🛣 Headlines About California Highways – June 2021

We can now put June in the record books, and with that, half of 2021 is gone. What a June it has been, filled with high heat across much of the state and concerns about water and drought. Those have been concerns of mine as well, as June has been a construction month around Chez Cahighways. We replaced one of our HVAC units (excellent work by Camacho Air, who we’ve been using for over 20 years at this point). We are completing a pool remodel, which took the pool down to the concrete, repaired cracks, and then replastered and resurfaced the pool (again, excellent work from Premier Pool Plastering), and then refilled the pool. All of this was made possible with a ReFi working with Dave Cantrell at AFF and MCCU. The only bad contracting experience we had was with City Plumbing and Rooter, who we will not use again.

June also saw us on the wonderful highways of California. We drove to Las Vegas, taking Route 14, Route 138, Route 18, and I-15 out, and came back via I-15, Route 58, and Route 14. We also drove to Los Osos, using Route 118, US 101 and Route 154 out, and exploring a new way back: US 101, Route 166, and I-5. Next time: Route 33 and either Lockwood Valley or Hudson Valley to Mt. Pinos to Frazier Mtn Parkway to I-5.

June also saw the world increasingly getting vaccinated… but it also saw the Delta variant spreading. If you know me, you know I’m Jewish. While America celebrates freedom (and celebrate it we will this coming July 4th), Judaism teaches duty. One article I read expressed it well: “If everybody does their duty, that makes the world better. It’s a completely different paradigm than the American paradigm. Individual rights are not the building blocks of Judaism, duty to your fellow human being is the building block of Judaism. If you want to get Judaism right, there are certain times you have to suck it up and do things you don’t want to do.” Do your duty. Make the world a better place. Get vaccinated, and continue to wear a mask indoors in shared spaces (even if you are not required to do so). By doing your part now, we can make the world a better place for everyone.

With that said: What did you do in June, out on the roads and in the state? Hopefully one thing you’ll be doing right now is discussing these headlines. So, as I always say, “ready, set, discuss”.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, really obnoxious 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; SIT/Sonoma Index Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK); ENR/Engineering News Record ]

Highway Headlines

  • /LAT 6th Street Bridge: See photos of the viaduct construction. The project to replace Los Angeles’ historic 6th Street Bridge is well on its way to reality. The new span that crosses the 101 Freeway and Los Angeles River will feature 10 lighted sets of arches forming a “Ribbon of Light” along the viaduct. It stretches across 18 sets of railroad tracks as well as a new 12-acre park with access to the river, and will feature 10-foot-wide bicycle lanes in both directions. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Metro Board Suspended 710 Freeway Widening, Approved: Budget, Fareless, and Bus Rapid Transit. […] The board unanimously approved two motions reining in Metro’s 710 Freeway Corridor Project that would widen the lower 710, demolishing adjacent homes and businesses. One motion, spearheaded by Boardmember Hilda Solis, called for Metro to “Immediately cease further work” on the project. Boardmember Fernando Dutra sought a 30-day pause instead of ceasing work on the project. Ultimately Dutra supported the motion when “cease” was changed to “suspend.” Solis was adamant that Metro needed to stop widening freeways in areas already heavily burdened by freeway pollution. […] (Streetsblog)
  • Removing highways could revitalize cities without increasing traffic. So you might’ve noticed that infrastructure is very much in the news right now, as well as how, exactly, it should be addressed. The New York Times recently put together a look at a relatively new infrastructure strategy that’s starting to play out in cities around the country: removing highways. The report shows there could be some major benefits for local residents, and traffic might not be a problem. But there are ways the strategy could backfire. The report spends some time focusing on Rochester, N.Y., where the city has already removed a major section of freeway around the city’s downtown. After decades in the planning stages and a few more years for removal, the city now has more walkable areas and is working on developing newly available land. And there haven’t been any signs of traffic in and around the area getting worse. (Autoblog)
  • /MIJ Marin-Sonoma Narrows: $76M to complete Highway 101 project. A decade-old project to unclog one of the North Bay’s worst traffic bottlenecks on Highway 101 will be fully funded for construction after a $76 million agreement by Marin and Bay Area transit agencies this week. The funds will complete the final section of the $762 million Marin-Sonoma “narrows” project between Novato and Petaluma, where traffic congests as the highway narrows from four or three lanes to two depending on the direction. The project will add a carpool lane in each direction along this 17-mile stretch of the highway, which will result in commuters having continuous carpool lanes from north of the Golden Gate Bridge into Santa Rosa. (Marin IJ)
  • Caltrans to begin pre-construction for the Separation Bridge project in Vallejo. Caltrans is scheduled to begin pre-construction work for the Interstate-80 (I-80)/State Route 29 (SR-29) Separation Bridge project in Vallejo. For public and worker safety, the following I-80 onramps near Maritime Academy Drive in Vallejo are scheduled to be closed starting June 10 and will remain closed until approximately 2023: • Sequoia Ave. onramp to WB I-80-to be closed • SR-29/Sonoma Blvd. onramp to WB I-80-to be closed. During these I-80 ramp closures, motorists are advised to use Magazine Street onramp and offramp and other I-80 entrances to access I-80 in Vallejo. (Times Herald)
  • California Transportation Commission Allocates $920 Million To Improve Transportation. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) at its May meeting allocated more than $924 million for projects to improve critical transportation infrastructure throughout the state. Nearly half of this major investment – $458 million – comes from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. […] Projects approved include: (EdHat Santa Barbara)
  • Traffic-Interfering Maintenance Work Ahead on Sierra Highways. PLACER/NEVADA COUNTIES – Caltrans is alerting motorists to scheduled traffic-interfering maintenance work on State Routes (SR) 89 and 267 this weekend and the week ahead. On Sunday, June 6, crews will be performing crack sealing work on SR-267 between Old Brockway Road/Soaring Way and Truckee Airport Road/Schaffer Mill Road. Work is scheduled from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. with one-way traffic control anticipated during crack sealing work. (YubaNet)
