🛣 Headlines About California Highways – November 2020

Boy, it’s been quiet on this blog.

There are a lot of reasons. Theatre has been on hiatus since COVID hit, meaning my weekly (or more) theatre, and thus theatre reviews, have been on hiatus. I’ve been writing about politics, but that’s been ephemerally over on Facebook… and it has been politics or COVID dominating the news. Further, for some reason, Westhost was very slow when I would try to update the blog (the server wasn’t provisioned right), so I hesitated to do updates here. Now, combine that with the blur that has been 2020: this is been both the seemingly fastest year in memory as all the markers between work and home life are blurred when your “office” is a 90° turn of your office chair and there are no vacations; it is also the seemingly slowest year in memory as it has been an endless political season, with endless Coronavirus news, and seemingly no end until we start to return to normal. But take heart: with this batch of headlines, we’re crossing into December. We’re rapidly approaching 2021, with a new incoming administration, and vaccines on the horizon. Perhaps normal will return in 2021.

But there is one thing that does go on: headlines and news about California’s highways. Here is my monthly collection of articles I’ve found through various sources, posted here both for your enjoyment, and so I can find the information when I do my next batch of updates to the California Highway pages. As always…. ready, set, discuss.

[📃 Historical information | 💰 Paywalls and 🚫 other annoying restrictions: LAT/LA Times; SJMN/Mercury News; OCR/Orange County Register; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; PE/Press Enterprise; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; NVR/Napa Valley Register; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; SONN/Sonoma News; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; PD/Press Democrat; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal]

  • South Pasadena gets funds for new ramps at the 110 and Fair Oaks, an interchange untouched for nearly 90 years. Fair Oaks Avenue runs like an arrow through the heart of the quaint city of South Pasadena, home of shops, restaurants and the historic Rialto Theatre. But during commuting hours, it resembles a parking lot, jammed with bumper-to-bumper congestion to the point where many commuters using the Waze app take Fremont Avenue and side streets, causing a second set of traffic problems for the residential city.
  • I-15/SR 78 Managed Lanes Direct Connectors Project I-15/Rte 78. Continued residential and economic growth along the east-west State Route 78 (SR 78) corridor in the cities of Escondido and San Marcos has placed strain on its connection to and from Interstate 15 (I-15), a major north-south managed Express Lanes system in San Diego County. New direct connectors between the existing I-15 Express Lanes and three miles of new Managed Lanes on SR 78 are intended to improve connectivity and traffic flow on and between the two corridors, increase access to homes and jobs, and improve overall quality of life in north inland San Diego County. Managed Lanes are a tool that help to increase freeway capacity and manage congestion by prioritizing carpool, vanpool and transit, and may allow solo drivers to travel if they are wiling to pay a fare, an alternative to traveling in the regular lanes. The I-15 Express Lanes system is a Managed Lanes system. The interchange improvements are being coordinated alongside the development of a Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan (CMCP) which will look holistically at integrating and improving all modes of transportation in the north inland region, and aid in meeting specific greenhouse gas reduction goals, reducing vehicle trips, and minimizing the overall time people spend in the car.
  • After years of delays, Caltrans set to expand Highway 156. The daily commute on Highway 156 can be a drag, especially during the busier peak hour traffic times. But Caltrans announced last week that a new road expansion project is coming soon in hopes of reducing some of traffic congestion and saving millions in vehicle operating and accident costs. The San Benito Route 156 Improvement Project will be a five-mile, 4-lane expressway between The Alameda in San Juan Bautista to the Business Route on Highway 156 near Hollister.
  • What’s best for Gleason Beach? The iconic Gleason Beach / Scotty Creek watershed presents a prime example of a place where early pioneering settlers, digging out a dirt road by hand and horse-drawn equipment, followed the shortest distance between two points. Before contemporary land use planning was even a thing here, a precarious subdivision was sold off and houses built on an already-crumbling cliffside that has, quite predictably, continued to crumble.
  • Addressing Highway 92 traffic could carry toll. Every once in a while, a Coastsider will propose adding a toll to Highway 92 to keep visitor traffic at bay. Transportation experts say it’s not a bad idea, as “congestion pricing” is an increasingly popular way to deter solo drivers from busy areas during peak times. It’s not likely, either. While tolls aren’t new to the Bay Area, they’ve never been tested on the Coastside, and no local agencies are moving to charge drivers as they come over the hill.

