🛣 Headlines About California Highways – August 2019

August: A month that has seen lots of highway work, from repaving to rerouting, as agencies take advantage of the hot summer months to get work done. For me, it has brought exploration of northern California, driving some highways I’ve never been on before. But all along the way, I’ve been collecting headlines for your enjoyment:

Note: 💲 indicates sites with obnoxious paywalls. The LA Times is excluded, as I subscribe to the LA Times.

  • 💲 Moffett Park Drive ramp to permanently close at 101-237. Q: Why are they closing Moffett Park Drive between Mathilda Avenue and Bordeaux Drive permanently in Sunnyvale?
  • Final construction of state Route 11 kicking off, linking to future Otay Mesa border crossing. Officials are breaking ground on the final segment of state Route 11 on Wednesday — connecting the San Diego region’s highway system to the future Otay Mesa East Port of Entry. Sections of SR-11 have been completed since 2016, but currently the highway ends at Enrico Fermi Drive in Otay Mesa. This final leg of construction, which includes several highway interchanges, would connect the envisioned port of entry to state Routes 905 and 125.
  • Fuming about Caltrans projects but I appreciate them. The Camp Fire was snuffed by a rainstorm on Thanksgiving Day — finally. Since then getting back and forth to Chico, Oroville or other flatland destinations has been an adventure. The sign “Road Work Ahead” could mean anything from a 10-minute to 30-minute wait and there were lots of ’em. Initially there were teams of workers with chainsaws falling burnt timber. Then that material had to be limbed, chipped and hauled off. Some logs still had enough moisture to be made into lumber, the rest was disposed of by however the contractor decided. In the process of removing trees, rocks were subjected to the usual forces of gravity falling from the steep cliffs onto the road. They had to be removed.
  • Forgotten Railways, Roads & Places: The 10 Most Pointless 3-digit Interstate Highways. What makes a highway pointless, especially one built to the highest road standards in the world? It can be length, as many of these routes are only a mile or two in length, but it doesn’t have to be. There are quite useful interstate highways that nonetheless very short (I-190 in Illinois and I-238 in California are good examples). Another qualification is the area they serve; many of these routes either don’t connect to a significantly populated area, or don’t facilitate downtown traffic.  Here’s my list of the Interstate highways I find the most useless. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments.
  • Stories from the Map Cave: Los Angeles Street Guides. Map Librarian Glen Creason explains the history of the street guide in Los Angeles, and shares some highlights from our extensive collection.
  • Route 36 Improvement Updates. This is an update from Caltrans District 2 regarding construction on State Route 36. Caltrans is adopting the recommendations by the Susanville city council as follows: no bike lanes will be added, parking will remain the same, and the curb extensions known as “bulb-outs” will remain, except for Weatherlow St.
  • The First Map of Proposed US Interstate Highways Is Released – Transportation History. August 2, 1947. About nine years before President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the bill formally establishing the Interstate Highway System, the general locations of the first designated routes for that proposed network were announced. This announcement was made by Major General Philip B. Fleming, administrator of the Federal Works Agency (which included the Public Roads Administration); and Thomas H. MacDonald, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads.

  • Caltrans working to replace catwalk freeway signs in Los Angeles to deter vandals, create safer driving. You typically see them just below freeway signs, but Caltrans is now getting rid of catwalks along freeway signs. The new generation of freeway signs, which have already been installed in past and ongoing construction projects across Los Angeles, are retro-reflective. That means they reflect back when headlights hit them at night, making it easier for drivers to see.