  • Officials hope $4 million project eases congestion, safety concerns. The interchange between State Route 37 and Fairgrounds Drive can be very confusing for drivers who join lanes and get off offramps. Mostly Sonoma Raceway Lights. Adrenaline is a rush for adventurous people and those who want to die, but it’s a scary suggestion for heart feints and pedestrians who need cheetah-like speed to avoid cars. (California News Times)

  • Q&D Construction Completes Echo Summit Job. Employing an accelerated bridge construction method (ABC), Q&D Construction was able to complete the California Department of Transportation’s $14.1 million U.S. Highway 50 Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct Replacement Project three months ahead of schedule. The original bridge (two lanes, 129-ft. long and two spans), constructed in 1939 for $25,000 in El Dorado County, served motorists for more than 80 years as the primary route between Sacramento, Calif., and South Lake Tahoe. The new structure, two lanes and 96-ft. long single span, meets current safety and seismic standards. (Construction Equipment Guide)
  • Barstow awarded $5 million for new bridge project. The City of Barstow was recently notified by Caltrans Section 190 Administrator Carlos Ruiz that it has been awarded $5,000,000 million dollars in funding for the Section 190 Grade Separation Program for the North First Avenue Bridge Project. Funding is established based on the Highway Bridge Program (HBP) grant funding and the agreement with San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) to use Measure I Major Local Highway Projects Program funds (Regional funds) for the construction phase of the bridge. (HD | Daily News)
  • Road closures coming to I-8 at Imperial Avenue. According to California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), construction crews will close all lanes of Interstate 8 (I-8) between Forrester Road and State Route 86 (SR-86)/4th Street in El Centro Tuesday, June 1, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Closures include the on-ramps from Forrester Road to eastbound I-8, from SR-86/4th Street to westbound I-8 and from southbound Dogwood Road to westbound I-8. (KYMA Fox News)
  • Metro Spokespersons Criticize Caltrans, EPA, and Public Input for Pausing 710 Freeway Widening. For more than a decade, Metro and Caltrans have been planning to widen the 710 Freeway. Their $6 billion project plan was essentially canceled when the federal Environmental Protection Agency mandated that it comply with the Clean Air Act. Soon after the EPA decision was made public, the head of Caltrans, Toks Omishakin, stated that the project would be put on hold. After the federal and state partners pulled out, the Metro board suspended work on planning the freeway widening. Yesterday, in a ten-minute speech to the Measure M Oversight Committee meeting, Senior Executive Officer Abdollah Ansari, who heads Metro’s Highway Program, expressed his displeasure with the board suspending the 710 expansion. Ansari was especially critical of Caltrans, EPA, and the public input process. (Streetsblog LA)
  • Caltrans warns drivers to start planning ahead of major Highway 99 closure. Drivers who regularly travel on Highway 99 will face major delays starting next weekend. Caltrans is giving drivers a big heads up as they prepare for the longest closure of Highway 99 in Sacramento history. “This is the first time for us that we are going to have both sides closed at the same time,” said Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet Benipal at a press conference held Thursday. (KXTL Fox 40)
  • Alternate routes to take while Highway 99 is closed. Highway Patrol, CA (CHP) warns drivers that some SR-99s will be shut down for several days. Also known as Highway 99, From June 11th. “This is, in fact, a historic moment for the California Department of Transportation, perhaps the largest closure we’ve ever experienced in the California Department of Transportation and the Sacramento region,” said Angela Daprat, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation. It ’s one. ” And one of the fastest, DaPrato, explained that the closure was part of a plan to repair Highway 99 within 99 hours. The crew has completely closed the 3.5-mile section from 8:00 pm on June 11 to 4:00 am on June 16 after 60 years of wear and tear on the deck of the highway bridge. (California News Times)
  • Roundabouts or traffic signals? Public comment sought for Caltrans Highway 49 project. Caltrans hosted a public meeting Wednesday to provide an overview of the State Route 49 Safety Barrier Project and obtain input from the community. According to Project Manager Sam Vandell, the project, 1.9 miles located from just south of Lorenson Road/Florence Lane to just north of Lone Star Road, would include adding a 1.3-mile concrete barrier on Highway 49 between the two intersections, rumble strips, enhanced visibility striping, safety lighting, crosswalks and upgrading both intersections to facilitate U-turn movements, as there will be no left-turn access within the barrier section. (Gold Country Media)
  • SANDAG, Caltrans Seek Public Input For Multimodal Corridor Plan. The San Diego Association of Governments and Caltrans District 11 are seeking public input to inform the development of a Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan between the U.S.-Mexico border and Del Mar, it was announced Thursday. The plan was intended to explore potential solutions to support climate initiatives, increase travel options and address traffic congestion between the South Bay and Sorrento Valley — one of the most heavily traveled corridors in San Diego County. (San Diego, CA Patch)
  • California Transportation Commission allocates $112.2 million for Hwy 101 improvements. A reported $112.2 million will be set aside for highway improvements in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, the California Transportation Commission decided at its May 12 meeting. The regional improvements are part of a $924 million package deal to revamp critical transportation infrastructure throughout the state, the report details. Local improvements in the plans include a $6.4 million project on Highway 101 near Los Alamos, Orcutt, Santa Maria and Nipomo in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. The project will involve installation of a contrasting surface treatment, construction of maintenance vehicle pullouts, relocation of utilities, modification of drainage inlets and addition of erosion control, all to reduce maintenance and improve highway worker safety. (Santa Ynez Valley News)
