🛣 Headlines About California Highways – April 2021

Yet another month rolls over, meaning its time for two things: (1) swapping to the other iPod Classic, and (2) a headline post. April was an interesting month. I’ve been slowly working through the headlines (I’m about halfway through March), so maybe I’ll be able to finish the highway page updates before the May headline post. April also saw me completing the Moderna Vaccine regime — and we may very well do a roadtrip today to celebrate and kill off podcasts: Route 118 to Route 23 to Route 126 to Route 150 to Route 33 to Route 166 to Route 99 to I-5 and back to Route 118.

So, first and foremost: <PUBLICSERVICEANNOUNCEMENT>You need a road trip. You can do it safest — for you and for others — if you are vaccinated. GO GET YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE. Anyone over 16 can. It DOES NOT implant a chip. It DOES NOT give you COVID. It’s been in use for four months, on top of all past testing, and is proving extremely safe. But more important: consider the safety vs. the alternative … getting COVID or living in fear of getting COVID. The vaccine will protect you, or at least make any case you contract much less serious. GO GET THE SHOT. </PUBLICSERVICEANNOUNCEMENT>

With that said, here are your headlines for April, together with other things I found of potential interest for the highway pages. Ready, set, discuss, … and get your shot.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls and  other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; DS/Desert Sun; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; EBT/East Bay Times; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; MIJ/Marin Independent-Journal; NVR/Napa Valley Register; PD/Press Democrat; AC/Argus Courier; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK) ]

Highway Headlines

  • Metro to present proposal to reduce much of Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock to one car lane each way. The push is on for a bus rapid transit (BRT) route through Eagle Rock that would reduce Colorado Boulevard to one car lane each way between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Linda Rosa Avenue. The car-lane reduction would create room for dedicated bus lanes and enhanced bike lanes, while preserving most on-street parking.
  • Antlers Bridge Replacement on I-5 (Shasta County, California). This $131M bridge was constructed on a new parallel alignment just east of the existing bridge, which spans the Sacramento River arm of Shasta Lake, California’s third largest lake and largest reservoir. The new bridges are twin cast-in-place segmental box girder superstructures consisting of 5 spans, 1,942’ long and 104’ wide connected with diaphragms at the piers as well as a full length closure pour, connecting the wings. The superstructure depth varies from 29’-6” deep to 12’ deep. The structure, designed for a 100-year life, consists of 13 million pounds of steel and more than 36,000 cubic yards of concrete.
  • Have a say in the future of Highway 37. Have thoughts on the future of Highway 37 in Vallejo? Share your views with Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and transportation agencies for Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties, who are seeking input. All will participate in an upcoming online public Townhall meeting hosted by senators Mike McGuire, D-North Coast and Bill Dodd, D-Solano. Agency officials are expected to discuss three coordinated planning efforts to develop solutions for improving Highway 37.
  • /DS State Route 62 road construction project set to begin next week. The initial stages of a road construction project set for more than 20 miles of Highway 62 in Riverside and San Bernardino counties will begin next week, and Caltrans urged motorists to brace for future delays. The $48 million project will see a new layer of pavement placed on two major segments of Highway 62. The first is from Indian Canyon Drive near Desert Hot Springs to roughly Yucca Mesa Road in Yucca Valley. The work will pick up again in Twentynine Palms, from Bermuda Avenue to near Utah Trail.
  • Caltrans awards millions for local roadway safety projects. Caltrans has awarded over $227 million to fund safety projects designed to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries on city and county roads. Funding is provided through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program. “Safety is always our number one priority,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “These projects will enhance systemwide safety features, including expanded access to protected walkways and bikeways, and will move us closer to our goal of reducing serious injuries and fatalities on California roadways.” San Benito County is included in the funding: …
  • Measure A paid for $14.6M in North County projects in 2019-20. Almost $14.6 million of Measure A funds were spent on North County transportation projects in the 2019-20 fiscal year, according to the annual report recently released by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. The expenditures bring the total amount of Measure A funds spent in the North County since the transportation sales tax was approved in 2008 to more than $157 million, according to the report.