  • US Senate committee unveils $287B transportation bill. Counties and other agencies responsible for the upkeep of roads and bridges could see a 27 percent increase in federal transportation dollars if the proposed five-year, $287 billion America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act is approved. The package was unveiled this week by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
  • Biggest paving plans in decades underway across the Bay Area. 💲 Drivers aching for smoother highways and city streets, the pain is going to ease at a dizzying pace not seen in more than two decades on hundreds of miles on busy eight-lane freeways to narrow two-lane neighborhood streets. The new 12-cent a gallon tax, county measures, bonds and higher overall revenues are supplying billions in needed cash. The transportation budget exceeds $14.6 billion, which is up from $9.5 billion two years ago. The higher gas tax invests approximately $5.4 billion per year to fix roads, freeways and bridges across California. These funds are split equally between state and local projects and will allow Caltrans to fix more than 17,000 lane miles of pavement, 500 bridges and 55,000 culverts by 2027. San Jose now estimates it will be able to meet paving needs for the next nine years.
  • Overnight Closures as Caltrans Begins $55 Million PCH Pavement Project. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) began a project last week to preserve 50 lane miles on Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1/PCH) from the McClure Tunnel in Santa Monica to the Malibu Lagoon Bridge in Los Angeles County, due to the funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. “Pacific Coast Highway is one of California’s most beautiful highways that provides access for residents and visitors to enjoy our coast,” said Caltrans Interim Director Bob Franzoia. “These repairs will increase the life of the pavement of PCH and will create a smoother commute for motorists and benefit California’s tourism”
  • How deadly is California’s I-5 in summer? A report on dangerous highways has answers. California road-trippers, now you have one more reason to be wary while driving on Interstate 5. And U.S. 101 and California 99. The California route with the highest death toll was the I-5, with 192 fatalities, followed by the U.S. 101, with 139 deaths and California 99 with 110, according to a recent roundup from the website ASecureLife.com. It took a quick look at national traffic fatality reports from 2015-17, particularly deaths from May through September, and made a “most dangerous highways” list.
  • Highway 37 projects primed by cash influx. Drivers aching for smoother highways and city streets, the pain is going to ease at a dizzying pace not seen in more than two decades on hundreds of miles on busy eight-lane freeways to narrow two-lane neighborhood streets. The new 12-cent a gallon tax, county measures, bonds and higher overall revenues are supplying billions in needed cash. The transportation budget exceeds $14.6 billion, which is up from $9.5 billion two years ago.
  • County Public Works makes signage improvements to Highway 9. Since the Regional Transportation Commission’s Final Highway 9 Complete Streets Corridor Plan was introduced in June, Santa Cruz County Public Works has made progress on installing signage along the corridor. The RTC Board of Directors received the final Highway 9/San Lorenzo Valley Complete Streets Corridor Plan at a special RTC meeting in June. A complete street is a transportation facility that is planned, designed, operated and maintained to provide safe mobility for all users, according to Caltrans. Each complete street is different because it is based on the particular community’s needs and use for the roads.
  • Highway 101 pavement project in, near Ventura allocated millions. 💲 The California Transportation Commission has allocated $52.3 million for new paving for some lanes on a stretch of Highway 101 in and near Ventura. The pavement preservation project will improve 21.6 “lane miles” within an area slightly south of the Padre Juan Canyon Road overcrossing, which is north of Ventura, to slightly north of the Punta Gorda pedestrian undercrossing, which is in Ventura, according to Caltrans.
  • Caltrans completes repairs caused by Carr Fire on state Route 299. Caltrans has completed a project to repair and rebuild State Route 299 in Shasta and Trinity Counties due to damage from the 2018 Carr Fire, currently the seventh most destructive fire in California’s history, burning 229,651 acres. 1,881 structures were destroyed or damaged by the fire. “The completion of the emergency project coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Carr Fire,” said Bob Franzoia, Acting Caltrans Director. “We remember all those involved in this disaster, and in our own way honor them by repairing and rebuilding this stretch of State Route 299.”
  • Caltrans: Highway 99 roadwork to close 24th Street, Buck Owens Boulevard ramps for 55 days. Caltrans says construction on a new lane will close an on-ramp and off-ramp on Highway 99 for 55 days in Central Bakersfield. Caltrans says work on an auxiliary lane on the northbound Highway 99 will begin the week of Aug. 19, but no exact starting date has been set.
  • Hillside repairs coming on slippery Highway 17: Roadshow. 💲 Q: It appears some work is about to start on Highway 17 where water often leaks onto the road, causing spinouts and a lot of collisions. What is Caltrans doing?
