October has been a busy month. Adding maps to the county routes was completed, and I’ve started work on doing a normal round of updates. Elections are soon here, and if you want to see progress on California’s roads continue, vote “NO” on Proposition 6. You can find my summary ballot post here — it points to all the more detailed posts. About Proposition 6, I say:
Repeals a 2017 transportation law’s taxes and fees designated for road repairs and public transportation. Fiscal Impact: Reduced ongoing revenues of $5.1 billion from state fuel and vehicle taxes that mainly would have paid for highway and road maintenance and repairs, as well as transit programs.
You have to ask on this one? I’m the California Highway Guy.
Let me give some history on how California has traditionally funded its roads. I’m quoting from my Chronology here: In 1947, in response to the recommendations of the Joint Interim Commission on Highways, Roads, Streets, and Bridges, the Legislature passed the Collier-Burns Act (Chapter 11). This act, among other things, (a) Raised the gasoline and diesel fuel tax to 4.5 cents per gallon; (b) Increased automobile registration fees from $3 to $6, with a proportionate increase in the weight taxes on trucks; (c) Created a fund for all highway revenues and motor vehicle taxes. (d) Revised apportionment of revenues from fuel taxes to cities, counties, and the state. (e) Directed gasoline tax and registration fee revenues toward construction of freeways in urban areas and highways in rural areas of the state. (f) Divided state highway construction funds with 55% allocated to the southern half of the state, and 45% to the northern half of the state. This was a significant shift from the previous 49%/51% allocation. This also provided minimum funding for each county. Since 1947, the fuel tax increased very little, certainly not equivalent to the increase in costs. During that time, fuel economy went down, more cars went electric, and construction costs skyrocketed. There were insufficient funds for maintenance. So about a year ago, the legislature passed SB1. This increased the exise tax and diesel fees, increased other fees such as weight fees and fees for vehicles that don’t use fuel. There are specific purposes for which these funds can be spend — basically, things under the purview of the California Transportation Commission. This includes not only roads, but transit, air facilities, rail, and such. It can also be spent on local (city and county) highways. The law has strict rules on accounting for costs. There is complete transparency on how the funds are being spent; just visit http://rebuildingca.ca.gov/.
There are some people who are upset that the fuel tax went up, notably Republicans who hate any form of tax. Never mind that this is a tax that is going to services paid for by the users of those services. Never mind that having safe roads and modern transit systems make the state better for business and to live in.
The “Yes” side is intentionally trying to mislead. They bring up problems with mismanagement at the DMV. Never mind the fact that this tax has nothing to do with the DMV. They bring up problems with mismangement of high speed rail. Never mind the fact that SB1 has nothing to do with high speed rail. They want you to translate your hatred of DMV or transportation bureaucracy into voting down an excise tax the greatly benefits, and already has benefited, the state.
The “No” side has almost unified support from the cities and the media. If you read my headline article, you’ll find the editorials. SacBee: “Hating Caltrans isn’t a reason to repeal the gas tax“. LA Times: “It’s hard to overstate how destructive Proposition 6 would be for California. Vote no.”. SF Chronicle: “No on Proposition 6 — cynical political ploy would destroy California’s roads“. Redding (a part of the state that doesn’t love taxes): “Gas tax increase repeal supporters not telling entire story to voters“. Mercury News: “No on Prop. 6 to keep state roads, transit funds“. SD Union Tribune: “Proposition 6: Vote no because gas tax-funded improvements are much-needed“. Petaluma: “Vote no on Prop. 6 gas tax repeal.” The San Bernardino Sun even has a look at how roads would change if it was repealed.
Look at the “No on 6” website for more details. This one isn’t just a no, it is a “hell no!”
In between all of this, however, I have been collecting headlines. Here’s what’s been posted about California Highways in October:
- Caltrans Will Begin More Than 120 New “Fix-it-First” Projects This Fiscal Year. Caltrans will begin more than 120 new “Fix-it-First” projects this fiscal year (July 2018 – June 2019), replacing, repairing and improving more than 6,700 lane miles of pavement, 250 culverts and 320 bridges across the state, due to funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. These projects got the green light after the department received almost half a billion dollars of SB 1 funding for new state highway maintenance projects this fiscal year. New SB 1 funded maintenance projects coming to your area include: …
- Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao formalizes Interstate 5 grant. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao came to the Santa Clarita Valley on Monday to formalize the presentation of a $47 million grant to Metro to build truck lanes and extend high-occupancy vehicle, or carpool, lanes running through the SCV. Chao was joined by Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, Los Angeles County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste to talk about the I-5 Golden State Chokepoint Relief Program the grant is planned for.