  • Flatiron to Deliver $54M SR 20 Timbuctoo Roadway Project. Flatiron crews are making significant progress on the $54 million State Route 20 Timbuctoo Roadway Project taking place a half-mile east of the Yuba River in eastern Yuba County, Calif. The project, financed by state and federal dollars, began last February, with delivery anticipated in September 2021. Flatiron is ahead of schedule with a projected winter 2021 final construction. The initiative is upgrading a 2-mi. section of SR 20 from the Yuba River Bridge to approximately 1/3-mi. east of Smartsville Road, as well as straightening curves on a section of the highway, widening segments of highway to create uniform 12-ft. wide lanes and shoulders to a standard 8-ft. width, constructing a new bridge on the realigned section of highway and increasing sight distances for motorists traveling on the highway.
  • 📃 The Lincoln Highway, EL Dorado County, Johnson’s Pass, Part 5. We continue our adventure up Meyer’s Grade near Lake Tahoe on the old Lincoln Highway. This climb was the last major difficulty for emigrants in the 1850s who had come to settle in California or gather its riches and head back home. Early automobiles would often break down under the climb’s strain, and reaching Johnson’s Pass was a major relief, as it was mostly downhill to Sacramento.
  • 📃 The Lodge at Echo Summit, Lincoln Highway, Part 6. The early autoist would have finally reached Johnsons Pass after climbing up the very steep Meyer’s Grade from the Tahoe Valley floor. These old autos would need supplies like water and oil once they reached the summit, as they were always leaking or burning up fluids. Fortunately, entrepreneur TC Wholbrick had built an early service station and food stop that he called a “Canteen.” We have talked about TC and his Canteens, here. While there had been a small forest service cabin here, TC added to it creating the building we see in the above photo.
  • 💰/PD California Coastal Commission OKs highway realignment on Sonoma Coast near Gleason Beach. The California Coastal Commission has unanimously granted Caltrans approval to realign Highway 1 on the Sonoma Coast, a $34 million project that will shift the roadway about 400 feet inland and create an 850-foot bridge spanning Scotty Creek, which flows to the ocean at a popular beach between Bodega Bay and Jenner. In a hearing Friday, the 12-member commission and its staff acknowledged the structure’s imposing scale and inevitable alteration of the scenic viewshed but also praised the multiagency effort to produce a long-term solution to continued, rapid erosion of the bluffs.
  • 💰/SONN Boyes Boulevard Bridge halfway to completion. The quiet Boyes Boulevard neighborhood next to Sonoma Creek has been quieter than usual this past year, as on-going work on the Boyes Boulevard Bridge has reduced cross-town traffic between Arnold Drive and Sonoma Highway. The work, which began over a year ago in September of 2019, shut down the bridge for several months extending into the first part of 2020, during which time a pedestrian bridge was set up for foot-traffic over the creek, and utilities relocated to a temporary bridge But this summer the bridge was completely removed, and now it’s undergoing the major work it has long needed to improve drainage, lighting and roadway approaches. The concrete abutments are nearly complete, and the surrounding slopes are being restored. “Soon, the precast girders that are the substructure of the bridge will be set in place. This will be followed by construction of the bridge deck,” said Dan Virkstis of the county’s Transportation and Public Works department.
  • Metro Considering Modernizing Highway Program – Making Funds More Flexible. A lot of the general public thinks that Metro is all about transit, but this is not the case. Both of Metro’s recent countywide sales tax measures – Measure R and Measure M – included extensive funding for expanding capacity on L.A. freeways. There are also other pots of Metro money that fund projects that encourage more driving – especially the “local return” sales tax revenue that Metro passes along to municipalities to use for transportation purposes as they see fit. Nearly all local return goes to projects for cars.
  • 📃 Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads – Historic 99 Association? I’ve been doing a bit of thinking lately regarding a 99 association here in California. I can’t seem to find one that exists. There are ones for US 6, US 66, the Lincoln Highway, and US 80. US 99, one of the most important roads in California, doesn’t have one. So, I am looking into creating one. Things are very preliminary at this point. The group would help increase awareness of the roads history, work with tourism and business groups to promote the road, work to save historic sections / buildings / bridges. Having a statewide organization would help further these goals.