  • Motorists, brace yourselves: Major detours coming to Napa’s triple roundabout project. 💲 A new phase of the triple roundabout project will require major detours for thousands of motorists who use the First Street/California Boulevard intersection daily. The “essential shutdown” of First at California will begin later this month, with the goal of having the first of the new roundabouts operating by Christmas, said Eric Whan, the city of Napa’s deputy public works director.
  • New lane on I-680 will be converted to an express lane. 💲 Q: Is the current construction on Interstate 680 southbound in Walnut Creek from S. Main to Livorna Road to add another lane? If so, what happens to the lane after Livorna?
  • For whom the bells toll. To most casual passersby, the cast iron mission bell markers that are found hanging from shepherd’s hooks throughout California just seem like a nod to well-known state history. Found along highways, in public spaces and in parks, the bells generally don’t arouse questions or consternation. But for members of the Amah Mutsun tribe and other Native peoples, the bells are a painful reminder of the horrific abuses their ancestors suffered within the mission system.
  • Highway Trail Pole Markers. Before there was Interstate 80, or Highway 50 roads had names like Lincoln Highway or Yellowstone Trail. These pole markers guided motorists or “autoists” as they traveled to their destination. The emblem would be either painted on telephone or telegraph poles or warped around and secured in the case of metal signs. You would find them where a critical turn was needed, or just to let you know you were on the right path.
  • Eureka-Arcata U.S. 101 Corridor Improvement Project. The Eureka-Arcata U.S. 101 Corridor Improvement Project was approved by the California Coastal Commission. Caltrans aims to enhance safety on this six-mile stretch of highway. Improvements include: an undercrossing at Indianola, a half-signal at Airport Road, acceleration and deceleration lane improvements, cable median barrier installation, bridge and rail replacements, and tide gate replacements.
  • Before Google Maps, This Was How to Drive in L.A.. Long before I got my driver’s license, the Thomas Guide left a mark on me. Literally: Spread open in the backseat of my dad’s Mitsubishi Galant, the metal binding of its 3,000 pages of Los Angeles street maps would press spirals into my child-sized legs. I’d flip to a random page, the paper worn and waxy, to peer over some colorful new square. All of L.A. County—5,000 square miles and 88 municipalities—was gridded inside the exhaustive street atlas. Surface streets were a dark blue hash, knots of freeways bright red clovers. Names of neighborhoods miles from our house in the San Fernando Valley beckoned in tiny print: Gardena. Alhambra. Manhattan Beach.
  • Caltrans Eureka-Arcata Highway 101 Corridor Improvement Project approved. The California Coastal Commission approved CalTrans’s application for the Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project Tuesday. On Aug. 6, commissioners decided on a 10-1 vote for improvements on the 6-mile long segment of Highway 101, along east side of Humboldt Bay between the slough bridge in Eureka. After several hours, staff members approved Caltrans application with conditions.
  • Road work to cause traffic delays in Merced County. Road work will cause traffic delays in Merced County this week, according to the California Department of Transportation. Closures on eastbound and westbound Highway 140 from Parsons Avenue to Kibby Road are scheduled to take place from midnight to 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, according to a Caltrans news release.
  • Construction on Meyers roundabout moves to nighttime; Echo Summit traffic control expected next week. 💲 Caltrans recently changed its construction schedule for work on a new roundabout at the intersection of U.S. 50 and California Route 89. Earlier this week transportation officials switched to night shifts, with work occurring form 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. During that time flaggers will conduct one-way reversing traffic controls.
  • Roundabout revolution coming to Napa County. Napa County’s roundabout revolution is underway, with the city of Napa’s major First Street/California Boulevard/Second Street project being constructed and more on the planning books. For better or worse, a drive through Napa Valley by the mid-2020s could include several major roundabouts. The community won’t rival Carmel, Indiana—which claims to be the nation’s roundabout leader with more than 100 – but today’s drivers should notice a difference.