- ENR California Best Projects 2018 Highway/Bridge: State Route 76 East Segment. The 5.2-mile improvement project on State Route 76 included widening a two-lane road to a divided four-lane highway and updating bridges over the San Luis Rey River. The project team worked around Native American protected sites in a sensitive river floodplain. “The team was six months early in the delivery despite working in a pretty highly environmental area,” a judge said. The project restored 1,600 acres of habitat, and the team scheduled vegetation clearing and pile-driving around habitat breeding seasons. The project also built a bridge over culverts supplying water to the San Diego area. To protect the culverts, girders for the new bridge were transferred in mid-air using two cranes, each positioned at different bridge abutments.
- District 10 – State Route 99/Fulkerth Road Interchange Project. The project will widen Fulkerth Road to accommodate six to seven lanes, with five-foot wide shoulders and six-foot wide sidewalks; Widen the northbound (NB) off-ramp to provide two lanes where it connects to Fulkerth; Reconstruct the NB on-ramp to provide two mixed-flow lanes and one future high occupancy vehicle (HOV) preferential lane with provisions for future ramp metering; Realign the southbound (SB) off-ramp to improve intersection spacing and provide three lanes where it connects to Fulkerth; Realign the SB on-ramp to improve intersection spacing, and provide two mixed- flow lanes and one future HOV preferential lane with provisions for future ramp metering; Align Dianne Drive with existing Auto Mall Drive, eliminating the offset local street intersection on Fulkerth Road; Signalize the Dianne Drive/Fulkerth Road, State Route 99 (SR-99) SB ramps/Fulkerth Road and SR-99 NB ramps/Fulkerth Road intersections. This project includes $5.5 million from the Local Partnership Program, part of Senate Bill 1.
- A Historical Context and Methodology for Evaluating Trails, Roads, and Highways in California. This study was prepared in response to the need for a cohesive and comprehensive examination of trails, roads, and highways in California, together with a methodological approach for evaluating these types of properties for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The study documents the development of trails, roads, and highways in California from prehistoric times to the creation of today’s modern highway system. This holistic approach was predicated upon the strong relationship between California’s modern highway system and trails and roads that span hundreds, if not thousands, of years. While railroads and bridges played a significant role in the state’s transportation history, neither property type is discussed in any detail in this study, since a plethora of published and unpublished books and articles have already been written about railroads, and a historic context study and evaluation process has been adopted for bridges. While this study does address archaeological resources, the focus is largely on built environment properties, particularly roads and highways. In addition to Appendix A and B of the report, 10 additional appendices have been digitally scanned for reference, along with the digital version of this study.
- Cultural Studies – California’s Historic Bridges and Tunnels. California has a wealth of iconic landmarks that let residents and visitors alike know they are in the Golden State. Many of these landmarks are the state’s historic bridges and tunnels that range from the spectacular Bay Area and elegant Los Angeles River bridges,to the simple and aesthetic bridges of the Central and North Coast, and the rustic bridges in rural areas throughout the state. The Caltrans Division of Environmental Analysis and cultural resources specialists in the 12 district offices work closely with Caltrans engineers and maintenance staff, as well as local governments and historic preservation groups, to preserve and protect the historic bridges and tunnels of the Golden State.
- Caltrans announces freeway lane closures through Vallejo. The California Department of Transportation will resume paving eastbound Interstate 80 in Vallejo as part of a major pavement rehabilitation project beginning Wednesday, according to a press release.
- County Transportation Officials Break Ground On New I-680 Express Lane. Transportation officials in Contra Costa County held a groundbreaking ceremony this morning on a $127 million project that will add 11 miles of a southbound carpool express lane from Martinez to Walnut Creek, shortening drive times along Interstate Highway 680 by 10 to 15 minutes. When completed in 2021, the new carpool lane will connect to the existing express lane that runs from Walnut Creek to San Ramon, accommodating more than 500 additional cars per hour along Highway 680 in what is one of the Bay Area’s worst commutes.