  • California invests $491 million for transportation improvements. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) in late March allocated $491 million to address transportation needs throughout the state. This investment, which includes $273 million generated from Senate Bill 1 (SB1), known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, will repair highways and bridges and improve California’s growing network of mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian routes. … The following are a few projects aimed at improving or repairing some of the state’s roads and bridges. District 3 — Marysville …

  • PCH to open months ahead of schedule. Highway 1 through Big Sur will reopen by April 30, two months earlier than expected, Caltrans announced April 8. The section of the highway near Rat Creek closed after a Jan. 28 mudslide that washed about 150 feet of roadway into the sea. Caltrans expected the road to reopen in early summer, but good weather meant the agency was able to fast-forward work on the project. The closure means that communities on the coast of northern San Luis Obispo County, such as San Simeon and Cambria, have been cut off from a prime route for visitors from Northern California. The opening of the scenic stretch of Pacific Coast Highway, as well as the gradual relations of COVID-19 restrictions, could mean more visitors to those areas in the near future.
  • California Highway 1 along Big Sur to reopen by April 30, Caltrans says. Highway 1 along Big Sur is expected to reopen by April 30 because work to repair a huge piece of roadway that crumbled during a storm is nearly two months ahead of schedule, the California Department of Transportation announced Thursday. The scenic highway snaking through California’s rugged coastal cliffs has been closed since Jan. 28, when heavy rain triggered a landslide that carried a chunk of roadway into the sea. The washout left a 150-foot (46-meter) gap along the picturesque driving route.
  • /LAT California’s Highway 1 near Big Sur to reopen by April 30. Highway 1 along Big Sur is expected to reopen by April 30 because work to repair a huge piece of roadway that crumbled during a storm is nearly two months ahead of schedule, Caltrans announced Thursday. The scenic highway snaking through California’s rugged coastal cliffs has been closed since Jan. 28, when heavy rain triggered a landslide that carried a chunk of roadway into the sea. The washout left a 150-foot gap along the picturesque driving route.
  • CalTrans Announces Opening of New I-5 Carpool Lanes. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced that new High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV, or carpool) lanes are open to motorists on Northbound and Southbound Interstate 5 between the Ventura Freeway (State Route 134) interchange in Los Angeles and Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank. With the opening of this new 2.7-mile-long segment of carpool lanes, there remains only one final segment to complete in Burbank before motorists have continuous HOV lanes stretching more than 18 miles on I-5 from State Route 134 to State Route 14 (Antelope Valley Freeway) near Santa Clarita.
  • Highway 70 closing in Yuba County for construction. Motorists who travel in Yuba County via Highway 70 southbound should plan to take an alternate route over the weekend while the highway is closed for construction. According to Caltrans District 3, Highway 70 will be closed between Woodruff Lane and Laurellen Road Road from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m., Monday, April 12, as crews work to tie in the newly constructed Simmerly Slough Bridge with the existing highway. Butte County residents traveling southbound are advised to use Highway 99 southbound. Southbound motorists will be directed to take eastbound Woodruff Lane to Highway 20, then go west on Highway 20 to the junction of Highways 70 and 20 in Marysville.
  • Dodd, McGuire to hold town hall for SR-37 planning, ideas. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrans and transportation agencies for Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties are seeking public input on the future of State Route 37, frequently called Highway 37, at an upcoming online public town hall meeting. Senators Mike McGuire (D-North Coast) and Bill Dodd (D-Napa) will host the event on Thursday, April 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • /SDUT Ramona Planning Group asks county for road studies, safety upgrades in the Estates. With almost 2,300 signatures collected in support of improving traffic safety in San Diego Country Estates, the Ramona Community Planning Group voted April 1 to send a letter detailing their request for traffic studies and upgrades to county staff and county Supervisor Joel Anderson. The signatures were gathered over the past few months while residents worked with the Planning Group’s Transportation/Trails Subcommittee on addressing safety issues for busy streets in their neighborhoods.
  • Supervisors seek $159M in earmark funding for 5 projects. Two transportation projects totaling $8 million and two park projects top the list of priorities Solano County will submit for federal Community Project Funding. The list will go to Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, and Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, to be included among the 10 projects each can request for the earmark dollars. The first transportation project is for the Highway 37 and Fairgrounds Drive interchange project, which is viewed as critical for the Solano360 project as well as a general economic benefit to that part of Vallejo.
  • Ħ Sepulveda Canyon Boulevard to Open New Road to Ocean (FB). Photo of article from November 1923.
  • HWY 108 And Peaceful Oak Intersection Improvements Begin This Month. Caltrans is scheduled to begin work on the HWY 108/Peaceful Oak Interchange this month adding a westbound off-ramp and eastbound on-ramp. The interchange takes traffic from the highway to Mono Way and Peaceful Oak Road becomes Standard Road after it crosses Mono Way. Construction crews will also widen the overcrossing so that it can accommodate the addition of a westbound off-ramp.