  • Longterm I-80 Ramp Closures Near Cal Maritime In Vallejo. Caltrans expects the long-term closure of two freeway onramps near California State University, Maritime Academy in Vallejo to start Friday to accommodate pre-construction work on the Interstate 80/State Route 29 Separation Bridge project. For public and worker safety, the Sequoia Avenue and SR-29/Sonoma Boulevard onramps to westbound I-80 will be closed from June 11 until approximately 2023, Caltrans said in a news release. (Benicia, CA Patch)
  • Draft EIR for Plan Bay Area 2050 released; public invited to comment. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) have released for public review the Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) for Plan Bay Area 2050, the region’s long-range plan that outlines 35 integrated strategies across four key issues — housing, the economy, transportation, and the environment — to make the Bay Area more equitable for all residents and more resilient in the face of unexpected challenges. Public comment on this document is open to July 20, 2021. (The Bay Link Blog)
  • 4-Day Full Highway Closure: State Route 99 from 47th Avenue to the U.S. Highway 50 Connector in Sacramento. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is scheduled to close northbound and southbound State Route 99 from 47th Avenue to the U.S. Highway 50 Connector. The closure is scheduled to begin 8:00 p.m., Friday, June 11 until 4:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 16. The closure is necessary for crews to safely replace the bridge deck on SR-99 at 21st Avenue. Caltrans is taking preventative measures to fix California’s aging infrastructure, including extending the service life of this 62-year-old bridge. To avoid extensive traffic shifts and lane reductions that could last up to six months, crews are using innovative accelerated bridge construction techniques to complete the work as quickly as possible. The work is imperative to continue to provide a safe route. (Caltrans)
  • Metro Board to Vote on Greater Flexibility for Highway Funding This Month. This month, the Metro board is scheduled to consider a somewhat obscure item to modernize the use of Metro highway funding. The proposal would remove existing restrictions on the use of some sales tax revenue (Measures M and R) to allow the flexibility to fund projects that include complete streets features – such as transit, walk, and bike components. The new policy would not mandate inclusion of these features, but would allow local entities – cities, the county – greater flexibility to include them if appropriate. (Streetsblog Los Angeles)
  • /MIJ Editorial: Finally, Narrows funding should break Highway 101 bottleneck. Getting the green light to start construction on the final leg of the Highway 101 widening from Novato through Petaluma is great news for Marin’s workforce and its economy. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the state regional agency doling out state and federal transportation dollars, approved spending $76 million to close the funding gap on widening the final six-mile gap, from just north of Novato’s Atherton Avenue interchange to the county line. The 17-mile “Narrows” project has been underway for a decade. Its completion has topped the lists of projects promised in local tax and regional tax measures. (Marin Independent Journal)
  • Caltrans: Construction work continuing Saturdays on State Route 174 project. Caltrans is alerting motorists of planned construction work this Saturday on State Route 174 (SR-174) between You Bet Road and Greenhorn Access Road in Nevada County. Work on the safety improvement project will shift to six days a week for the forseeable future with one-way traffic control scheduled from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Motorists are advised to anticipate 20-minute delays when passing through the construction zone area. (Nevada County Union)
  • FreightWaves Classics: Interstates that have not been built (Part 1). In earlier FreightWaves Classics articles, information about several interstates that are part of the U.S. Interstate Highway System (IHS) has been provided in numerical order – Interstate 2, Interstate 4, Interstate 5 (Part 1 and Part 2), Interstate 8 and Interstate 10. The next interstate that will be covered in this series is Interstate 11. But what happened to the interstates numbered 1, 3, 6, 7 and 9? If an Interstate 1 existed, it would likely be located west of Interstate 5, which currently is the western-most interstate and runs from the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. (FreightWaves)
  • Traffic Update….Caltrans to Begin Roundabout on State Route 88 and Liberty Road. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin to build a roundabout at a rural intersection in San Joaquin County to enhance the safety of motorists traveling east of Clements near the Camanche Reservoir. Work at the intersection of State Route (SR) 88 and Liberty Road is scheduled to begin Tuesday, June 15 and will continue into fall 2021. (The Pine Tree)
  • Caltrans Proposal Aims for Safety at Dangerous Las Flores/PCH Intersection. The double red-light intersection where Rambla Pacifico and Las Flores Canyon roads meet Pacific Coast Highway within about 50 feet of each other has long been confusing and problematic. In the city’s last traffic study, the Pacific Coast Highway Safety Study of 2015, a total of 114 accidents were reported at Rambla Pacifico and Las Flores from 2012 through 2014. Those collisions resulted in three deaths and 81 injuries. At last week’s Malibu Public Safety Commission meeting, the California Department of Transportation—Caltrans—presented a list of proposed operational improvements the agency believes will reduce the number of collisions at that location. The estimated cost for everything is $3.532 million, funded by the state through SHOPP—the State Highway Operation and Protection Program, a “fix-it-first” program—and construction would begin fall 2022. (Malibu Times)
  • /PE New 60 Freeway wildlife underpasses to help mountain lions, bobcats, even birds, cross safely. Once construction of nearly 5 miles of truck lanes are completed through a steep, curvy portion of the 60 Freeway in the mountainous Badlands in Riverside County, truck drivers will be following a dedicated, safer route in their journey. But the Riverside County Transportation Commission, Caltrans and construction partner Skanska didn’t forget about the animals that jolt cross that freeway in a deadly game of chicken. A hidden, concurrent project consists of sub-surface freeway underpasses that scientists believe will lead to safer critter crossings and less roadkill. (Press Enterprise)
  • All-way stop is installed at intersection of 210 Freeway and Beech Avenue. The city of Fontana completed the installation of an omnidirectional stop on June 9 at the intersection of National Highway 210 and Beach Avenue. Due to safety concerns, city officials have applied for an intrusion permit to Caltrans, which maintains the intersection. After the review process, the total suspension plan was approved. The Beach stop sign and pavement legend were also included in the installation. In addition, changeable message signs have been installed, and flashers have been temporarily installed on the signs to warn drivers about new traffic regulations. (California News Times)