- Construction begins on 11-mile Contra Costa express lane. Officials gathered at the Benicia Bridge toll plaza Wednesday morning to mark that construction has started on an 11-mile express toll lane designed to eliminate gridlock across Contra Costa County. The lane will be open to carpoolers as well as folks with Fastrak transponders who are willing to pay extra. Newer transponders are equipped with a switch that allows the user to indicate whether they are riding as a carpooler or lone-occupant. Those driving solo will pay a toll that will vary depending on traffic.
- SB 1-funded projects to take place this fiscal year include Lake County highway striping. Caltrans will begin more than 120 new “Fix-it-First” projects this fiscal year, replacing, repairing and improving more than 6,700 lane miles of pavement, 250 culverts and 320 bridges across the state, due to funds from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. These projects got the green light after the department received almost half a billion dollars of SB 1 funding for new state highway maintenance projects this fiscal year.
- SB 1 funds make their way to the KRV. Caltrans will begin more than 120 new “Fix-it-First” projects this fiscal year (July 2018 – June 2019), replacing, repairing and improving more than 6,700 lane miles of pavement, 250 culverts and 320 bridges across the state, due to funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. These projects got the green light after the department received almost half a billion dollars of SB 1 funding for new state highway maintenance projects this fiscal year. New SB 1 funded maintenance projects coming to Inyo, Mono and Eastern Kern Counties include: …
- State funding will help fix Siskiyou highways. According to a press release from Caltrans, more than 120 new “Fix-it-First” projects will be started this fiscal year to replace, repair and improve more than 6,700 lane miles of pavement, 250 culverts and 320 bridges across the state. New SB 1 funded maintenance projects in and around Siskiyou County include: …
- Applegate overpass shuts down indefinitely after big rig hits bridge, CHP says. The Applegate Road-Highway 99 overpass and the northbound fast lane of the highway were shut down most of Thursday after a big rig struck the overpass, according to California Highway Patrol. The highway lane was expected to reopen Thursday night, but Caltrans determined the collision caused structural damage and the overpass was shut down indefinitely, according to an afternoon update by the Atwater Police Department.
- Highway 84 Traffic: Part Of Highway Given To Fremont. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that gives the city of Fremont the stretch of state Highway 84 between Interstate Highway 880 and Mission Boulevard. Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, a member of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, authored the bill. It is part of a 2006 agreement with Fremont, the Alameda County Transportation Commission, Caltrans and Union City.
- Major projects at risk if voters kill California gas tax hike, officials say. ($$$) More than 400 transit infrastructure projects would be jeopardized if California’s gas tax hike gets killed in November, with plans shelved, construction frozen in place and millions of taxpayer dollars vaporized, according to officials with state and local transportation agencies. An effort to repave most of Interstate 880 in the East Bay could be delayed for years or derailed altogether, they say. BART may never reach San Jose, and Caltrain may never roll into the basement of the Transbay Transit Center. Rural northern counties would lose funding to snowplow roads and create a path for emergency vehicles during winter.
- You Had One Job: Misspelled Freeway Sign Points The Way To ‘San Bernadino’. It probably won’t cause anybody to get lost, but a misspelled freeway sign is chafing some copy editors here at CBS2 News.Sky 9 was over the Monrovia area Saturday when someone noticed a misspelled sign reading “San Bernadino” near the 210 east on-ramp off Huntington Drive. To the sign maker’s credit, the pronunciation of “San Bernardino” might actually be closer to the erroneous spelling.
- Signed County Route E18. This past weekend I took a detour off of California State Route 49 in Tuolumne County onto Signed County Route E18 north to CA 4 in Calaveras County.
- California State Route 88 the Carson Pass Highway. Between 2016 through 2018 I drove the majority of California State Route 88 from CA 99 in Stockton east over Carson Pass to CA 89.
- Lake Tahoe Circle Tour Part 2; California State Route 28 and Nevada State Route 28. After leaving the Gatekeepers Museum at the Truckee River I crossed the 1928 Fanny Bridge and headed east along the north shore of Lake Tahoe towards Nevada on California State Route 28.
- First phase of north county’s Highway 101 repaving project nearly complete. The first phase of a Highway 101 repaving project north of Windsor is nearing completion, and finally will grant northern Sonoma County commuters some reprieve from the notoriously pockmarked roadway. Work on the segment between Windsor and Geyserville is set to wrap up by the end of October or early November, before the traditional winter rains force the majority of construction crews off the roads.