  • 💰/PD California Coastal Commission OKs highway realignment on Sonoma Coast near Gleason Beach. The California Coastal Commission has unanimously granted Caltrans approval to realign Highway 1 on the Sonoma Coast, a $34 million project that will shift the roadway about 400 feet inland and create an 850-foot bridge spanning Scotty Creek, which flows to the ocean at a popular beach between Bodega Bay and Jenner. In a hearing Friday, the 12-member commission and its staff acknowledged the structure’s imposing scale and inevitable alteration of the scenic viewshed but also praised the multiagency effort to produce a long-term solution to continued, rapid erosion of the bluffs.
  • Caltrans set to begin freeway work near Red Top Road. Crews will be working on the Interstate 80/Interstate 680/Highway 12 interchange starting at 9 p.m. Thursday. Eastbound Highway 12 at Red Top Road will be closed until 5 a.m. Friday to install temporary barriers on the highway, the state Department of Transportation said in a statement. Motorists will be detoured to Red Top Road to connect to eastbound I-80, Caltrans reports.
  • 💰/SONN Sonoma County nears completion of 51 miles of resurfacing projects. The County of Sonoma Department of Transportation and Public Works (TPW) is nearing completion of its summer 2020 construction schedule, including the resurfacing of 51 miles of roadway in unincorporated Sonoma County. The 2020 schedule surpasses the number of miles repaved in both 2018 (45.80 miles) and 2019 (47.35 miles), according to the TPW. In addition to road resurfacing, there are two county bridge replacements underway to meet seismic requirements, including Wohler Road bridge in Forestville and the Boyes Boulevard bridge in Sonoma. “During this time of year, Sonoma County residents are used to seeing our work crews on road construction sites throughout the county. It is always gratifying when we can see the result and benefit of that labor and investment,” said 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin, in a press release on the status of the the road repaving projects. “As the 2020 season comes to a close, we can check another 51 miles off the list. And with dozens of other infrastructure projects underway, I want to applaud our hard-working team members out there getting it done for Sonoma County residents.”
  • Happy 84th Anniversary, Bay Bridge. This week marks the 84th anniversary of the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge(link is external). The span opened Nov. 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge is the region’s workhorse bridge, carrying more than a third of the traffic of all of the state-owned bridges combined. The MTC Library recently uncovered a document that is a fun read for fans of the Bay Bridge and history.
  • Caltrans Releases State Route 49 Safety Assessment Report. Caltrans is releasing today the State Route (SR) 49 Safety Assessment Report highlighting safety findings and proposed improvements to the corridor between Interstate 80 in Auburn and McKnight Way in Grass Valley. In February 2020, a team including Caltrans and its transportation partners embarked on a safety assessment of the SR-49 corridor to identify safety-related improvements that could be installed in the very near term, identify enhancements that could be added to planned construction projects, and plan longer-term projects to improve corridor safety.
  • Public input sought on Highway 49 report. Caltrans on Monday released the State Route 49 Safety Assessment Report highlighting safety findings and proposed improvements to the corridor between Interstate 80 in Auburn and McKnight Way in Grass Valley. In February 2020, a team including Caltrans and its transportation partners embarked on a safety assessment of the SR-49 corridor to identify safety-related improvements that could be installed in the very near term, identify enhancements that could be added to planned construction projects, and plan longer-term projects to improve corridor safety.