  • Caltrans provides update on Highway 99 closure; roads set to reopen early Wednesday. Caltrans crews are working around the clock to reopen Highway 99 by their deadline of 4 a.m. on Wednesday. Officials told FOX40 Tuesday they were on schedule. “We’re really excited to get FixSac99 done as soon as possible. This was in record time,” Caltrans’ Angela DaPrato told FOX40. “We are very excited to deliver this project on schedule and opening the roadways at 4 a.m. Wednesday.” (KXTL Fox 40)
  • /SACBEE California Highway 99 in Sacramento open ahead of schedule. The fix is in, and Caltrans says Highway 99 is ready to roll again. Late Tuesday, the California Department of Transportation reopened Highway 99 in south Sacramento from the four-day “Fix 99” project, a few hours ahead of schedule. California Highway Patrol posted video showing traffic moving on southbound lanes just after 10 p.m., and the northbound lanes shortly after. (SacBee)
  • Caltrans Set to Begin Pepaving Project on State Route 207. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is preparing to begin a repaving and rehabilitation project that will improve more than 19 total lane miles of State Route 207 near Lake Alpine in Alpine County and Route 4 near Tamarack in Alpine County. Construction is scheduled to begin June 17, 2021 and will take place on Route 207 from the Route 4 junction to Mt. Reba Resort, and on Route 4 near Tamarack from west of Cabbage Patch Log Road to the Alpine County line. This route is important for residents and outdoor enthusiasts who visit scenic Lake Alpine and Bear Valley Ski Resort.  (The Pine Tree)
  • /ENR Caltrans Shaves Months off SR 99 Repair Time with Precast, Prefab Girders. One of the largest freeway closures in Sacramento history is underway as Caltrans aims to repair a busy section of State Route 99 in just 99 hours. The project began June 11 at 8 p.m., when the agency closed northbound and southbound SR 99 from 47th Avenue in Sacramento to the U.S. Highway 50 Connector. The freeway will reopen on June 16. The $5.9-million “FixSac99” project will replace a 62-yr-old bridge deck on SR-99 at 21st Avenue. (Engineering News-Record)
  • CalTrans to start work on $5.6M Highway 273 project. CalTrans will begin working on a project at the intersection of Highway 273 and Girvan Road Wednesday. CalTrans said they are going to create a flat railroad crossing that will also include a new bus stop, remove the sidewalk gap on Eastside Road, improve the intersection and widen the lanes to current standards. They will also install a trail between Westside Road and Canyon Road. The traffic signal will be deactivated and access to Girvan and Westside roads will be blocked. The total cost of the project is $5.6 million. (Action News Now)
  • San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority: Tolls coming to Highway 101 express lanes by end of year. Dynamic toll fees are coming to the new express lanes on Highway 101 in San Mateo County starting at the end of 2021, with maximum toll prices still yet to be determined. The San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority announced Tuesday it would establish toll enforcement on the express lanes following June 11 board approval. Board Vice Chair Diane Papan, also a San Mateo councilmember, said the express lanes will be a constructive change to the region and incentivize carpooling, leading to fewer cars, less traffic and meeting environmental goals. (San Mateo Daily Journal)
  • Fastrak Toll Collection Coming To New Hwy 101 Express Lanes At End Of 2021. Drivers will need a FasTrak toll tag to use the new U.S. Highway 101 express lanes scheduled to open in San Mateo County at the end of 2021. The Board of Directors of the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority adopted a toll ordinance at their meeting last Friday. The ordinance establishes toll collection and enforcement policies for the new express lanes. (SF Gate)
  • State Route 247 is getting $5 million worth of repairs between Barstow and Lucerne Valley. State Route 247’s stretch from Barstow to Lucerne Valley is getting a multi-million dollar makeover. The California Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced it’s giving $5 million to the Bloomington-based Calmex Engineering Inc. to fix-up nearly 30 miles of the state route, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Emily Leinen. The repairs, she said, will occur on the highway between mile markers 46 an 70, and mile markers 39 to 42. (Daily Press)
  • America Almost Made a New Route 66 With 22 Nuclear Bombs. By harnessing the power of the atom and capturing the potential to unleash divine fire in its hands, humanity understandably developed something of a Prometheus complex when we made the first nuclear bomb. As the Cold War dragged on in the years after World War II, scientists on both sides of the Iron Curtain started looking for ways this new ability could be used for the benefit of humanity, not just to kill everything and render the planet uninhabitable. But we’re not talking about nuclear power—no, we’re talking about the U.S. government’s very real plan to detonate a bunch of nukes in the California desert and blast a highway bypass for Route 66 into existence. (The Drive)
  • Bulldozed and bisected: Highway construction built a legacy of inequality. During the largest public works program ever attempted in the United States, Black and Latino communities in cities across the country met the blade of the bulldozer and the crush of the wrecking ball, making room for ribbons of new highway. Whether through blindness or design, the mid-century American interstate highway program demolished homes and bisected communities, driven by the promise of prosperity, faster commutes and jobs. “Everything we needed was in our neighborhood,” said Barbara Lacen-Keller, 75, a lifelong resident of Tremé, a once bustling New Orleans community that Interstate 10 cut through in the 1960s. “The highway really destroyed that.” (NBC News)
  • Las Vegas to California: Anything happening to ease I-15 backups?. It’s Friday afternoon, and we’re headed south on I-15, moving pretty well toward the state line at Primm. Come Sunday, this trip will take a lot longer. You’ll see southbound backups nearing the border that stretch 10 to 15 miles with cars, mostly from California, heading back home. Stuck in that traffic has been Khadaphi Proctor from California, and his dog Biscuit. We met them Friday next to the interstate. (KSNV LV 3 News)