- Lake Tahoe Circle Tour Part 3; US Route 50 and Cave Rock. Following completing California State Route 28 and Nevada State Route 28 I turned west on US 50 towards the California State line along the east shore of Lake Tahoe.
- Caltrans District 3 projects created by SB1 funds. Have you ever wondered where the extra gas tax money you now pay at the pump is going? The increase on the excise taxes on gasoline and diesel along with new registration fee for cars based on their value have so far created 26 projects in District 3 as well as in other districts across the state. But now that funding is being challenged.
- A window on the past: Remains of burned Dardanelle Bridge will be removed. A contractor is expected in the Donnell Fire burn zone this week to remove torched remains of the historic 1933 Dardanelle Bridge that used to be the Highway 108 crossing over the Middle Fork Stanislaus River, just east of where the 1920s Dardanelle Resort burned in the same fire in early August. Recent testing has come back negative for asbestos in the bridge debris, which was the primary concern local authorities had, based on Caltrans records, said Tim Hughes, Stanislaus National Forest engineer.
- Crashes, arson keep hurting Atwater businesses, owners say. Gas station owner Kamal Dhaliwal leaned against a counter, shaking her head as few cars pulled up to pump gas on Friday, the day after a big rig struck the Highway 99-Applegate Road overpass. The now closed overpass is the main commuter route between the bulk of Atwater’s residents on the east side and the numerous businesses, including Dhaliwal’s am-pm, on the western side of Highway 99. It’s also not the only crash that has hurt business in the past couple of years.
- Lake Tahoe Circle Tour Part 1; CA 89, former CA 188 to Fallen Leaf Lake, Emerald Bay State Park, and the mouth of the Truckee River. Upon my arrival to Lake Tahoe during the Fall Season it was my intention to drive the entire perimeter. Given that my starting point in South Tahoe the obvious route was through California State Route 89 to get in an early hike at Emerald Bay State Park. Along the way I made a detour on the former alignment of CA 188 to Fallen Leaf Lake.
- California State Route 89 through Luther Pass. This past weekend I took California State Route 89 over the 12 mile routing from CA 88 in Alpine County over the 7,740 foot Lurther Pass to US 50 in El Dorado County.
- Donner Pass; hunting for the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road and abandoned Central Pacific Railroad Tunnels. This past weekend while returning from Lake Tahoe I crossed over the crest of the Sierras at Donner Pass. My goal was to seek out the old Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road and the abandoned Central Pacific Railroad tunnels.
- District 10 – State Route 132 Dakota Avenue to Gates Road Project. The project will construct an access-controlled facility (expressway) adjacent to the existing State Route 132 (SR-132) alignment or on new SR-132 new alignment, or a freeway/expressway on new SR-132 alignment. The project is in western Stanislaus County, 3.1 miles east of the San Joaquin River Bridge, extending from the Dakota Avenue/Kansas Avenue intersection to the Gates Road/SR-132 intersection.
- California State Route 267. Leaving Lake Tahoe this weekend I took the entirety of California State Route 267 north towards Truckee and Donner Pass.
- Paving project begins on Highway 38. Caltrans continues a project to mill and overlay pavement and improve ramps per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on State Route 38 between Agate Street in Mentone to Valley of the Falls Drive, Forest Falls. Paving was scheduled to begin Oct. 16. During the project, there will be one-way reversing traffic control. Motorists may experience delays due to traffic control. Work hours are scheduled for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The project is expected to be completed in December.
- Prop 6: Taxes vs. road repair. As with many propositions introduced in state elections, Proposition 6 has become complicated and contentious. Its supporters and opponents are now vigorously arguing their positions in counties and cities around the state. Discussions surround whether increased gas and registration costs will affect low-income families, or will eliminate funding that has, and will continue to, pay for major road repairs around the state. Add to the confusion that many websites claim to have facts that contradict the claimed facts of opposing websites.
- Bakersfield lawsuit spurs new bullet-train route, station. Four years ago, the California High-Speed Rail Authority was sued over its choice of a route from Fresno to Bakersfield that included a station in downtown Bakersfield and tracks entering the city from the west. On Tuesday, the rail authority’s board voted to approve a new route developed in collaboration with Bakersfield city leaders that approaches the city from the north and establishes a station north of downtown.