  • Caltrans to repair Highway 38. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has initiated a $3.5 million Director’s Order to begin an emergency project to repair damages to State Route 38 (SR 38) as the result of the El Dorado wildfire. The project limits are from Thurman Flats to Glass Road. The project has been awarded to Riverside Construction Company, Inc. and began on Friday, Oct. 2. The work will stabilize slopes, remove debris and hazardous/burned trees, excavate and clear culverts and inlet basins (post-fire debris flow basins), replace debris racks, and include rock slope scaling. For the duration of the work, from Monday, Nov. 16 through Friday, Nov. 20 1-way traffic control will be in effect with intermittent full closures that may last 10 to 15 minutes each. Work is scheduled to take place between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Highway 41 project in Atascadero includes new bike path, sidewalks. A project to install curb ramps and pathways compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) on Highway 41 from San Gabriel Road to Atascadero Avenue continues with the addition of new sidewalks and a bicycle path that will enhance safety in the corridor. In addition, drainage upgrades included replacing open ditches with underground culverts before new sidewalks and pedestrian/bike paths were constructed on top. The electrical systems for the traffic signals and poles were upgraded and the roadway widened in some locations
  • I-80 Six Bridges Project: Caltrans To Close Springs Road Bridge. Caltrans is set to begin construction on the Interstate 80 Six Bridges Project in Vallejo, which entails increasing the vertical clearance on six overcrossings that cross over Interstate Highway 80 just north of the Carquinez Bridge in the city of Vallejo. Caltrans will work on the bridges one at a time, starting with Springs Road, followed by Magazine Street, Benicia Road, Georgia Street, Tennessee Street and Redwood Street, respectively.
  • 📃 Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads – Historic Highway 99 Association of California. After doing a bit more research and speaking with other groups, I have decided to move forward with my plan to create a new Highway 99 group. This will be a great opportunity to be more active in helping revive US 99 as well as historic businesses along the route. Some of the goals include historic route signage, events, tours, and public outreach. I will be submitting the paperwork for incorporating the association next week as a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation. Once the documents are accepted and certified, I will begin the process to obtain tax-exempt status from the IRS and California FTB. This process may take a while.
  • Highway 41 Construction Aims For May Completion Date. In early February, Caltrans began construction along Highway 41, near San Gabriel Road to the US 101/Highway 41 interchange, to install curb ramps and pathways compliant with the Americans Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as making modifications to the existing traffic signal. The project’s main goal was to make the entire area from Highway 101 to San Gabriel Road ADA compliant, pedestrian, and bicycle-friendly. In order to achieve their goal, Souza Engineering needed to upgrade and transform all the open drainage ditches into underground culverts complete with inlets and build sidewalks and bike paths on top.
  • Marin study to examine Highway 101 shoulders as bus lanes. Marin planners are preparing to study whether to use the southbound Highway 101 shoulder between Novato and San Rafael for buses when traffic slows to a crawl. The $350,000 study led by the Transportation Authority of Marin, or TAM, will look at the costs, benefits and hurdles of creating the potentially exclusive 12-mile long bus lane along one of the county’s more traffic-prone stretches of highway.
  • 💰/SFC S.F’s beloved Great Highway car closure at risk as drivers race through Sunset’s quiet streets. One of San Francisco’s greatest silver linings of this miserable year could evaporate like the midday fog. City officials shut the Great Highway, that long stretch of blessedly flat road running alongside Ocean Beach, to cars earlier this year because sand covered parts of it and made it impassable. They kept it closed to give people space to exercise while remaining socially distanced during the COVID-19 pandemic. And what a wonder it’s been. People bike, stroll, run, scoot, roller skate, skateboard and walk their dogs. Artists have used it as large canvas, and protesters have marched along it for racial justice.
  • Riverside County Projects Clear Hurdle for Competitive Grant Funding. The 71/91 Interchange in Corona moved a step closer to construction, following a recommendation by California Transportation Commission staff on November 16 to fund this project and two others in Riverside County. The CTC will vote December 2 and 3 on the recommendations, which were made through a statewide competitive grant process.
  • Caltrans District 5 to present Hwy 101 business plan to transportation leaders. Caltrans District 5 will host several online presentations over the next few months featuring the Caltrans U.S. Highway 101 Business Plan during Metropolitan Planning Organization/Regional Transportation Planning Agency board meetings. According to a recent release, Caltrans is developing this business plan collaboratively with the Central Coast Coalition, which is working to increase awareness that the corridor is a major economic asset to California and the nation while encouraging highway investments. The plan, which focuses on U.S. Highway 101 throughout District 5, will provide the data, strategy, and community support necessary to match corridor priorities with potential funding sources for the future implementation of projects.