  • Full Closures Slated For Highway 62 Near Desert Hot Springs Overnight. Motorists were urged to brace for delays beginning Sunday evening and into Monday due electrical work slated for Highway 62 near Desert Hot Springs. Southern California Edison crews will be working on a power pole at the Indian Canyon Drive intersection beginning at 11 p.m. Sunday through 10 a.m. Monday. Caltrans said crews will fully shut down the highway intermittently for 10-minute intervals during the course of the job.
  • Julia Louise Bogany, 1948-2021. It is with deep sadness and a sense of communal loss that we honor the passing of the Tongva Tribal elder Julia Louise Bogany “Wiseone.” A beloved cultural counselor, educator and leader among the Gabrieleño-Tongva people, Bogany worked for decades to increase knowledge, appreciation and support of Tongva language and cultural practice. She also served as the Cultural Affairs Officer for the Gabrieleño-Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians. Through story-sharing and research, Bogany informed numerous artworks in Southern California. Her imprint is felt across the Metro system through artworks such as the Gold Line Bridge by Andrew Leicester on the Eastbound I-210 Freeway in the City of Arcadia, The Crying Rock and Saint Monica at Downtown Santa Monica Station by Walter Hood, and future artworks by Audrey Chan, Mariana Castillo DeBall and Karl Haendel.
  • Hate the Gilman interchange? Safer routes for cars, cyclists and pedestrians are on the way. Seven years after the concept was first presented to the public, Caltrans is set to begin work on installing two roundabouts and a pedestrian/bike bridge by the Gilman Street interchange at I-80. Work on a bridge to the south of the exit will begin in May and work on the roundabouts will start in November, according to Janis Mara, a spokesperson for Caltrans. The two elements are scheduled to be completed in 2023.
  • Historic Highway 99 Association installs new signs, seeks to promote economic development. Calexico’s Public Works Department in March authorized the Historic Highway 99 Association of California to replace the deteriorated Historic Route 99 signs at two locations in the downtown area. “The goal is to promote and preserve of what is left of US Highway 99,” said Michael Ballard, president of the newly created Historic Highway 99 Association of California, a nonprofit organization formed in December 2020.
    📢 P.S.: This article has a nice photo of Michael.
  • Bridge Closures on Hwy 299 in Trinity County Next Week. The California Department of Transportation and Myers & Sons Construction will be conducting maintenance operations at several bridge locations along State Route 299 in Trinity County on April 12, 14 and 16. In order to complete the work, the bridges will need to be elevated several inches, which will require 60-minute road closures twice a day. In order to ensure the safety of the public and workers, no traffic will be allowed on the bridge during bridge jacking and bearing pad replacement operations.
  • California’s Legendary Highway 1 Will Reopen Before Summer. An Instagram-worthy stretch of Highway 1 in Northern California is scheduled to reopen ahead of schedule, just in time for summer. That portion of highway in Monterey County winds through rugged coastal cliffs, showing off sweeping Pacific Ocean views. It was forced to close in late January, after heavy rain triggered a mudslide so powerful that a chunk of the roadway was swept away, leaving a huge gap in one of the country’s most popular road trip routes.
  • Ħ April 14: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History. 1964: Consulting engineer Wilbur Smith and Associates presents the Beverly Hills Freeway Traffic Study to the Beverly Hills Director of Public Works.
    📢 This article has a nice map of the freeway and links to other resources.
  • Construction Resuming on Highway 174 Safety Improvement Project. Caltrans is scheduled to resume construction Monday, April 19 on a $27.1 million safety improvement project on State Route 174 between Maple Way and You Bet Road in Nevada County. The project, which began in August 2020, is realigning several curves, widening shoulders, adding a southbound left-turn pocket at Greenhorn Access Road and improving the clear recovery zone for errant vehicles to regain control. Traffic-interfering work will be performed during daylight hours, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. with occasional Saturdays. Reversing one-way traffic control will be used to manage traffic with 20-minute delays anticipated.
  • Ħ Tracing the treacherous Sanford Road in the Cajon Pass. For many years, I’ve been fascinated by accounts of pioneers who made the arduous journey from Salt Lake City to Southern California by wagon. I recently decided to retrace a section of the famous Sanford Road in the west Cajon Valley known as one of the most difficult parts of the entire trek. Sanford Road sometimes called “The Sanford Cutoff” was built in 1850 by William T.B. Sanford, and it holds historic significance as the earliest “passable” wagon road through the Cajon Pass.