- Interstate 5/I-8 Improve the Move Project . Caltrans is proposing to construct an additional westbound lane on Interstate 8 (I-8) between Taylor Street and the I-8/Interstate 5 (I-5) Interchange to improve traffic safety and operations in the area.
- Repairs begin this weekend for damaged Highway 99 in Atwater. Emergency repair efforts begin Saturday to fix the damaged overpass at Applegate Road and Highway 99 in Atwater and motorists should expect some periodic highway closures over the next several weeks. Caltrans officials on Wednesday released more scheduling details to fix the major overpass in Atwater, which feeds one of the city’s most significant business districts. The overpass at Applegate Road was damaged Oct. 11 when it was struck by a big rig carrying an excavator that investigators determined had been loaded incorrectly.
- California State Route 20; from I-80 in Emigrant Gap west to CA 174. Crossing the Sierras westward from Donner Pass found me on Interstate 80. Given that I had a substantial jog of freeway ahead headed back to the Fresno area I decided to take a detour onto California State Route 20 westward to CA 174 in Grass Valley.
- California State Route 174 and the Empire Mine. Crossing back over to the western flank of the Sierras earlier this month I took the entirety of California State Route 174 from Grass Valley in Nevada County to Colfax in Placer County.
- California State Route 51; failed Interstate 80 on the Capitol City Freeway, the I-80 Business Loop, and former US 40/99E. The final route I took on the way back from Lake Tahoe this past weekend was on California State Route 51 through Sacramento which is known as the Interstate 80 Business Loop/Capitol City Freeway.
- Perris Interchange Project Receives State Support. More than $7 million in state transportation funds will be dedicated to an interchange construction project in Perris, it was announced Wednesday. The California Transportation Commission included the Placentia Avenue/Interstate 215 Interchange Project in the second round of revenue commitments under the 2019 Local Partnership Formulaic Program.
- Learn More about the Proposed SR-57 Improvement Project. Join OCTA and Caltrans on Oct. 25 to learn more about the SR-57 Improvement Project, which proposes to extend the general-purpose lane and make ramp improvements between Orangewood Avenue and Katella Avenue, a 1-mile stretch adjacent to the cities of Anaheim and Orange.
- California Transportation Commission latest round of road projects. Caltrans announced that the California Transportation Commission allocated $669 million for more than 100 projects, funded by or at least partly by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. [Lake County] Area projects completed with SB 1 funds include: …
- Mariposa County Stockton Creek Bridge Project Included as California Transportation Commission Allocates More Than Half a Billion Dollars to Safety, Congestion Relief and Road Improvement Projects Due to SB 1 Funds . Caltrans has announced that the California Transportation Commission allocated $669 million for more than 100 projects, funded by or at least partly by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. [Mariposa] Area projects allocated SB 1 funds include: …
- Caltrans work in Napa area to close road. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled a full highway closure of State Route 121 (SR-121) between Vichy Avenue and Wooden Valley Road in rural Napa County to install rockfall prevention netting, agency officials announced. The netting will be installed on a hillside above SR-121 just south of Wooden Valley Road.
- David Leamon: Cooperative plan by county, city paves way for future of Highway 132. (Opinion) The state highway system was designed to move people and products efficiently, helping to make California’s economy one of the greatest in the world. Whether transporting people from their home to their job, or vegetables from the San Joaquin Valley to Southern California, highways make it happen. Highway 132, which transports commuters, truck drivers and travelers as they depart Modesto and begin their journey to the Bay Area, has been virtually unchanged for 85 years. The highway from the city of Modesto to Gates Road started as a two-lane state highway in 1933, and it remains two lanes — despite dramatic population growth, an increase in trucking and the daily crush as legions of commuters drive to their Bay Area jobs.
