July. We’ve seen heat. We’ve seen fires. We’ve seen floods (especially if you were in Arizona).
For me, July brought a trip to Phoenix and Tucson (and some side exploration into the Arizona state highway system). It saw completion of the pool remodel, together with some unanticipated gas line work. It saw me spending more time in the pool than I’ve spent in the previous 15 years in this house, now that the pool is fixed. In terms of highway page updates: I’ve started on them. I’m currently working through the June headlines — my goal will be to finish them and upload around Labor Day, but we shall see.
In the larger world, it saw the Delta variant spread. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Get vaccinated. It is the best way to get us back to something approaching normal and back on the roads again. If you have any questions or hesitancy, drop me an email and I’ll try to work you through it. Of course, if you say it is spinach and to hell with it, you get to live with the consequences.
August will see one more driving trip: Back to Vegas, perhaps this time with a bit more road exploration. What are you doing out on the roads that is interesting? Share your stories, or discuss the headlines. In any case, “ready, set, discuss”.
[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 . Note: For ＄ paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]
- Yolo Causeway Grant (Dept. of Transportation). The Yolo County Transportation District will be awarded $85.9 million in grant funding to improve traffic flow in the I-80 corridor on the west side of the Sacramento-Yolo metro area. Project elements include: implementing approximately 17 miles of managed lanes from the Yolo/Solano County line through Yolo County to West El Camino Avenue on I-80 and to I-5 on US-50 in Sacramento County; the construction of new lanes on some segments and restriping to add lanes or using existing lanes for approximately 2.7 miles of the project; adding ITS elements along I-80 and US-50, including fiber optics, detection, changeable message signs, and ramp meters; improvements to the Yolo Causeway cycling and pedestrian facility through reduced curve radii and additional crosswalk, sidewalk lighting, and safety elements. The project will also include two auxiliary lanes and will add ramp meters at seven locations.
- $86 Million Approved to Upgrade the I-80 Corridor in Yolo County (Davis Vanguard). With the economy re-opening, the reprieve that Davis felt for the last 15 months or so with regard to traffic backing up from I-80 bottlenecks at the Causeway—and causing spillover impacts on local roads like Mace—could be letting up. While the city has pledged to restructure Mace to hopefully alleviate some jam, the longer term fix is likely to free up traffic on I-80, some of which backs up from the Causeway. The long-term fix is more vehicle travel lanes and that just got a big boost in the form of a grant to CalTrans.
- UPCOMING STATE ROUTE 4 PROJECTS IN SAN JOAQUIN DELTA (Caltrans District 10 on FB). Please see info-graphic for details on upcoming, major projects on State Route 4 between Stockton and Discovery Bay, including start dates and detour information. Exact dates for lane closures and 55-hour weekend closures will be made available in future traffic advisories once the schedules are finalized.
- ＄/SACBEE Yolo Causeway on I-80 freeway in CA to get new toll lane (Sac Bee). Interstate 80 over the Yolo Causeway is the only direct entrance from the Bay Area to the capital region. For years, it’s become increasingly congested – a bottleneck that delays and aggravates commuters, commercial truckers and recreational travelers alike. “It paralyzes the region,” Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor said. “Sacramento is the capital of the largest state in the country, and approaching it on I-80 is gridlocked.” That appears about to change. Sacramento officials say they have won a major federal grant to widen a 17-mile stretch of I-80 and Highway 50 through Yolo County by adding a “managed” lane in each direction. Some drivers may pay a toll to use the lane during certain hours. Sacramento-area U.S. Rep. John Garamendi announced Wednesday morning the federal Department of Transportation has agreed to grant the region $86 million toward planning, designing and building the lanes, which would start near the Yolo/Solano county line and run east to the Highway 50 bridge over the Sacramento River between West Sacramento and downtown Sacramento. “This project will greatly improve traffic flow across the Yolo Bypass,” Garamendi said, as well as “reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve agricultural and manufactured goods movement to the Port of Oakland, Port of West Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the greater Sacramento region.”