  • SLO County roadwork projects create traffic delays, closures. Are all the roadwork projects in San Luis Obispo County driving you batty? I feel your pain. Here are the locations of just a few of the dozens of projects underway in San Luis Obispo County: Los Osos Valley Road and the side road leading into Target. A bunch of streets in Morro Bay. Downtown Atascadero. Highway 1 near Cayucos. Cambria’s busy two-lane Main Street and Burton Drive hill into East Village. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)
  • /NVR American Canyon wants Highway 29 traffic off city streets. American Canyon wants to take some local traffic off busy Highway 29 without tempting congestion-avoiding Highway 29 drivers to use city streets. The city is updating plans for a West Side Connector paralleling Highway 29 to the west. This connector would allow residents to drive between residential neighborhoods to the south and industrial areas to the north without using the highway. But where should the city locate the West Side Connector? (Napa Valley Register)
  • /PD Highway 116 repairs will delay night traffic two weeks. A two-week repair project begins Monday night on a stretch of Highway 116 where gradual wear and tear has caused a bumpy trek through the rural region west of Santa Rosa. The $865,000 project covers seven miles from around Mill Station Road in Sebastopol to near Martinelli Road in Forestville. Funding comes from Caltrans’ State Highway Operation and Protection Program, which covers repairs, preservation, emergency repairs, safety improvements and operational improvements. (Press Democrat)
  • Caltrans and Metro Break Ground On 71 Freeway Widening Through Pomona. Today Caltrans and Metro celebrated a groundbreaking for a project to widen State Route 71 through Pomona. There was no on-the-ground groundbreaking, just a virtual one – a video posted to YouTube, featuring Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares and a host of area elected officials. The SR-71 project will convert about 3.5 miles of existing four-lane expressway into an eight-lane freeway. Construction for the first phase – $174 million for just under two miles – is expected to complete in 2024. (Streetsblog Los Angeles)
  • State Legislation Could Stall City Efforts to Reclaim 710 Stub. In a letter to Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez, Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo is requesting a “carve out” that would exclude the 710 stub from Assembly Bill 512. “As currently drafted and proposed to be amended, AB 512 could potentially stall the collaborative effort the City of Pasadena and Caltrans have undertaken towards relinquishment of the 710 stub back to the City,” according to the letter signed by Gordo. (Pasadena Now)
  • Highway 101/25 interchange work could begin in 2023. Transportation officials see a proposed interchange at Highways 101 and 25 as a way to relieve the chronic congestion through the corridor. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority hosted a virtual meeting June 9 to give the public an update on the years-in-the-making project south of Gilroy city limits. While still being designed, the project would increase the length of the southbound Highway 101 offramp by more than 1,000 feet, according to Project Manager Karsten Adam, with the goal of preventing vehicles from stacking on 101 during peak commute hours. (SanBenito.Com)
  • Metro Plans Soundwall Construction Along I-210 Freeway Between Fair Oaks and Wilson Avenues. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, will be constructing 11 segments of highway noise barriers, commonly known as soundwalls, along the north and south side of the I-210 Freeway, between Fair Oaks Avenue and Wilson Avenue. The project is part of Package 10 of Metro’s Countywide Retrofit Soundwall Program, which includes building soundwalls within the city limits of Pasadena, Arcadia and Burbank. (Pasadena Now)
  • T.Y. Lin International Wins 2021 ACEC Engineering Excellence Honor Award for I-5 High-Occupancy Vehicle Improvement Project in Santa Ana, California. T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces that the Interstate 5 High-Occupancy Vehicle Improvement Project between State Route 55 and State Route 57 (I-5 HOV Improvement Project) in Santa Ana, California, has won a prestigious 2021 Honor Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) competition. The annual national competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value. (Street Insider)
  • Back to basics for Pier Bridge plans. After decades of discussions, reports, analysis and funding attempts, time is running out to fix the bridge connecting the Santa Monica Pier to Palisades Park before the facility becomes part of an Olympic venue in 2028. Repairs on the Bridge are important because it’s structural safety continues to decline. In 2008 the bridge scored 33.4 out of 100 on an inspection report and its score declined to a 17 in 2020. In addition, officials want all construction finished before Los Angeles hosts the Summer Olympics in 2028 because Olympic organizers have suggested the Pier could be incorporated into a beach volleyball venue for the event. (Santa Monica Daily Press)
  • Public Meeting Scheduled for U.S. Highway 50 Safety Project. Caltrans is hosting a public meeting next week to update the community on the U.S. Highway 50 Camino Safety Project. The event is scheduled for Thursday, June 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Seventh Day Adventist Church located at 3520 Carson Road in Camino. Scheduled speakers include El Dorado County Supervisor Wendy Thomas, Caltrans North Region Construction Chief Andy Alvarado, El Dorado County Transportation Commission Executive Director Woodrow Deloria, El Dorado County Department of Transportation Director Rafael Martinez and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Crawford. Alvarado will provide a presentation detailing the status of the project and plans moving forward. The community will be able to ask questions of Caltrans and El Dorado County staff members following the presentation. (Caltrans)
  • Caltrans to Begin Replacement of Markleeville Creek Bridge. Project Will Upgrade Three Additional Bridges in Alpine County. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will conduct bridge rail upgrades and a bridge replacement project at four locations on State Routes 4, 88 and 89 within forested areas of the Sierra Nevada near Markleeville in Alpine County. (The Pine Tree)
  • Caltrans Traffic Advisory One-Way Traffic Control Delays Expected on State Route 140 in Mariposa County Beginning Monday, June 21, 2021 – Merced River Canyon from Bear Creek River Bridge to Foresta Road. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will conduct utility work this week on State Route 140. Work is scheduled to take place between the Bear Creek River Bridge and Foresta Road from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. beginning Monday, June 21 through Friday, June 25, 2021. One-way traffic control will be in effect, and motorists should expect 10-minute delays. This work is scheduled to begin as listed, but is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment, and/or materials and construction related issues. (Gold Rush Cam)