  • Busy Highway 99 Bridge Is Among Fresno’s Most Structurally Deficient. What goes through your mind when you cross a bridge? Perhaps you don’t give it a thought. Or maybe you flash to the 2007 Mississippi River bridge collapse in Minneapolis that killed 13 and injured 145. In California, there are 1,536 bridges and over 14,220 miles of highway in poor condition, according to the Biden administration, which is pushing a $2.3 billion infrastructure package. Some of those bridges needing repair are in Fresno and other Valley locations.
  • Council Initiates Steps to Exit TCA. San Clemente is a step closer to formally ending its relationship with the Transportation Corridor Agencies, as the city council voted last week to pursue plans that would remove the city from the toll road operators’ governing boards, as well as cut off its statutory payments collected from local developers. Fueled by ongoing mistrust in the TCA’s commitments to support the completion of a free arterial thoroughfare instead of a toll road through San Clemente, councilmembers voted, 4-1, on Tuesday, April 6, to initiate the steps in exiting from the agencies’ boards of directors.
  • Caltrans and National Park Service Retrofit Project Helps Wildlife Cross Highway 118 in Ventura County, California. At the heart of the mitigation project are two goals: to create more habitat connectivity for diverse species of wildlife and to keep animals from becoming roadkill. The decade-long collaboration has led to retrofitting five drainage culverts to make them accessible for wildlife and adding fencing to funnel animals to them. Overall, the effort has involved an initial year-long study of wildlife movement, mortality, and crossing use, then the acquisition of funds for the retrofits followed by the construction work of modifying the culverts and adding fencing, and finally post-construction wildlife monitoring.
  • Caltrans Adds 5 EV Fast Chargers on US 395, Highway 58. Drivers of electric vehicles have new fast charge options on U.S. 395 in Inyo County and on State Route 58 in Kern County, the California Department of Transportation said Thursday. “These chargers bring increased mobility for travelers and residents to many of our long-distance destinations along California’s eastern corridor,” Caltrans District 9 Director Ryan Dermody said in a statement.
  • Drainage Culverts Retrofitted Into Wildlife Crossings In Ventura. Caltrans and the National Park Service have teamed up to help wildlife cross many different sections of a two-lane stretch of State Route 118 in Ventura County. Biologists have retrofitted five drainage culverts to help animals cross a 12-mile stretch of the highway. While two-lane highways like 118 may appear easier for wildlife to cross than the 118, biologists say looks are deceiving.
  • 5 Drainage Culverts Retrofitted For Safer Wildlife Crossing Along 12-Mile Stretch Of State Route 118 In Ventura County. More raccoons, possums, even a bear, are safely crossing a two-lane stretch of State Route 118 in Ventura County, thanks to a joint project between Caltrans and the National Park Service. Five drainage culverts have been retrofitted for wildlife and fences have been added to the areas to help wildlife cross State Route 118, according to the National Park Service. Biologists say a two-lane highway like State Route 118 appears easier to cross than a busier highway than the 101 Freeway, but are actually a bigger threat to wildlife.
  • Plan for permanent fixes to key California Wine Country connector Highway 37 take shape. After years of increasing traffic congestion, periodic highway flooding and levee breaks caused by rising tides and torrential rain, a three-pronged effort is being pursued to resolve this recurring scenario along a 21-mile section of State Route 37 from Highway 101 in Novato to Mare Island and I-80 including short term, interim and permanent remedies. The plan for the highway, which frequently sees 10-mile bottlenecks, a 30-minute morning commute and a 1.5-hour afternoon commute to and from Solano County, was discussed during a live, two-hour virtual Town Hall meeting Thursday with State Senators Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, serving as co-hosts with additional input from county supervisors and transportation officials from four North Bay counties including Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Solano.
  • State Route 132 Dakota Avenue to Gates Road Project DEIR (FB). Notice of Availability of Draft EIR. District 10 and our local partners will be hosting a virtual open house for the State Route 132 Dakota Avenue to Gates Road Project. The event begins at 6 pm on May 6, 2021. Please see below for full information, as well as online access & dates for the public comment period.
  • Hwy 1 at Rat Creek to reopen this Friday. Highway 1 at Rat Creek in the Big Sur area will reopen to traffic this Friday, April 23 at noon. It’s been closed since a debris flow washed away about 150 feet of the roadway during a heavy rainstorm on January 28. Road construction crews have been working to rebuild the section of the highway, using 45,000 cubic yards of dirt to fill the canyon in a triangle shape and laying a new roadway on top.