  • State Route 60 Truck Lane Project. Plan ahead! One lane on westbound Route 60 will be closed for approximately six months, starting in late August. Please expect delays, allow extra travel time, and avoid the area by using interstate 10 as an alternate route. Watch for updates regarding the start of this lane closure.
  • Caltrans set to pave State Route 37 in Vallejo. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled temporary one-lane closures on State Route 37 overnight between State Route-29 and Interstate 80 in Vallejo on weekdays this month to perform major pavement repair, the agency reported. One lane of SR-37 will be closed in each direction between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Monday through Friday from Aug. 13 through Aug. 24. One lane will always be open in each direction, officials said.
  • Caltrans Upgrading Drainage on State Route 41 in Mariposa County near Yosemite with $210,000 in SB 1 Funds. Caltrans is upgrading 19 culverts on State Route 41 in Mariposa County with funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The $210,000 project will fix underground drainage systems from south of Miami Mountain Road in the town of Fish Camp to just south of the Yosemite National Park boundary.
  • Transportation pilot programs show promise for reducing congestion at Lake Tahoe. New transportation pilot projects in North Lake Tahoe are showing promise for reducing congestion and improving circulation, Placer County staff recently reported. The county recently supported a series of public transit pilot projects and alternative transportation options aimed at reducing congestion and getting people out of their cars. To help reduce peak ski weekend traffic congestion into Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows resorts, the county is considering converting the road shoulders on California Route 89 into a third lane only accessible by public transit vehicles, encouraging the use of those services.
  • SB 1-Funded I-80 Donner Summit Pavement Project Beginning. Caltrans is set to begin pavement work on Interstate 80 from the Troy Undercrossing to Donner Pass Road in Truckee to address rutting caused by heavy trucks traveling in the Sierra during winter months when chains are required. Work on the $7.5 million project is scheduled to begin Wednesday, August 14. $5 million in funding support is provided by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. “This segment of Interstate 80 in the Sierra experiences all weather conditions including frequent chain usage during winter storms,” said Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal. “With SB 1 funding, Caltrans is able to address the wear and tear caused by chains and heavy commercial truck traffic as goods are transported throughout the state and beyond.”
  • State Route 99 widening under way. Users of the highway should expect delays through Friday as work on the widening of State Route 99 goes forward. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the contractor, Security Paving Company, will work on the highway at night, between Avenue 12 and Avenue 17 for the widening project, that will increase the lanes on that stretch of road from four to six.
  • Caltrans Soliciting Bids On $31 Million Contract For Last Chance Grade Environmental Phase. Caltrans has entered phase two in its preliminary geotechnical studies of Last Chance Grade and is currently seeking a contractor to see the projectthrough its environmental phase. The agency began collecting data this week on how much movement is occurring at the slide-prone area south of Crescent City, said project manager Jaime Matteoli. The information is necessary to refine alternatives proposed for a bypass of U.S. 101 around the slide. he said.
  • Idyllwild businesses rebounding now that Highway 74 is open weekends. 💲 Every table inside and outside Idyllwild’s Red Kettle was occupied when Gerry Adams and Haydee Romero ordered breakfast. While waiting for her omelette and his oatmeal Saturday morning, Aug. 10, the Menifee couple took iPhone photos of humorous signs on the home-cooking restaurant’s wall. One read: “$5 charge for whining.” Another: “Complaints to the cook may be hazardous to your health.” “We just drove up on a whim,” Adams said. “It’s a beautiful day and we thought it would be beautiful up here. And it is. It’s gorgeous.”
  • MORE SIGNS, STRIPING FOR 120 BYPASS. Caltrans is hoping a few more signs and modified lane striping will help reduce the carnage on the eastbound 120 Bypass while they work toward getting the first phase of a $131.5 million project designed to improve vehicle movements and capacity in place by 2023. It is the result of a new partnership between Caltrans, San Joaquin Council of Governments the City of Manteca and the California Highway Patrol. The agencies recently formed a Road Safety Assessment Task Force to review traffic  accidents on the 120 Bypass, discuss safety concerns, and collaborate to identify meaningful steps to help limit the likelihood of future accidents.