  • 241, 73 and related toll roads cost $2.8 billion to build and $28 billion to pay off, OC grand jury says. The agency that operates Orange County’s 241 and 73 toll roads will raise $ 28 billion for roads that cost $ 2.8 billion to build. The Orange County grand jury said in a critical report that he questioned whether the route would be free to drivers as once promised… Transportation corridors have accumulated “high levels of debt that will annoy roads and their users over the next few decades,” according to a report by the county oversight committee suggesting that debt elimination will be the agency’s top priority.  (California News Times)
  • Caltrans begins four-month project to repair 1907 bridge in Napa County. Caltrans crews this week embarked on a four-month long project to repair a century-old bridge along Napa County’s state Highway 121. The work along Highway 121, which is also known in the area as Monticello Road, will contribute to the preservation of the Capell Creek Bridge, whose original construction dates to 1907. The work will take place between Circle Oaks Drive and Longhorn Ridge Road. The project will consist of repairing cracks, road breaks and replacing the northwest wingwall. (Local News Matters)
  • Freeway tunnels under Elysian Park are getting a makeover. If you frequently drive through the Arroyo Seco Parkway (110 Freeway) tunnels in Elysian Park you may have noticed some recent changes. Most notably, the Art-Deco style portals or  openings to the four tunnels have been painted in white and other shades. What’s going on? The tunnels are undergoing a $6 million renovation to improve safety and make the nearly 90-year-old tunnels easier to maintain, said Cal Trans spokesman James Medina. (The Eastsider)
  • There’s A Whole System Of US Highways That Many Don’t Know About. As I continued my first trip for my Untold EV & Cleantech Stories project, I came across something I never thought I’d find: a whole system of highways I didn’t know about. Unlike the Interstate I was driving on, this set of highways has no pavement, but it has the potential to both relieve traffic from regular highways and reduce transportation-related pollution. What I’m talking about is the US Marine Highway System, and it was the last thing I expected to see driving in Oklahoma and Arkansas along I-40. The first sign of it was when we crossed the Arkansas River near Webbers Falls. The sign read: “McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System – Marine Highway M40.” (CleanTechnica)
  • Donner Pass Road Improvements. This project consists of road rehabilitation and shoulder widening on 6.5 miles of Donner Pass Road beginning at the Soda Springs exit and ending at the Truckee town limit east of the summit. A typical road section will consist of two 11-foot lanes with 4-foot shoulders plus safety edges, except in the downhill direction on the east side due to topographical constraints. The project will also improve recreational and sightseeing access, with enhanced parking on the east side of the summit that connects to rock climbing, hiking, and biking amenities, as well as to historic and prehistoric features. Bicycling conditions will be improved with bike lanes in both directions on the west side and in the uphill direction on the east side. Enhanced pullouts and parking areas include the Rainbow Bridge parking lot, School House pullout, Star Wall pullout, Snow shed North and South pullouts, Space Wall pullout, and Black Wall pullout. During the winter the widening will also provide additional snow storage and improve access to winter recreational destinations. (Nevada County Update)
  • Napa County SR 29 roundabout plan receives $6 million from MTC. MTC Commissioners approved $6 million this week as part of the Napa Valley Forward(link is external) project for roundabouts along State Route 29 in Napa County as a way to improve safety and traffic flow. Roundabouts at Rutherford and Oakville roads along SR 29 are the initial focus. After Wednesday’s approval, MTC Chairman and Napa Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza said the roundabouts will greatly improve conditions. (The Bay Link Blog)
  • Meet the Mill Valley woman behind the 24 miniature freeway signs hidden all over the Bay Area. Chelsea Andersson doesn’t have a lot of room. Like, really doesn’t have a lot of room: We’re chatting on Zoom while she sits on the living room floor of her tiny studio apartment in Mill Valley, sandwiched in a small nook between a couch and a coffee table — essentially the only available floor space in the apartment she shares with her husband. (SF Gate)
  • Tiny Highways USA. Mysterious tiny highway signs have started to appear across Marin County in California. Ok, if you’ve found this page, it’s not so mysterious. My goal in creating #TinyHighwaysUSA was to create public art that was accessible to everyone. The signs have no real purpose other than to make you smile. The signs get me out of the house, exploring this beautiful town, and, I hope, will do the same for you. Take a picture, but please don’t take the sign. Enjoy your search! (ChelseaMakes)
  • Major work on Highway 41 could take months, says Caltrans. We have a traffic alert for you, set to impact drivers in the Oakhurst area for months. Caltrans says it’s doing major work on Highway 41, starting this coming Monday, June 28. For that day only, one-way traffic control will be in effect between Golden Oak Loop and Hodges Hill Drive. (KMPH Fox 26)
  • Metro Board Approves Highway Program Modernization. More than $32 million was allocated Thursday to Los Angeles County transportation projects by the California Transportation Commission, which set aside a total of $1.18 billion for projects to fix and improve transportation infrastructure throughout California. […] The allocation includes [in LA County]: (Streetsblog LA)
  • More than $32M allocated for LACo transportation projects. More than $32 million was allocated Thursday to Los Angeles County transportation projects by the California Transportation Commission, which set aside a total of $1.18 billion for projects to fix and improve transportation infrastructure throughout California. […] The allocation includes: (Spectrum News1)
  • Highways 70 and 36 in Plumas among state improvement projects. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) today, June 25, allocated more than $1.18 billion for projects to fix and improve transportation infrastructure throughout California. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for more than half of this critical investment – $630 million. […] Projects approved today in Plumas, Modoc, Lassen, and Siskiyou Counties, include: (Plumas News)