  • North Bay leaders layout plans for Hwy 37 traffic, flood protection improvements. A short-term traffic relief and flood protection project along Highway 37 between Sears Point and Mare Island could cost up to $400 million, North Bay officials said this week. Marin’s state senator, Mike McGuire, said at a Town Hall meeting Thursday that planning is underway on a project that would offer immediate solutions to the flood-prone, 21-mile freeway that serves 40,000 vehicles daily, along with logjams. Planners are considering a three-lane option with a moveable center barrier, a four-lane option with two lanes in each direction, or a part-time high-occupancy vehicle lane during peak hours.
  • Dodd has hope for Highway 37 traffic nightmare. State Sen. Bill Dodd doesn’t have a personal driver. And he doesn’t get whisked around the Bay Area in a private helicopter. So, much like thousands of motorists attempting to go from Solano County to Marin and Sonoma, Dodd has done his share of time in the notorious Highway 37 gridlock. Once it was the crunch time only Friday commute. Then commute time Monday through Friday. Now it’s pretty much any time after 1 p.m. And it’s as much fun as getting a tooth pulled. Without painkiller. By a dentist with severe rheumatoid arthritis.
  • /SFC HOV lanes on S.F.’s state highways? Muni is considering it. Key stretches of Highways 1 and 101 cutting through the Richmond District and Cow Hollow could get temporary HOV lanes as soon as this spring under a proposal the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors will consider Tuesday. The proposals are the latest in a nearly yearlong effort by the city’s largest transit agency to increase reliability as the pandemic reduced public transit services and turned more San Franciscans to getting around by car.
  • /SONN Highway 116 to be closed for repaving. Caltrans will pave Highway 116 between Lakeville Highway and Old Adobe Road between Petaluma and Sonoma, a 2.5-mile stretch of rural highway also known as Stage Gulch  Road. Ghilotti Brothers of San Rafael is the contractor for the $1 million project to pave the two-lane highway. Caltrans will work an expedited schedule, which started April 19 and the work will continue through early May. Caltrans will fully close the road on Monday and Tuesday during the project’s first week and Monday through Friday during the second week.
  • Ħ April 2021 Newsletter – Ridge Route Preservation Organization. Tracks of the Ridge Route: During the original paving of the Ridge Route from 1917-1920, various travelers left their marks on the road. While not intentional, they created a sort of “pseudo-fossil” and a window into the past. Tracks were left in the concrete from cars, people, and even animals. In one instance, you can see where the car tracks were poorly covered, creating a slightly bumpy surface and making the tire tracks even more apparent. These impressions are a part of the history of the Ridge Route and deserve to be preserved alongside the foundations of the cafes and gas stations along the way. They remain as one of the interesting aspects of the roadway. Next time you travel the Ridge Route, be on the lookout. Maybe you’ll spot a 100 year-old deer track?
  • Ħ Ridge Route Videos Update – Ridge Route Preservation Organization. We have been posting a few more videos on our YouTube channel and now on this site. Come check them out!
  • Ħ Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads – May Presentation. On Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 6 pm, I will hosting a presentation via Zoom on tips and tricks to finding old highways. Information on bridges, survey markers, and roadway striping will be covered. Learn what a “c-block or c-monument” is and how to find them. Learn how to identify bridges by their railing and construction. Join the meeting and learn! There will be time for questions as well. Registration is required.
  • Ħ Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads – Featured Image – 4/7/2021. Today’s featured image is a video. This was taken just a few days ago on the Old Ridge Route near Swede’s Cut. A rockfall in January 2021 has partially blocked the roadway with more material coming down in the near future. The rock, located in the Ridge Route member of the Ridge Basin Group, isn’t all that stable. Landslides still plague I-5 despite more modern construction methods.
  • Caltrans Announces Mariposa Pedestrian Safety Project Scheduled To Begin On State Route 140/ Route 49 to 12th Street in May. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin work to improve pedestrian safety and traffic conditions from the State Route 140/ Route 49 south junction to 12th Street in the beautiful town of Mariposa. Work is scheduled to begin in May 2021 and will continue to winter 2021. Crews will conduct most of the major work at night – between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. – during which time one-way traffic control will be employed with minimal expected impacts to motorists, residents, visitors, and businesses.
  • Caltrans’ 140-mile resurfacing project to impact Interstate 15 between Cajon Pass and Mountain Pass. Motorists traveling on Interstate 15 between the Cajon Pass and Mountain Pass near the Nevada state line should expect to encounter road work after Caltrans began a $2.2 million resurfacing project Thursday evening. The nearly 140-mile project will include the resurfacing of bridge deck approaches and departures; side slope repair; joint seal replacement; and the removal of existing asphalt, according to Caltrans.