  • California Transportation Commission Releases Staff Recommendations for $2B in Transportation Funding. California Transportation Commission (CTC) staff today released their recommendations for funding projects in three S.B. 1 (gas tax) programs for the next three years. The recommendations will be taken up by the CTC at its December 2 meeting. All three programs are competitive, meaning that agencies apply for the funding and projects must meet specific criteria in the guidelines for each program. For example, projects in the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program must be “designed to reduce congestion in highly traveled and highly congested corridors through performance improvements that balance transportation improvements, community impacts, and provide environmental benefits.”
  • 💰/SDUT Carlsbad Boulevard to become part of national bicycle route. Carlsbad Boulevard, the nearly seven-mile stretch of road also known as old Highway 101 through Carlsbad, is about to get a third designation — U.S. Bicycle Route 95. The recognition would make Carlsbad Boulevard part of a national network of routes intended to facilitate interstate travel by bicycle on roads and highways identified as suitable for cycling.
  • McGuire Virtual Town Hall To Focus On Last Chance Grade, Include Input from Huffman, Wood, Caltrans. Del Norte County’s state senator will focus on Last Chance Grade’s “long-term fix” at a Thursday town hall meeting that will include Congressman Jared Huffman and Assemblyman Jim Wood. State Sen. Mike McGuire’s virtual meeting will also include input from county supervisors Gerry Hemmingsen and Bob Berkowitz, Crescent City Mayor Blake Inscore and state and federal transportation officials.
  • Caltrans Plans To Spend 2021 Refining Alternate Routes Around Last Chance Grade, Continuing Emergency Work Needed To Keep Existing Highway Open. After a summer of flying drill rigs in by helicopter, collecting photogrammetry and LiDAR data around the Last Chance Grade site, Caltrans will spend next year refining alternatives for rerouting U.S. 101 around the landslide. Meanwhile, the state’s transportation agency received another $16 million — all the funding it needs — to keep the road’s current alignment operational, project manager Jaime Matteoli said Thursday.
  • SFMTA unforgivably says ‘the 101’ in a tweet. It’s a small word, just three letters, but when you put it front of the name of a highway in Northern California, you’re going to annoy people. In a Twitter post Monday afternoon, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency wrote, “ATTN: Report of a non-Muni collision on eastbound #BayBridge which is backing up traffic onto the 101.”
  • 💰/PD County eyes road upgrades as Measure DD passes. Voters this month agreed to lock in tens of millions of local dollars each year for road improvements and upgrades to Sonoma County’s bus network and bicycle and pedestrian paths, ensuring transportation officials have dedicated funds for infrastructure projects into 2045. In an countywide election that saw near-record turnout, Measure DD comfortably passed with 71% support, 4 points clear of the two-thirds majority it needed for approval. The extension of an existing quarter-cent sales tax won’t kick in until spring of 2025, but allows the county and its nine cities to start initial planning and grant work on the next generation of road and transportation projects. While Measure DD, also known as the Go Sonoma Act, carries forward similar objectives as Measure M, the 20-year tax that voters narrowly passed in 2004, it has a reconfigured spending plan for the projected $26 million in yearly revenue. No major projects were included in the renewal measure after the initial tax allocated 40% of its annual funds to widening Highway 101 from the Marin County line north to Windsor.
  • Marin-Sonoma Narrows highway project up for key funding vote. A project to address one of the worst traffic chokepoints in the North Bay is heading to a key vote that could bring it closer to completion. On Dec. 2, the California Transportation Commission is set to vote on appropriating $40.1 million to the Marin-Sonoma Narrows project. The state-led project aims to ease the heavy traffic congestion and long delays along 17 miles of Highway 101 between Novato and Petaluma where the highway narrows from three to two lanes. Before the pandemic, about 146,000 cars and about 6,900 trucks traveled that stretch of highway daily.
  • 📃 Slippery Ford to Strawberry on the Lincoln Highway, part 5. We have explored the Slippery Ford area on our eastward journey on the Lincoln Highway from Stateline to Placerville in part 4 of our El Dorado County Lincoln Highway adventure here. The Slippery Ford area is rich in history, and if you like hiking, it’s a great trip from Lover’s Leap campground to the Slippery Ford parking lot. If you are going to walk in both directions, we recommend starting at Lovers Leap campground and heading uphill first, then returning with the downhill, making it a bit easier to finish. The other option would be two cars with one parked at your destination. The walk is medium difficulty, though in the summer it can become scorching. The gravel roadbed has eroded in some areas making it difficult to walk over the small loose gravel.