  • California Transportation Commission Allocates $22 million for Construction of the State Route 4 Wagon Trail Realignment Project from Bonanza Mine Way to Appaloosa Road. Calaveras County, in partnership with Caltrans and the Calaveras Council of Governments (CCOG), secured funding to construct a critical portion of the State Route 4 (SR 4) Wagon Trail Realignment project. On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) took the official action to allocate a total of $22 million from various state transportation programs needed for the County to move forward with construction of the Western Segment of the SR 4 Wagon Trail Project. (The Pine Tree)
  • New $1.18 billion transportation allocation includes Orange County road projects. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) today allocated more than $1.18 billion for projects to fix and improve transportation infrastructure throughout California. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for more than half of this critical investment – $630 million. […] Projects approved in District 12 – Orange County today include: (Orange County Breeze)
  • Over $200 Million Allocated for Transportation Projects in Riverside County. More than $200 million has been awarded for a variety of transportation infrastructure projects throughout Riverside County, Caltrans announced Friday. Under the latest round of funding under Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair & Accountability Act of 2017, eight projects were designated amounts ranging from just under $500,000 to just over $200 million, according to Caltrans. The largest allocation was $200.4 million for a truck climbing lane along Interstate 10 in Coachella. No other distribution came close to that amount, but almost all were for upgrades on freeways and highways. (MyNewsLA.com)
  • $22-million Allocated For Wagon Trail Project. A high-priority project in Calaveras County has received a boost of state funding. The California Transportation Commission is awarding $22-million for the Highway 4 Wagon Trail Realignment Project. The money was needed to move forward with the construction of the 3.2 mile western segment between Bonanza Mine Way and Appaloosa Road. It should begin in January of next year and be completed by late 2023. The project is a joint effort between Calaveras County, Caltrans and the Calaveras Council of Governments. (myMotherLode.com)
  • County Receives $6 Million In Funding For Roundabouts On Highway 29. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission this week approved $6 million to build roundabouts on state Highway 29 in Napa County, county officials announced Thursday. Construction could begin in spring 2023, and the project is expected to take two years to complete. (SF Gate)
  • /NVR Proposed Napa Valley roundabouts get funding boost. Two proposed roundabouts on Highway 29 in the heart of wine country could be under construction in 2023. One could be at Rutherford Cross Road, the other at Oakville Cross Road. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Wednesday allotted $6 million for the project, in addition to $2 million already on hand. (Napa Valley Register)
  • Why do roads, rail, and infrastructure cost so much to build in the US?. As Congress argues over the size of the infrastructure bill and how to pay for it, very little attention is being devoted to one of the most perplexing problems: Why does it cost so much more to build transportation networks in the US than in the rest of the world? In an interview in early June, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledged the problem, but he offered no solutions except the need to study it further. Biden’s original infrastructure proposal included $621 billion for roads, rail, and bridges. His plan is billed not only as an infrastructure plan but one that would help respond to the climate crisis. A big part of that is making it easier for more Americans to travel by mass transit. The Biden plan noted that “America lags its peers — including Canada, the U.K., and Australia — in the on-time and on-budget delivery of infrastructure,” but that understates the problem. (Vox)
  • /LAT San Diego group proposes ‘freeway lids’ to create open space – Los Angeles Times. Across the nation, some cities are ripping up aging highways to make room for open spaces that connect — rather than divide — neighborhoods. In San Diego, some advocates are looking to the sky for a similar solution to reunite neighborhoods that were split by interstate highways. San Diego Commons, a nonprofit group led by architects and urban planners, is proposing that the city build bridge decks, often called freeway lids, above the 5 Freeway to reconnect several central San Diego neighborhoods that years ago were sheared apart when the interstates were built. (LA Times/SD Union Tribune)
  • SANDAG/Caltrans open new Mexican border crossing. The California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, California Secretary of Transportation David S. Kim and members of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) joined Mexican Federal Government officials June 28 to sign an agreement that will ensure a new port of entry and accompanying transportation infrastructure to improve cross border commerce, improve mobility and reduce air pollution. The State Route 11 (SR 11)/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project (OME POE) is a joint venture between SANDAG and Caltrans, in collaboration with state and federal partners in the U.S. and Mexico, to create a 21st-century border crossing for the San Diego-Baja California mega-region, intended to enhance regional mobility and fuel economic growth and binational trade. (The Coast News Group)
  • New Port of Entry opening in south San Diego County in 2024. Dignitaries from California and Mexico signed a memorandum of understanding Monday to open a new port of entry at the U.S-Mexico border in Otay Mesa by late 2024. Officials say the State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project will help facilitate and bolster trade between the two countries by adding a third port of entry in the San Diego region, as well as cut down on motorist wait times at the border, thus improving air quality by reducing emissions from vehicles that are often idling bumper-to-bumper at border crossings. (ABC 10 News)
  • California Makes $1.18 Billion Transportation Investment. More than $630 million comes from SB 1. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) today allocated more than $1.18 billion for projects to fix and improve transportation infrastructure throughout California. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for more than half of this critical investment – $630 million. […] Projects approved today in District 10 include: (The Pine Tree)