  • Funding from canceled 710 extension could instead bring BRT to Valley Boulevard. The 710 extension – the freeway project that has seemingly died one thousand deaths – was officially put to rest in 2018, freeing up more than $700 million for other transportation projects in the Eastside and in the San Gabriel Valley. The City of Los Angeles will now look to funnel some of its allotment into a new project which could bring active transportation infrastructure, and potentially a new bus rapid transit line, to the neighborhoods of Lincoln Heights and El Sereno.
  • Hwy 49 viaduct project resuming in Sierra County. Caltrans is resuming construction today on the State Route 49 Yuba River Washouts project in Sierra County. Throughout the duration of the project, motorists traveling SR-49 near Ladies Canyon and west of Goodyears Bar may expect 24/7 one-way traffic control via an automated traffic signal.
  • 2.5-Mile Stretch Of 101 Freeway In Boyle Heights To Be Shut Down Next Weekend. One of the busiest interchanges in Southern California will be shut down for a full 55 hours this weekend to allow for the construction of two arches. A 2.5-mile section of the 101 Freeway from the 10/101 split to the 5/10/101 interchange just east of downtown Los Angeles was shut down starting at 10 p.m. Friday. The closure is scheduled to end Monday at 5 a.m.
    📢 This is related to the Sixth Street Viaduct reconstruction.
  • California Highway 1 along Big Sur reopens after collapse. A section of California’s scenic Highway 1 that collapsed during a winter storm reopened to traffic on Friday. Gov. Gavin Newsom and work crews stood on the freshly paved and marked roadway to celebrate the reopening of the main artery to and from Big Sur, attracting millions of tourists who visit the famous coastal region each year.
  • Permanent Fix for Last Chance Grade Narrowed Down to Two Options. As Caltrans and GR Sundberg crews continue work to stabilize the slope at Last Chance Grade, state and federal officials have whittled down a long-term fix to two options they say will save $10 million and shave a year off the project timeline. The two alternatives include an inland tunnel that avoids the landslide roughly 10 miles south of Crescent City, according to a Thursday news release from State Sen. Mike McGuire’s office. The second option consists of permanently shoring up slopes and hillsides along U.S. 101’s current route, according to the news release.
  • Major Steps Forward as Last Chance Grade project narrowed to 2 Final Routes. A huge important milestone was achieved today as the final alternatives for the Last Chance Grade Project were narrowed down to two final routes. And, as promised by state and federal officials who have been pushing to reduce the timeline on the environmental and engineering studies, this critical step will shave an entire year off the project schedule. And: This move will save taxpayers $10 million in studies and greatly reduce the risk of delays and cost increases moving forward.
  • Section of Highway 41 in Fresno County closed for construction, detours in place. For the next several weeks, Caltrans will issue intermittent lane closures on Highway 41 in Fresno County. Drivers can expect delays of up to 15 minutes. For the next several weeks, Caltrans will be issuing intermittent lane closures on Highway 41 in Fresno County. Starting today and going until June 25, closures will be in effect along Highway 41 between Elkhorn and North Avenue. Work will happen Monday through Friday between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Motorists traveling in the area can expect delays of up to 15 minutes. They’re advised to give themselves some additional travel time or take an alternate route if they can.
  • Function and Design Co-Exist, Build NCC. The successful Caltrans and SANDAG North Coast Corridor (NCC) program has been advancing critical projects along San Diego’s north-south coastal corridor since its landmark, unanimous adoption by the California Coastal Commission in 2014. Build NCC – the first phase of NCC construction – is a $870 million project that includes $195 million in funding from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, and comprises unique enhancement features that combine both function and design to reflect the natural beauty of the North Coast Corridor.
  • San Francisco to install temporary HOV lanes to curb increasing congestion. Temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes are coming to two busy highway stretches in San Francisco as part of an effort to improve public transit reliability as traffic congestion again increases. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors voted 5-1 to install the temporary, part-time HOV lanes along Highway 1 from Crossover Drive at Lincoln Way through Park Presidio Boulevard to north of Lake Street. The HOV lanes will also be implemented along Highway 101 at Lombard Street and Richardson Avenue between Franklin and Lyon streets.
  • Caltrans to Attack Several LA County Highway Projects in Weekend `Swarm’. State transportation officials will hold a two-day “swarm” maintenance operation starting Saturday at various locations in Los Angeles County. Caltrans maintenance crews will be on multiple highways conducting several activities simultaneously that include litter and debris removal, weed abatement, guardrail repair, graffiti removal and tree trimming. Volunteers in community cleanup days will contribute to the operation at several locations.