  • State awards $19.9M for Richmond-San Rafael Bridge repairs. The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is set to get an $85 million makeover next year with the help of nearly $20 million  in state funds approved on Thursday. Caltrans plans to repaint the lower deck and towers to protect the steel and replace 30 expansion joints on the lower deck. The joints allow the bridge to adjust to changes in temperature and vibrations. This work follows a recently completed, multi-million emergency project that replaced 31 of the expansion joints on the upper deck. Structural issues surrounding an expansion joint were found to have caused at least two incidents of concrete falling on the lower deck between February and April.
  • LA unveils ‘rainbow halo’ roadside memorials for crash victims. The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is set to get an $85 million makeover next year with the help of nearly $20 million in state funds approved on Thursday. Caltrans plans to repaint the lower deck and towers to protect the steel and replace 30 expansion joints on the lower deck. The joints allow the bridge to adjust to changes in temperature and vibrations. This work follows a recently completed, multi-million emergency project that replaced 31 of the expansion joints on the upper deck. Structural issues surrounding an expansion joint were found to have caused at least two incidents of concrete falling on the lower deck between February and April.
  • Updates to Highway Logs. As a way to keep track of the immense amount of data regarding old highways, I created highway logs to store the data. They were originally designed after 1940’s state highway logs from the Division of Highways. I have made them available on this website on my Site Documents page. The logs for US 6 and US 99 have recently been updated and have been uploaded.
  • Construction Progress: LA Metropolitan Freeways, 1952. Twitter post with graphic: #ThrowbackThursday 1952 – District 7’s first freeways: Ramona Fwy now San Bernardino Fwy (I-10); Los Angeles River Fwy now Long Beach Fwy (I-710); Colorado Fwy incorporated into Foothill Fwy (I-210). #LosAngelesFreeways #TBT
  • In California: World’s largest highway overpass for wildlife on track outside L.A.. Like many urban singles, the mountain lion P-22 lives a solitary life in a too-small habitat. And he has a hard time finding a mate in the big city. Famous for traveling across two freeways and making a huge Los Angeles park his home, the lonesome big cat has become a symbol of the shrinking genetic diversity of wild animals that must remain all but trapped by sprawling development or risk becoming roadkill.
  • Caltrans District 11 – Posts. The SR-163 Friars Road Interchange Project is a few months away from completion. A major traffic change will begin Wednesday at 5 a.m. due to the permanent closure of the northbound SR-163 ramp to eastbound Friars Road and a new traffic signal on eastbound Friars Road.
  • The 101 Will Feature The World’s Largest Highway Overpass For Wildlife By 2023. Just a couple of weeks ago, mountain lion P-61 made headlines when he traveled across two freeways to make a huge Los Angeles park his new home. What may seem like an easy cross is, in reality, a dangerous treck for the city’s constantly shrinking mountain lion population, posing a great risk of becoming roadkill to the species.
  • New lanes, exits coming to I-680 through Fremont: Roadshow. 💲 Q: When I read the Caltrans website describing the Interstate 680 work from Auto Mall Parkway north to Highway 84, it appeared that an express lane was going to be added on the left, and an exit/merge lane was going on the right. However, it looks like there will be no exit/merge lane between Auto Mall and Mission. If this is the case, it will be a big mistake and a missed opportunity to improve the traffic flow in this area. Any updates?
  • California freeway crossing to give wildlife room to roam. Like many urban singles, the mountain lion P-22 lives a solitary life in a too-small habitat. And he has a hard time finding a mate in the big city. Famous for traveling across two freeways and making a huge Los Angeles park his home, the lonesome big cat has become a symbol of the shrinking genetic diversity of wild animals that must remain all but trapped by sprawling development or risk becoming roadkill.
  • Commission allocates more than $1 billion for work on California’s State Highway System. The California Transportation Commission has allocated more than $1.1 billion for a total of 133 State Highway Operation and Protection Program, or SHOPP, projects throughout California, including almost $994 million for 47 fix-it-first projects funded by Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. [Lake County] state highway projects allocated SB 1 funds include the following.