  • Caltrans Awards $34M for Transportation Upgrade Projects. Caltrans recently awarded $34 million in state and federal funds to cities, counties, tribes and transit agencies throughout California to improve the state’s transportation network. The grant money — including $25 million funded by Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 — will be used to plan sustainable transportation projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the state highway system, enhance access to safe walkways and bikeways and increase natural disaster preparedness. […] In total, Caltrans allocated: (Construction Equipment Guide)
  • Guy F. Atkinson Delivers $107M Upgrades On Pomona Freeway. Crews from Guy F. Atkinson are upgrading approximately 10 mi. of the  Pomona Freeway (SR 60) between the I-710 Long Beach (I-710) and San Gabriel River (I-605) freeways to extend the lifespan of the highway. The $107 million initiative, financed by state and federal funds and being overseen by the California Department of Transportation, started in the summer of 2019 and should be completed in the winter of 2024/2025. “This project is to restore the roadway and improve the ride quality by rehabilitating the existing lanes with pavement that will extend the life of the roadway a minimum of 40 years, only requiring minimal maintenance by Caltrans once completed,” said Peter Jones, Caltrans spokesperson of District 7. “SR 60 is a major thoroughfare serving commuters between Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. As a result of heavy use, it is being rehabilitated in both directions.” (Construction Equipment Guide)
  • New SB 1 funding allocated for Central Coast highway improvement projects. The Central Coast is getting nearly $32 million in SB 1 funding for road repairs and improvements. Caltrans announced Monday that the California Transportation Commission allocated the following funds to local transportation infrastructure projects: (KSBY NBC 6)
  • Agreement Signed For New Port of Entry South of San Diego. The state of California and Mexico committed Monday to completing a massive port of entry project in Otay Mesa by late 2024 by signing an agreement to establish the project’s next steps. Construction on the $1 billion binational Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project has been underway since 2013. Once completed, the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry will be the second gate in Otay Mesa and the third between San Diego County and Mexico. (NBC 7 San Diego)
  • SR-91 Improvements Draft Plan Released. OCTA, working with the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), has released a draft of its annual plan for potential transportation improvements along the SR-91 corridor between SR-57 in Orange County and I-15 in Riverside County. The plan was prepared in consultation with Caltrans, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), and the cities of Anaheim, Corona, Orange and Yorba Linda. (OCTA On The Move Blog)
  • New Closures Coming to Last Chance Grade. Traversing the upper reaches of California along U.S. Highway 101 is about to become more complicated as Caltrans extends road closures to accelerate a stabilization project on a slope over the short but notorious Del Norte County section known as Last Chance Grade. This year alone, landslides blocked the aptly named stretch south of Crescent City — which serves as a main link between the northernmost areas of the state to points south — several times. Starting July 6, the highway will be closed at Last Chance Grade between 8 a.m. and noon, open for three hours, then shut again from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, the highway will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon. (North Coast Journal)
  • State approves roadway improvements projects in Adelanto and Hesperia. The California Transportation Commission recently approved more than $1.18 billion for repair and improvement to roadways throughout the state, including projects in Adelanto and Hesperia. Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for more than half of this road investment —$630 million, according to Caltrans officials on Friday. (VV Daily Press)
  • Grand Jury: TCA Should Focus on Paying Off Debt. The Transportation Corridor Agencies should pay off their debt obligations by 2040—more than a decade sooner than currently planned—the Orange County Grand Jury recommended in a new report that casts doubt on the prospect that their toll roads eventually will become free thoroughfares. The latest Grand Jury report on the TCA, the second in as many years, found that the agencies’ remaining principal debt and interest of about $10 billion could be paid by 2037 if the TCA employed “extreme measures and focused entirely on debt elimination.” (Dana Point Times)

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • Former US Route 50 and the South Lincoln Highway from Folsom east to Placerville. The corridor of Folsom of Sacramento County east to Placerville of El Dorado County has been a long established corridor of overland travel dating back to the California Gold Rush. The Folsom-Placerville corridor was once part of the path of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road which became the first California State Highway and later the South Lincoln Highway. In time the South Lincoln Highway’s surface alignment was inherited by US Route 50. The Folsom-Placerville corridor also includes the communities of; Clarksville, Shingle Springs and El Dorado.
  • US Route 101 through Gaviota Pass. US Route 101 in the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbara County, California passes through Gaviota Pass. Gaviota Pass is most well known for being part of El Camino Real and the namesake Gaviota Tunnel which opened during 1953. Since 1964 Gaviota Pass and US Route 101 have also carried a multiplex of California State Route 1.
  • Former US Route 101 and California State Route 41 through Paso Robles. Paso Robles is a City located on the Salinas River of San Luis Obispo County, California. As originally configured the surface alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 converged in downtown Paso Robles. US Route 101 originally was aligned through Paso Robles via Spring Street. California State Route 41 entered the City of Paso Robles via Union Road and 13th Street where it intersected US Route 101 at Spring Street. US Route 101 and California State Route 41 departed Paso Robles southbound via a multiplex which split near Templeton.
  • Former US Route 101 through Templeton. US Route 101 through Templeton of San Luis Obispo County, California was once carried through the community via Main Street. Templeton was host to an early bypass realignment which saw US Route 101 moved to it’s present grade as an expressway in 1953. US Route 101 is depicted below on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County when it was aligned on Main Street.
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