- Four Roads in Humboldt and Mendocino Get Funding for Improvements. Caltrans announced [this week] that the California Transportation Commission allocated $669 million for more than 100 projects, funded by or at least partly by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. [Mendocino and Humboldt] Area projects completed with SB 1 funds include: …
- CTC Allocates More Than Half a Billion Dollars to Safety, Congestion Relief and Road Improvement Projects Due to SB 1 Funds. Caltrans announced today that the California Transportation Commission allocated $669 million for more than 100 projects, funded by or at least partly by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Completed [Mojave desert] area projects that were allocated SB 1 funds include:
- Cuyama Valley residents unite to fight speeders, unsafe passing on Hwy 166. The widely scattered residents of Cuyama Valley have come together as a united force for a common goal — to improve safety on Highway 166, where they say traffic has increased and with it the risk of deadly crashes. Residents say the increase in traffic has taken place over the last 10 months, and they believe it’s an indirect impact from the 1/9 Debris Flow in Montecito.
- State, local officials discuss transportation at American Canyon forum. American Canyon residents packed the City Council chambers Monday night to hear a bevy of local and state officials discuss what’s become the dominant issue in town: transportation. Moderated by state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, a panel of politicians and transportation experts spent an hour and a half telling a standing-room-only crowd what solutions to expect that will alleviate the gridlock that has come to clog local streets as well as Highway 29.
- Caltrans to shift Highway 101 travel lanes south of Petaluma. As construction workers continue to complete new sections of Highway 101 along the Novato Narrows, Caltrans is preparing to shift northbound lanes of traffic to a new alignment. The switch will take place overnight Friday Nov. 2 and is slated to be completed for motorists traveling early Saturday Nov. 3, according to a Caltrans press release. The new alignment will take place from the San Antonio Road/Landfill exit in the south to Kastania/Petaluma Boulevard exit in the north.
- Dep. Sheriff Robert Rumfelt Memorial Highway. Lake County Sheriff Dept. honored fallen officer Robert Rumfelt with a highway dedication. Pictured left to right: Shawn Bertram, CHP, Clayton Loflin, Caltrans, Brian Martin, Lake County Sheriff, Mike Frahm,Lance Miller and Chris Weir all from Caltrans.
- Concerning Bacteria and Rust Pits Found in Bay Bridge Study. Despite the discovery of rust pits in steel pile casings and corrosive bacteria in soil around the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, engineers remain confident the structure can survive a major earthquake for the next 135 years. “Nothing gives me any cause for concern,” said Brian Gibbs, a structural integrity engineer with the consulting firm Deepwater Corrosion Services, which performed a detailed corrosion survey on the bridge.
- SB1 projects will include state routes 119, 43, 58 in western Kern. Caltrans announced last week that the California Transportation Commission allocated $669 million for more than 100 projects, funded by or at least partly by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Several of the projects involve state highways on the Westside. [Kern County] Area projects allocated SB 1 funds include: …
- Farmersville to build sidewalk, bike lanes for students with SB1 dollars. The City of Farmersville got a little bit of money for a small, but much needed project last week. On Oct. 19, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated $669 million for more than 100 projects, funded by or at least partly by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Central Valley projects allocated SB 1 funds include: …
- Haunted Pacheco Pass ~ Weird Fresno. If you ever took a trip to Monterery, Santa Cruz, or the Bay Area there’s a good chance you’ve taken Highway 152 through Pacheco Pass. The part of the trip from Los Banos to Gilroy is rather mundane for those who have driven it before. Or is it? Did you know it has a rather dark history? There are stories of supposed Indian massacres by the Spanish settlers in the 1700’s. And from 1860 to 1880 the pass was known as Robber’s Pass due to two highwaymen that robbed, raped and murdered travlers along the route. And now in modern times it’s known as Blood Alley due to the numerous traffic accidents that occur along it’s route. Not all these accidents are fatal, but some are. And apparently some of the victims haven’t moved on.
- SB1 Project Accelerates Repairs on US Highway 101, State Route 23. Caltrans is accelerating repairs on U.S. Highway 101 and State Route 23 in Ventura County due to funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Crews are continuing to make progress on the $2.8 million pavement preservation project in the cities of Thousand Oaks and Moorpark in Caltrans District 7. Guills Inc. of Pasadena is the contractor on the project.
- New freeway near Perris to begin construction soon. Driving on Interstate 215 through Perris during the middle of the day can be rather painless – but try that drive during rush hour, and it’s a completely different experience. “It’s pretty bad in the mornings,” said one frustrated commuter. “We’re late going to work, and to school and all that,” said another commuter from Perris, who said it’s not just the north-south corridors that become snarled with traffic, but the east-west corridors as well – such as the Ramona Expressway. But a new 16-mile freeway should alleviate some of the congestion.