  • 📃 Dog Valley to Truckee on the northern route of the Lincoln Highway, Part 4. We are now on our way up Henness Pass Road, leaving Verdi and headed towards the “First Summit.” The First Summit is where the emigrants then descended to Dog Valley to camp and feed their animals. The Lincoln Highway does not head down to the valley but follows a ridge above the valley.
  • 📃 Slippery Ford on the Lincoln Highways southern route, Part 4. When it comes to California history, Slippery Ford is a name and place that conjures up a terrifying chapter in transportation history. The name suggests that this river “ford” or crossing was dangerous. Indeed, until a bridge was built nearby, travelers would have to cross this portion of the American River by wading through, depending on the season, a shear film or torrent of cascading water. One slip and you and your wagon would slide down the river to a doubtful, likely painful outcome.
  • 📃 Verdi to Henness Pass Road on the old Lincoln Highway northern route, part 3. Dog Valley and Henness Pass Road from Verdi to Truckee is one of the most historic in California. Besides being the Lincoln Highway’s original route, this was also the Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road (DFDLWR), and before that, an emigrant trail.
  • California’s first diverging diamond interchange is in Manteca. California’s first diverging diamond interchange (DDI) has finally debuted in Manteca. Other states, like Nevada, have already installed a number of these unique designs over the years, but Manteca just cut the ribbon on on California’s first. That being said, drivers will still have to wait until Nov. 25 before they start cruising through it.
  • 💰/LAT Eroding coast paves way for ‘managed retreat’ in California. A few winding turns past Bodega Bay, along foggy bluffs and coastal prairie, relentless waves pound a crumbling stretch of coastline in dire need of saving. Here at Gleason Beach, once referred to as Malibu North, the beach gets drowned during high tide. Bits of concrete and rebar are all that remain of 11 cliff-top homes that have already surrendered to the sea. A graveyard of seawalls, smashed into pieces, litters the shore.
  • 💰/SBJ Placer-Sacramento Gateway Plan recommended for SB1 funding. Part of the long-term plan to relieve traffic congestion along the Interstate 80 corridor between Sacramento and Auburn was recommended for $67 million in state funding. Last week, the California Transportation Commission staff made its recommendations for $2 billion in new transportation projects over three years. That funding comes from Senate Bill 1, the 2017 gas tax. “The projects we’re recommending will boost the state’s economy and help transform our transportation system to become more efficient,” said California Transportation Commission Executive Director Mitch Weiss, in a news release. “We’re proposing large investments in transit and bicycling projects that will take cars off our roads, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in support of our climate goals.” The Placer-Sacramento Gateway Plan was one of seven projects around the state that was recommended for funding under the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program. The California Department of Transportation applied for the funds.
  • Local, state transit authorities invite comment on possible Highway 1 renovations. Santa Cruz County residents now have the opportunity to weigh in on the final environmental impact report for a proposed Highway 1 auxiliary project from the Bay Avenue/Porter Street exit in Capitola to the State Park Drive exit in Aptos. The project, intended to ease the traffic bottleneck between central and south county, includes the construction of auxiliary lanes in both directions on Highway 1; the implementation of bus-on-shoulder operations; a new overcrossing at Capitola Avenue with bicycle/pedestrian facilities; the first bicycle and pedestrian overcrossing at Mar Vista Drive and the installation of sound walls throughout.
  • Last Chance Grade project inching forward. Long-awaited plans to move the Last Chance Grade roadway for Highway 101 are moving forward, but a final solution is still likely a decade or longer away. During a town hall on the Last Chance Grade held last week, elected officials and representatives of the California Department of Transportation updated the progress on the project. While things are moving forward steadily, there is still a lot of work to do.