  • Hwy 99 gets $1.8M in Tulare County. Keeping the San Joaquin Valley the most productive farmland in the nation requires flowing water in and roads to carry the food out. Highway 99 is the main arterial pumping food to sea and airports to nourish the global food demand and it will soon get $1.8 million to not only keep the trucks moving to market but also keep the water flowing across the vital roadway. On Monday, Aug. 19, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated almost $1.8 million to upgrade water, sewer and irrigation facilities along State Route 99 at the Philip S. Raine Safety Roadside Rest Area near the town of Tipton in Tulare County. The entire project is estimated to cost $12.6 million. It was part of almost $994 million for 47 fix-it-first projects funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 better known as the Gas Tax.
  • Officials plan safety improvements for accident-prone Highway 395. On March 29, 2018, at about 7:30 a.m., a 70-year-old man and 62-year-old woman, both of Ridgecrest, were driving southbound in their Toyota on a stretch of U.S. Highway 395 north of Kramer Junction. Traveling in the opposite direction was a 48-year-old man from Fullerton, in a Ford F-150. “As the driver of the Ford approached a crest in the roadway,” California Highway Patrol officials later said, “he initiated an unsafe pass by crossing the solid yellow line delineating the northbound lane. The Ford entered the southbound lane in the direct path of the Toyota.”
  • Expect Delays as Caltrans Continues Work on State Rte. 166 East of Santa Maria. Caltrans is continuing a project to resurface about 35 miles of State Route 166 from west of the Carrizo Canyon Bridge to the Cuyama Canyon Bridge. Motorists will encounter lane closures and one-way reversing traffic control 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays. Construction during the overnight hours will occur 7-11:55 p.m. Sundays, 6 p.m.-6 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11:55 p.m.-6 am. Fridays.
  • Waze Hijacked LA Neighborhoods. Can Traffic Apps Be Stopped?. Level 1 is where you start. The higher echelons of control come only with obsession. You jack in for 45 minutes on your lunch hour. Afternoon coffee break. At night when your spouse imagines you’re cranking away on that office project. They have no idea. But when your fingers brush the keys, out there on the very real streets of Los Angeles, traffic shifts and undulates, like rainwater cutting a path. Homeowners wake up to find themselves trapped in a pop-up freeway hell that makes it nearly impossible to exit their driveways. The transportation officials and the council members and the whining neighborhood associations are mere spectators. The gamers won. The algorithm is God. Technology has spoken, and you know your supporting role. The unheralded superhero in this movie, giving every Angeleno the power to take back the streets.
  • Repairs completed on crumbling Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Caltrans has completed joint replacement work on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge, more than six months after chunks of the aging structure fell into traffic. The agency began repairs to the bridge after a large concrete chunk hit a car on the lower deck of the bridge the morning of Feb. 7 and more concrete fell in the afternoon. No one was injured, but the bridge was closed for much of the day.
  • More than a billion dollars allocated to continue work on California’s State Highway system. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $1.1 billion for a total of 133 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects throughout California, including almost $994 million for 47 fix-it-first projects funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. [Porterville] Area projects allocated funds include:
  • SB 1 Funding Allocates Nearly $315M to LA County Highway Projects. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $1.1 billion for a total of 133 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects throughout California, including almost $994 million for 47 fix-it-first projects funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. [Los Angeles and Ventura] Area state highway projects allocated SB 1 funds include:
  • 210 Freeway/Gold Line Barrier Project Slated for Fall 2020 Construction Start. Tall Gold Line barriers will come to those who wait. An out-of-control car from the 210 Freeway has, again, landed on the Gold Line Metro tracks, and the answer to the question of exactly when the planned barrier between the two byways will be erected is finally set:  Fall 2020. The mishap occurred Aug. 15, when a collision sent a car flying onto the tracks where it caught fire. The driver suffered minor injuries. The accident took place at about 6:15 p.m., near Sierra Madre Boulevard. The Gold line was shut down for about two hours, according to media reports. It was the eleventh such incursion onto a six-mile stretch of Metro Gold Line tracks by cars knocked from the 210 Freeway. Each time, the Gold Line has been closed, sometimes for weeks, in order to repair the damage.