- Riverside County’s first new freeway in years could break ground in 2020. ($$$) Construction on the first piece of a six-lane freeway that one day will run 16 miles from Perris to San Jacinto is set to start in 2020. That piece is a $65 million interchange on the 215 Freeway at Placentia Avenue in Perris. Transportation officials say they now have all the dollars they need to build the interchange project after snaring $7.1 million last week in state gas-tax money. The plan is to add an entrance and exit to the 215, improve a frontage road, widen the existing Placentia Avenue bridge and widen Placentia between Harvill and Indian avenues, a news release states.
- More than 100 projects for Caltrans from SB 1 funds. Caltrans announced last week that the California Transportation Commission allocated $669 million for more than 100 projects, funded by or at least partly by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Completed [Inyo/Mono County] area projects that were allocated SB 1 funds include: …
- ‘People path’ design for Bay Bridge to unveil next month. On Nov. 19, the designs will be unveiled for the ‘Bay Bridge West Span People Path.’ People will be able to experience what it will be like to connect Oakland to San Francisco. This plan will be the last step before moving into reviews, approvals, and finally, construction. This complex project has been driven by public feedback given at an open house in Jan. 2016. San Francisco Bike Coalition estimates 10,000 people to bike on the path daily.
- Caltrans completes accelerated repairs to Highway 101. Caltrans has completed repairs to two busy interchanges on more than four lane miles of U.S. Highway 101. According to a recent press release, the accelerated completion of repairs is attributed to funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
- California State Route 33. This past week I drove a section of California State Route 33 from CA 198 north I-5 in Santa Nella. CA 33 probably has been one of the more common rural routes that I’ve interacted with since moving to California. That being the case I actually had a substantial amount of photo stock of CA 33 that I was able to cobble together into a road album from US 101 in Ventura north to I-5 in Santa Nella.
- Why is Caltrans closing Tower Bridge? It’s sagging and needs new suspenders. Sacramento’s iconic Tower Bridge is 82 years old. With age, there’s sagging. Bridge inspectors last year noticed the cables that help lift the main span for tall ships have stretched 14 inches longer than they once were – a sign that time, weather, and stress have taken a toll. So the golden span is getting fitted with new suspenders. The $6 million project, which includes a handful of other upgrades, continues through December and is requiring daily traffic-lane reductions and several full-bridge nighttime closures.
- More money approved from state tax to repair roads. The California Transportation Commission has allocated $669 million for more than 100 projects, funded by or at least partly by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Money for the widening of SR 99 between Avenue 12 and Avenue 17 in Madera is part of the allotment. Area projects allocated SB 1 funds include: Madera 99 Widening Project: $69.7 million project will reconstruct drainage systems, upgrade guardrail and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) elements, construct one new lane in each direction and improve 23.5 lane miles of State Route 99 from the Avenue 12 Overcrossing to north of the Avenue 17 Overcrossing in the city of Madera in Madera County.
- Inland Empire rail, trail, road and bridge projects get millions of gas-tax dollars. […] Scattered through Riverside County, bridges along state highways will be improved with the new dollars. Caltrans spokeswoman Joy Schneider said her agency received $2.8 million for a $12.9 million project that will boost five spans spread across southern Riverside County. Plans call for replacing two Temecula-area bridges on Highway 79: at Temecula Creek along the city’s east side, and several miles southeast of the city at Arroyo Seco Creek, Schneider said. Bridge upgrades are planned at the Leach Canyon Channel on Highway 74 in Lake Elsinore, the Blue Ridge Wash on Highway 74 west of Hemet and the Cahuilla Bridge in Anza.
- Paving, new lane lines coming on Highway 17: Roadshow. Q: I drive from Aptos to San Francisco well before dawn for my job. My night vision isn’t the best, so I’m slow, particularly over Highway 17 where lane reflectors are few and far between. I’ve noticed this problem on several Bay Area freeways and think it’s dangerous for drivers to not be able to see which lane they’re in. Is there any hope that this could get fixed?
- Caltrans begins work on Solano highways, freeway. Crews began maintenance work Monday night along Interstate 80, Highway 113 and Highway 37 in Solano County, with lane closures and overnight closures planned. A total of 19 locations will see work, the California Department of Transportation reports.