  • Hwy 101 Lanes In Palo Alto To Close Overnight This Week. Caltrans is planning lane closures on Highway 101 between San Antonio and Embarcadero roads in Palo Alto later this week for a bridge installation project. The closures will allow crews to install prefabricated steel bridge segments across West Bayshore Road and East Bayshore Road, Caltrans said.
  • California Makes Investments for Crucial Infrastructure Improvements. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently allocated $491 million to address transportation needs throughout the state. This investment, which includes $273 million generated from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, will repair highways and bridges and improve California’s growing network of mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian routes. [Followed by a listing by district]
  • /SFC Muni board approves HOV lanes on S.F.’s state highway corridors. HOV lanes are coming to key corridors of Highways 1 and 101 in San Francisco that will temporarily limit general car traffic to two lanes on busy streets as part of the city’s effort to reduce public transit travel times. The proposal approved Tuesday evening by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors reserves the outer right lanes for high-occupancy vehicles on stretches of three-lane corridors that run through Golden Gate Park, the Richmond District and Cow Hollow.
  • Urban Carpool Lanes Coming to Lombard, Park Presidio In SFMTA Pilot Program. San Francisco is getting the first ever urban carpool lanes in California on two busy stretches of roadway that lead to and from the Golden Gate Bridge. The SFMTA board this week approved a plan to install temporary HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes on Lombard Street and on Park Presidio in an effort to ease (or worsen) traffic congestion. Coming soon to two of the busiest streets in the city will be new, temporary carpool lanes — part of a pilot project in which the SFMTA is testing whether this will make a positive difference — in which only cars with two more or more people will be allowed. HOV lanes have only been employed on freeways in California, but as traffic rebounds here in the Bay Area, the SFMTA hopes to prove that this is a viable solution for the Golden Gate commute corridors of Lombard/Richardson and Park Presidio.
  • /SJMN Sonoma County: $21 million in transit projects approved. The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit board has approved $21.4 million in projects it hopes to leverage to obtain $60 to $80 million in construction grants. The approvals include two rail projects — extensions from Santa Rosa to Rohnert Park and from Penngrove to Petaluma — with construction scheduled to begin in 2022. Also included is a project for the Healdsburg Bridge over the Russian River and the Petaluma 2nd Station at Corona Road in North Petaluma.
  • /LAT California’s Highway 1 near Big Sur reopens after collapse. A section of California’s scenic Highway 1 near Big Sur that collapsed during a winter storm reopened to traffic Friday. Gov. Gavin Newsom and work crews stood on the freshly paved and marked roadway to celebrate the reopening of the main artery to and from Big Sur, which attracts millions of tourists who visit the famous coastal region each year.
  • The Biggest and Best Boulder Blasts and Rock Rolls in Caltrans Highway History. To keep its highways safe and cars from getting squashed, the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, sends crews up cliffs with big crow bars to dislodge giant boulders before they dislodge themselves, possibly onto your pickup. Guys called “geo-technical experts” figure this stuff out. Sometimes it’s just the crow-bars that peel the rocks off the cliffs, other times they drill ‘em, fill ‘em with explosives, and blast away. The best part may be getting to yell, “Fire in the hole!” at the top of your lungs. The results are spectacular trundles that sometimes end in giant ka-thwumps! onto the pavement below. Click on some of these and pick your favorites.
  • I-5 widening, improvements may start this summer. Construction on the Interstate 5 corridor in the Santa Clarita Valley may start as early as this summer, pending approval from Metro’s board of directors Thursday. The $679 million project is meant to accommodate for expected population growth, according to a Metro report on the project. The report also noted the project seeks to improve the mobility of people and freight over the 13.9-mile stretch on I-5 between the Highway 14 junction and Parker Road in Castaic.
  • Ħ Judith Dale: San Marcos Pass – A historic gateway to Santa Barbara County. Recently we had relatives visiting from Kansas. Due to COVID-19, rather than doing the usual “touristy” things such as eating out, wine tasting and shopping in Solvang, we took car trips to see the sights around the county. Of course, we went over San Marcos Pass to see the beautiful views. I told them a little about the history of the Pass, but I realized how little I knew about this historic road, so I decided to do a little research. I hope you enjoy what I found.
  • Route 263 New Klamath River Bridge (FB). UPDATE (4/30/2021): Highway 263 opened this afternoon. Traffic is now traveling on the NEW Klamath River Bridge!