  • Caltrans earmarks $2.2 million for culvert project. 💲 Rehabilitation of four culverts along State Route 115 near Holtville and another six along State Route 78 near Palo Verde are among $1.1 billion in State Highway Operation and Protection Program projects statewide announced by the California Transportation Commission on Monday.
  • New Signs Prompt Pedestrians, Cyclists To Avoid Hwy. 9 In Felton. New signs and crosswalk improvements, designed to keep pedestrians and cyclists safer and off Highway 9 in Felton, have been installed. The signs provide direction for pedestrians and cyclists — including students at San Lorenzo Valley School District campus — through residential neighborhoods and into downtown Felton while avoiding Highway 9.
  • Caltrans — Highway 1/Mud Creek Emergency Restoration – America’s Transportation Awards. VOTE NOW: Caltrans — Highway 1/Mud Creek Emergency Restoration.  After a winter of record rainfall totaling more than 100 inches in California’s southern Monterey County, a mudslide sent nearly six million cubic yards of material into the Pacific Ocean and buried State Route 1; the biggest landslide to ever hit the Big Sur coast. While millions of people witnessed the devastation, Caltrans engineers knew that previous methods used to evaluate and remove mudslide residue would no longer be environmentally-practical or safe. Working alongside geologists, they developed an innovative and environmentally-sound solution to combat the devastation caused by the mudslide, while restoring and reopening the highway. As part of this $54 million restoration project, geotechnical and surveying technology helped ensure worker safety, categorize the different types of materials involved in the mudslide, and ultimately develop remediation solutions. Land-based radar continuously monitored the active landslide for any movement. …
  • On California’s Lost Coast: Sea Lions, Surf and Squiggly Roads. On a deserted beach in Northern California, I mistook a sea lion for driftwood. The Lost Coast is deceiving that way. Wild things appear tame and tame things, like the paved road my family and I took to get here, wild.
  • Tahoe Regional Planning Agency hosting meeting on Loop Road ‘Main Street’ plan. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is hosting an open house Tuesday on the U.S. 50 Main Street Management Plan. The Main Street Management Plan pertains to the U.S. 50 South Shore Community Revitalization Project, more commonly referred to as the Loop Road. The plan calls for realigning U.S. 50 behind on the casino corridor and Heavenly Village area — from Pioneer Trail on the California side to Lake Parkway on the Nevada side. The current U.S. 50 alignment through the area is intended to become a “main street” area.
  • Caltrans considers complete closure of Hwy. 50 over Echo Summit this September. A project on Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe could have a huge impact for residents as Caltrans begins demolition work on the Echo Summit Bridge. The Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct Project would affect the area for 14 days starting in September, according to Caltrans District 3. The $14.1 million project is set to improve safety along the section of Hwy. 50 in El Dorado County known as “Upper Meyers Grade at Echo Summit,” and the construction zone will extend from the Caltrans Echo Summit Maintenance Station east for 1.2 miles.
  • Plans Detailed For Increased Travel On SR-243, SR-74 To Idyllwild. State officials confirmed Wednesday that beginning this holiday weekend, day and night guided access along state Route 74 through the San Bernardino National Forest will be available, and in two months, limited travel will be allowed on the northern half of state Route 243, where the road collapsed months ago during heavy downpours.
  • Expanded Travel Options Expected On Damaged Highway To Idyllwild. State officials are slated Tuesday to announce the start of day and night guided access along state Route 74 through the San Bernardino National Forest, as well as provide updates on progress repairing that highway and state Route 243 between Idyllwild and Banning.