  • I-40 Colorado River Bridge Replacement Project EA 08-0R380 (PN 0812000067). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), proposes to replace the Colorado River Bridge (California BR. No. 54-0415, Arizona Bridge No. 957) spanning the California/Arizona state line on Interstate 40 (I-40). The purpose of the project is to improve the safety and integrity of the bridge by addressing deck deterioration and strengthening the girders to increase the load rating to accommodate all permitted vehicle traffic. The three Build Alternatives under consideration would either replace the bridge north, south, or on the existing bridge alignment, in addition to a No-Build Alternative. It is expected that the safety of the traveling public would be enhanced by introducing standard lane and shoulder widths, a standard median barrier, and a standard bridge railing system.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • California State Route 254; Avenue of the Giants and former US Route 101. In this article we look at the history of California State Route 254 which is more popularly known as Avenue of the Giants. Avenue of the Giants is a former segment of US Route 101/Redwood Highway.
  • The original US Route 99 alignment on Sign County Route J9/French Camp Road. The next AASHO Database article updates is for Sign County Route J9/French Camp Road. French Camp Road was part of the original alignment of US 99 south of Stockton which reached Manteca via Legislative Route 4 by way of French Camp. US 99/LRN 4 was moved to a new direct alignment from Stockton-Manteca which led to a request to extend US 48 from French Camp to Stockton. Ultimately US 48 would be truncated in 1929 when US 99 was split into US 99 West and US 99 East from Manteca-Stockton.
  • Hunting the early Lincoln Highway and US Route 48 from French Camp west of Altamont Pass. Update on the Stockton-Manteca US 99W/US 99E split which existed from 1929-1932: I’ll be revisiting some of our older articles pertaining to US Routes within California which had open mysteries pertaining to end points which now have answers due to the discovery of the AASHO Renumbering Database. One of those mysteries was the truncation of US Route 48 and it’s ultimate demise after being consumed by US 50. US 48 was first truncated from French Camp to Mossdale and from San Jose to Hayward in 1929. This truncation led to the creation of US 101E and the Stockton-Manteca US 99W/US 99E split. US 48 was completely consumed by US 50 by June 1931 when it was extend to Oakland by way of Altamont Pass. I was surprised at how close I had the story of US 48 in Altamont Pass article, but nonetheless the clarity of the AASHO Database brought welcome resolution.
  • The Vague Original Southern Terminus of US Route 91 in the Californian Mojave Desert. The next AASHO Database borne article update is to the early Southern Terminus shifts of US Route 91. The AASHO Database shows that the State of California requesting that US 91 be moved from Daggett to Barstow in January 1930. This request was approved by the AASHO Executive Committee in May of 1930 but the State of California wasn’t advised until November of said year. It would seem that despite the title of the article there isn’t much regarding the early terminus points of US 91 that is really “vague” or open to the imagination anymore.
  • Former US Route 99 in Modesto and the 7th Street Bridge. Recently I paid a visit to the City of Modesto of Stanislaus County to visit the former alignments of US Route 99. My interest in Modesto was spurred by the fact that the earliest alignment of US Route 99 in Modesto over the 7th Street Bridge is endangered.
  • California State Route 180 east of Fresno to Cedar Grove (Kings Canyon Highway). I overhauled the existing California State Route 180 from Minkler to Cedar Grove article. Said article now includes all the major parts of the construction of the Kings Canyon Highway between Grant Grove through Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove. The article now includes over 250 new pictures to better illustrate the epic drop from Grant Grove eastward into Kings Canyon. If you have the means tomorrow is the last day before CA 180 between Grant Grove and Cedar Grove closes for the winter.
  • Former US Route 99 in Weed (US Route 97 and California State Route 265 on Weed Boulevard). Weed Boulevard previously was the through segment of US Route 99 in downtown Weed of Siskiyou County, California. Presently segments of former US Route 99 on Weed Boulevard are retained in the State Highway System as US Route 97 and California State Route 265.
  • Interstate 5 in the Sacramento River Canyon. One of the more scenic segments of the Interstate system in California can be found on Interstate 5 from California State Route 151 in Shasta Lake City north through the Sacramento River Canyon to US Route 97 in Weed.
  • Sign County Route G15 and the 1923 Metz Tunnel. One of the more unique ways to get to the western annex of Pinnacles National Park requires an alternate route to US Route 101 via Sign County Route G15. Sign County Route G15 rides the edge of the Gabilan Range above Salinas Valley and provides a view of the 1923 Metz Tunnel.

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