  • Ħ April 30: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History. 1937: The last section of Manchester Boulevard (State Highway Route No. 174) is dedicated for public use in Anaheim.
    📢 Nice article from CHPW on the opening of LRN 174, which became Route 42.
  • Demolition on the I-80 Crystal Springs Overcrossing. Twitter thread. Due to demolition, the Drum Forebay overcrossing will be CLOSED through December while a new structure is rebuilt. Locals are advised to use detour routes for I-80 access.
  • Magazine Street Overcrossing on I-80 is closed.  Twitter thread. Magazine Street Overcrossing is closed to the traveling public, pedestrians, and bicyclists until Sept. 2021. The closure is part of the I-80 Six Bridges Project in @CityofVallejo
  • Gleason Beach Realignment. Caltrans Project Page State Route 1 along the Sonoma County coast has been damaged by multiple erosive forces and the existing two-lane roadway continues to be undermined by coastal erosion and is vulnerable to future storms. Caltrans has responded by initiating emergency projects to reinforce the roadway, including constructing a retaining wall in 2004, which was later undermined by coastal erosion. Since 2017 Caltrans has issued emergency work orders to repair and stabilize the worsening roadway, but these are all short-term solutions.
  • Sixth Street Viaduct. . Twitter thread. Here we go! Watch for detour signs as Route 101 through Downtown LA is closed between Friday, April 30 at 10:00 PM and Monday, May 3 at 5:00 AM as the Sixth Street Viaduct arches go up over the freeway!
  • Beach Blvd, Imperial Hwy, & Newport Blvd..  Twitter thread. Portions of local streets like Beach Blvd, Imperial Hwy, & Newport Blvd are part of the State Highway System that Caltrans owns, operates, and maintains. Go to http://survey.catplan.org, click “District 12”, & place pins to let us know where walking & biking can be improved.
  • Improvements Coming to SR-55 between I-405 and I-5. Activities are ramping up for the SR-55 Improvement Project between I-405 and I-5, which is anticipated to begin construction in approximately one year. The project will improve mobility, reduce congestion and increase capacity along a 4-mile stretch of freeway through Tustin, Santa Ana and Irvine.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • Interstate 15 Exit 239 to Zzyzx Road; intersecting the Mojave Road and Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad. Interstate 15 Exit 239 in the Mojave Desert of northern San Bernardino County, California accesses the well known oddity of Zzyzx Road. Zzyzx Road connects 4.5 miles from Interstate 15 to a small community of the same name which is located on the shore of the dry Soda Lake. “Zzyzx” was coined in 1944 by Curtis Howe Springer as what he promoted as to be last word in the English Language. On the surface Zzyzx appears to be something of a modern invention but the area has significant overall historical importance as part of a transportation corridor through the Mojave Desert. Zzyzx lies at a point which was the intersection of the Mojave Road of the 19th Century the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad of the early 20th Century.
  • Interstate 15; the Mojave Freeway from Barstow to the Nevada State Line. Interstate 15 north of Interstate 215 near Cajon Pass towards the Nevada State Line is known as the Mojave Freeway. From Interstate 215 north through Cajon Pass the route of Interstate 15 passes through the booming Mojave Desert communities of Hesperia and Victorville before reaching Barstow. North of Barstow towards the Nevada State Line the route of Interstate 15 enters a sparsely inhabited 110 mile stretch of the Mojave Desert within northern San Bernardino County.
  • Former US Route 91 and US Route 466 in Baker. Baker is a former siding of the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad located in the Mojave Desert of northern San Bernardino County, California. Former US Route 91 and US Route 466 originally were aligned through the community of Baker via Baker Boulevard. Following the construction of Interstate 15 the terminus of US Route 91 and US Route 466 were shifted around Baker for several years. This blog examines the history of US Route 91 and US Route 466 within the community Baker.
  • California State Route 204; former US Route 99, US Route 399 and US Route 466 in Bakersfield. California State Route 204 is part of the old surface route alignments of US Route 99, US Route 399 and US Route 466 within the City of Bakersfield. California State Route 204 is a 5 mile State Highway which co-signed as the California State Route 99 Business over Union Avenue and Golden State Avenue.
  • Former US Route 99 in McFarland and Delano. McFarland and Delano are cities located in northern Kern County, California which were on the original surface alignments of US Route 99. Within McFarland former US Route 99 is presently buried underneath the California State Route 99 freeway whereas in Delano it was aligned on High Street.
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