  • Officials question proposed highway roundabout. The Council of San Benito County Governments delayed a presentation and request for guidance regarding the proposed $10.7 million roundabout at the intersection of Highways 25 and 156 at its Aug. 15 meeting. The presentation is expected to go before the COG board of directors again next month, with hopes that Caltrans District 5 Director Timothy Gubbins will address some concerns about the project. However, the delay did not stop the public and COG directors from speaking against the project.
  • Campaign Under Way to Name Highway After Chiura Obata. An effort is under way to name a highway in California after artist Chiura Obata (1885-1975). Introduced by Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) on July 2, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 112 proposes a “Chiura Obata Great Nature Memorial Highway” on Highway 120, located on the Eastern California state entrance of Yosemite National Park. The highway would be a five-mile portion of Tioga Road. Any portion of Highway 120 within Yosemite National Park cannot be named by the state because it is federal land.
  • State Route 74 Raised Curby Median Safety Project Set to Begin. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin a $20 million safety project after the Labor Day holiday to construct a raised curb median with access points and left turn lanes on State Route 74 (SR-74) at various locations from Acacia Avenue to Interstate 215. The contractor, Granite Construction Company, will begin work on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. The first operation of work will be to place construction area signs within the project limits. The work hours will be 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No lane closures will take place next week. The project is estimated to be complete in February 2021.
  • Glendale Bridge over the LA River Moving Forward. If you’re able to keep up with all LA River news, you can now add the Glendale Bridge to a growing roster of spanage in the Elysian Valley area. Already within six miles, three other bridges are in various states of construction, not to mention the future Bob Hope Bridge to be built further west in Burbank.  Poor little Sunnynook, let’s hope no one forgets you… On Tuesday, The Glendale City Council voted unanimously 5-0 to appropriate $18.75 million of Proposition 68 funds towards the third and largest phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk for the new bridge by the northeast corner of Griffith Park.
  • Caltrans & Pacifica celebrate the opening of a new pedestrian/bicycle overcrossing spanning Hwy 1. Twitter post.
  • Security 101: A Physical and Cybersecurity Primer for Transportation Agencies. Since 2009, when NCHRP’s last Security 101 report was released, there have been significant advances in transportation security approaches, including new strategies, programs, and ways of doing business that have increased the security of transportation systems as well as ensured their resiliency.  Hazards and threats to the system have also continued to evolve since 2009. While the incidence of large-scale terrorist attacks has remained small, transportation agencies are at increasingly greater risk from system-disrupting events due to natural causes, unintentional human intervention, and intentional criminal acts, such as active-shooter incidents. Cyber risks also are increasing, and can impact not only data, but the control systems – like tunnel-ventilation systems – operated by transportation agencies.
  • More Than a Billion Dollars Allocated to Continue Work on California’s State Highway System. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $1.1 billion for a total of 133 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects throughout California, including almost $994 million for 47 fix-it-first projects funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. [SLO area] state highway projects allocated SB 1 funds include:…
  • Caltrans seeks to steamroll bill to include bike lanes, crosswalks in road projects. To state Sen. Scott Wiener, the idea seemed simple. The streets aren’t just for cars anymore, so bike lanes and crosswalks should be a fundamental part of their design — as basic as the asphalt on the roadway.  But his “Complete Streets” bill, which would require Caltrans to consider these safety elements whenever it starts a road project, has hit resistance from the state transportation agency. In a recent financial analysis, Caltrans estimated that SB127 would cost more than $1 billion a year, or $4.5 million for each mile of blacktop. Caltrans officials said the state may lose its federal highway funds if the bill passes.
  • Fountain Valley’s Slater Avenue bridge over 405 will open to drivers Thursday night – Orange County Register.💲 Eleven months after it closed to traffic, the rebuilt Slater Avenue bridge in Fountain Valley will debut late Thursday night, Aug. 29, in time for Friday morning traffic. No, there will not be a midnight ribbon cutting ceremony. “But the surrounding community is well aware of the big event,” said Jeff Mills, program manager at Orange County Transportation Authority. “They have been very patient.”

Gribblenation (nee Sure Why Not?) Blog (Tom Fearer)

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