane along a heavily congested stretch of Interstate 680 officially kicked off Thursday. Representatives from the Alameda County Transportation Commission, Caltrans, Alameda County Board of Supervisors and other local officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the $205 million Sunol Northbound Express Lane project. The new lane, expected to be done by fall of 2020, will span from Auto Mall Parkway in Fremont to north of State Route 84 in Sunol, near Pleasanton.
  • Managed lanes moves ahead. The effort to bring express lanes to the stretch of Highway 101 that runs through San Mateo County has taken a step toward the design phase despite persisting concern about charging tolls to drive on those lanes.
  • Metro applying for $742 million in state Trade Corridor funds. We’ve been writing recently about the $2.4 billion that Metro is applying for from various state programs. Next up: The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP), which awards $300 million annually for projects to improve freight corridors in California. The TCEP is a big deal for Los Angeles County. We are home to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two busiest ports in the United States that handle over 85 percent of containerized trade that moves through the state. Many of those containers end up on trucks and freight trains that deliver goods throughout the U.S.
  • STATE ROUTE 371 SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS NEAR CAHUILLA STARTING MAY 14, 2108. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will be making safety improvements near Cahuilla in two locations on State Route 371 (SR-371) between State Route 74 (SR-74) and State Route 79 (SR-79) to place centerline and shoulder rumble strips and install enhanced visibility 6-inch striping. The first location is from Wilson Valley Road to Cary Road (post mile 60.2 to post mile 67.7) and the second area is from Kirby Road to SR-74 (post mile 72.8 to 77.1.) The estimated $756 thousand project, awarded to Jabre Contracting Inc., is scheduled to begin Monday, May 14, 2018, weather permitting, and is anticipated to last less than thirty working days.
  • Third lane on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge open for business. As of Friday afternoon, traffic was rolling in a third lane eastbound on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge for the first time in 40 years. “This is truly something we have all been waiting for,” said Marin Supervisor Damon Connolly at a morning event near the foot of the span. “Opening the third lane will bring real traffic relief that is badly needed.”
  • I-80 over Donner Pass takes a pounding from big rigs with chains: Roadshow. Q: Interstate 80 through Donner Pass and past Truckee is decades overdue for re-paving. The right lanes in both directions literally have deep tire tread ruts from all the wear and tear. It makes it difficult and potentially dangerous to change lanes at highway speeds. Also, the pavement is worn down to almost gravel in the right lanes and that can’t be good. Is this an interstate freeway or the present day Oregon Trail? Mr. Roadshow, what does Caltrans say?
  • Highway 101 work in Palo Alto close to winding up: Roadshow. Q: The multi-year work on replacing the bridge over San Francisquito Creek on Highway 101 in Palo Alto appears done; however, the lanes haven’t been properly reset so it remains a traffic bottleneck. All work seems to have stopped. Can you please find out what’s going on? The last update on their website is March 2017.
  • Marin-Sonoma Narrows widening plods along. Step by arduous step, the Marin-Sonoma Narrows project is heading toward completion, but there are hurdles ahead. Another milestone was met last weekend when a new bridge over San Antonio Creek along Highway 101 was opened at the county line. It modernizes the section, keeping it out of the floodplain.
  • Back in the ’60s traffic in LA was so light a traveling circus clown could cross town in 20 minutes. So what happened?. People who live in crowded urban areas often complain about car traffic and wring their hands over how much it costs in lost productivity. But congestion itself is also a sign of thriving economic activity. Perhaps no city complains as bitterly about traffic as the so-called car capital, Los Angeles. However, there was a time not so long ago when residents used to boast you could get anywhere in the city in 20 minutes.
  • State Route 127 Shoulder Widening and Rumble Strips Project. Initial Study / with [Proposed] Mitigated Negative Declaration (PDF)
  • State Route 62 Widen Shoulders and Install Rumble Strips. Initial Study with Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (PDF)
  • Mad at the 405? Metro wants to hear about it. Los Angeles County transit planners are studying options for a new rail line linking the San Fernando Valley and West L.A. and they want to hear from the public. The Sepulveda transit corridor rail project will be one of the biggest projects funded by the Measure M sales tax hike approved by county voters in 2016.
  • Metro wants to end free rides for clean-air vehicles in toll lanes. Facing rising congestion in the 110 Freeway and 10 Freeway toll lanes, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday will consider ending free rides for commuters who drive alone in zero-emission vehicles. The proposal could place Metro on a collision course with environmental advocates, who say saving time and money on Los Angeles County’s toll lanes is a major reason that Angelenos buy zero-emission cars. Reducing emissions from transportation is critical to meeting the state’s air quality and climate goals.
  • Commuters who drive alone in zero-emission cars will no longer get free trips in L.A.’s toll lanes. In a bid to reduce congestion in toll lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways, Los Angeles County transportation officials on Thursday opted to end a program granting solo drivers of zero-emission vehicles free access to the lanes. Drivers with state-issued clean-air stickers will be charged a toll starting in November or December of this year, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said. They will receive a 15% discount on the per-mile toll lane price.
  • Work Begins on I-680 Sunol Express Lanes. The Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC), in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), joined by regional and local officials, celebrated the start of construction on the I-680 Sunol Express Lanes with a groundbreaking ceremony last week. Construction will begin on nine miles of a new high-occupancy vehicle (HOV)/continuous access express lane in the northbound direction on I-680 between State Route 262 and State Route 84. The adjacent I-680 Southbound Express Lane, which Alameda CTC and Caltrans opened to traffic in 2010, will be upgraded for easier access.
  • Major Bay Area transportation projects to receive state funding. Some of the Bay Area’s biggest transportation projects — BART to downtown San Jose, express lanes on the Peninsula and the widening of the Novato Narrows on Highway 101, and a new train-control system for BART — scored big in competition for state funding Wednesday and Thursday. These projects, and more than a dozen others, won funding, or were recommended for funding, for much-needed improvements in the region. Among them were SMART rail extensions to Larkspur and Windsor; new buses and rail cars for Muni, Caltrain, AC Transit and SamTrans; and a plan to speed up Capitol Corridor trains to Sacramento.
  • Golden Gate Bridge towers to get up-close inspection. Don’t be alarmed by the people swinging up and down the Golden Gate Bridge next week, officials say. Strapped in to their ropes and pulleys, engineers are scheduled to begin inspections of the bridge’s towers Monday morning. This is the first year that the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District will get up close to survey the towers, in a method called “arms-length inspection.”
  • Commute: Express lanes from San Bruno to Redwood City expected by 2021. Imagine a Highway 101 fast lane between Redwood City and San Bruno. It could happen sooner than you think. The California Transportation Commission on Thursday recommended a total of $253.2 million in state funding to lessen congestion on Highway 101 in San Mateo County by creating express lanes in both directions between Redwood City and San Bruno. The lanes are expected to open to vehicles in summer of 2021.
  • Which Southern California Projects Will Get CA Transpo Funding Announced Yesterday. Yesterday, there was a flurry of state announcements regarding transportation project funding, primarily from the S.B. 1 gas tax revenue. There are funds for numerous Southern California projects, including bus, rail, BRT, streets, highways, goods movement, and more. See below for a full listing of all funded projects in the Southern California region. Other than the transit capital grants, most of yesterday’s announcements were staff recommendations which need final approval from the state transportation commission (CTC) next month.
  • Kramer Junction Expressway construction progressing. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) continues to work on the estimated $191 million State Route 58 (SR-58) Kramer Junction Expressway Project, announcing it was approximately 6 percent complete as of April 23. With an expected completion date of late 2020, the project aims to close the last gap in a continuous four-lane expressway from U.S. 101 in San Luis Obispo County to State Route 14 and Interstate 40 in Barstow. allowing improved safety and a reduction in traffic congestion.
  • CALTRANS TO RESTRIPE 1,027 LANE MILES OF HIGHWAY 101. Caltrans will widen striping and increase visibility on 1,027 lane miles of U.S. Highway 101 from the San Benito/Santa Clara County line to the Santa Barbara/Ventura County line, thanks to funding by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
  • Land purchase makes possible big-cat crossing over — or under — I-15 in Riverside County. Mountain lions that roam two Southern California mountain ranges separated by a freeway are the impetus for a recent land purchase — the first step toward creating a wildlife crossing to enable the pumas to mingle and breed. The Nature Conservancy has purchased a 73-acre property adjacent to the eastern side of Interstate 15 just north of the Riverside County line. On the other side of the freeway is an ecological preserve. The goal is to build a tunnel beneath or a bridge across the heavily traveled freeway to connect the Santa Ana and Palomar mountains.
  • Citizens Petition for Bridge Safety. Images of articles related to the La Tijera Bridge on I-405.
  • https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/The-Golden-Gate-Bridge-s-new-toll-collecting-12870834.php. Golden Gate Bridge directors have decided to replicate the slender, curved Art Deco look of the span’s light poles on a new overhead toll gantry that will be built over the southbound lanes of traffic near the administration building to electronically collect tolls. The Friday vote for the design, one of three being considered, was unanimous. The others mimicked the bridge’s main cable and the rounded shape of the landmark’s former tollbooth, which has been taken out of service.
  • Silicon Valley transit projects land nearly $1.7 billion for highway, rail and bus improvements. Alas, subscription required for text. Evidently, MTC subscribes. Your tax dollars at work.
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