- ＄/SIT Road projects complicate travel through Sonoma (Sonoma News). Sonoma motorists are in the midst of a cross-town facelift for Highway 12, a Caltrans resurfacing project for the state route though the city. That project will follow Sonoma Highway through summer and fall, with the aim to be complete by October – or taken up again early in 2022. But work isn’t limited to the Caltrans effort. At present, motorists are directed through a busy construction zone on Sonoma Highway between Lichtenberg and Boyes Boulevard. It’s part of the on-going PG&E natural gas main replacement that’s been going on for well over a year, much of it accomplished already but much of it still ahead. Now that PG&E pipeline project has also just started on a common cross-town route, on West MacArthur Street, from Fifth Street West to Highway 12, Broadway. Work began on that section on June 28 and is not expected to be completed until October. PG&E and its contractor, ARB, will be replacing a portion of a natural gas transmission pipeline, work that includes trenching underneath West MacArthur to replace approximately 2,730 feet of 6-inch steel transmission main pipe with an 8-inch steel pipe.
- I-80 project in Yolo County to get $86M from feds (Daily Republic). The Yolo County Transportation District is in line to receive $85.9 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow on Interstate 80 on the west side of the Yolo-Sacramento metro area. Project elements include implementing approximately 17 miles of managed lanes from the Yolo-Solano counties line through Yolo County to West El Camino Avenue on I-80, and to I-5 on Highway 50 in Sacramento County.
- ＄/PE Ortega Highway will close nightly, starting July 6 (Press Enterprise). An Ortega Highway construction project is about to interfere with a lot of travel plans. After the Fourth of July holiday weekend concludes, Caltrans intends to close the Ortega Highway, or Highway 74, nightly in both directions at a point in the Cleveland National Forest east of the Riverside-Orange county line. The full closures will take place on weeknights, Caltrans spokesperson Kimberly Cherry said. The road will be open to traffic on Saturday and Sunday nights. That pattern begins Tuesday, July 6. Then, starting around the middle of the month, a small section of the two-lane mountainous road will close all weekend long — every other weekend, Cherry said.
- Overnight 5 Freeway Closure Planned In Burbank For Bridge Construction (The Valley Post). An overnight 5 Freeway closure in Burbank lasting four days is planned to start Tuesday for bridge construction. The project is expected to enhance the I-5 in Burbank and improve traffic circulation by adding carpool lanes, constructing a new interchange at I-5 and Empire Avenue, as well as reconstructing the Burbank Boulevard overcrossing, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
- ＄/LAT Freeway overpass would save California cougars from oblivion (Los Angeles Times). Architect Robert Rock is facing a Herculean task: Design a bridge that will allow mountain lions to cross safely over a stretch of the 101 Freeway that roars with the traffic of 300,000 vehicles each day. On a recent morning, he stood on a hilltop and gazed at a vista of steep fire-stripped slopes, rocky arroyos, weedy humps and 125-degree grade shifts on both sides of the freeway at Liberty Canyon in the city of Agoura Hills. The terrain was as challenging as could be. But Rock could see the future — cougars who would otherwise become roadkill crossing a proposed $87-million bridge so that they could roam, find prey and mate.
- ＄/SIT Caltrans to repave section of Highway 37 (Sonoma News). Repavement of the 1.7-mile stretch of State Route 37 between Lakeville Highway and the Petaluma River Bridge will begin Wednesday, July 7. The Petaluma Bridge, which marks the Marin County line, will not be included in the repaving project. Ghilotti Brothers of San Rafael is the contractor on the $2.1 million project, which is expected to take one month to complete. The top layer of asphalt will be ground from the pavement and replaced with a fresh layer of rubberized asphalt. Rubberized asphalt contains shredded tires, serving a dual purpose of creating longer-lasting pavement while making use of discarded tires that would otherwise languish in landfills, according to the California Department of Transportation. Work on the four-lane highway will be timed against commute traffic to minimize disruptions. Westbound lane closures will occur weekdays from noon to 5 a.m., and eastbound lane closures have been scheduled to occur weekdays between 8 p.m. and noon. One lane will be open in both directions at all times.
- Trucks are Banned on Oakland’s I-580. These Sixth Graders Wondered Why(KQED). A handful of kids sit in teacher Patrick Messac’s sixth grade classroom at Life Academy of Health and Bioscience in East Oakland. They’re surrounded by colorful wall displays of human anatomy, moon cycles, and books categorized by scientific topics. Then there are the signs of the pandemic: one kid at each table, each distanced from their neighbors, air filters and stacks of unused chairs. The chairs are for the rest of the class, who are at home, zooming into the discussion instead. While this makes the conversation stop-and-go, the students are focused. They’re talking about air pollution, and it’s personal.
- In 1981, Michael Coyer skateboarded down Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass — and lived to tell about it (VV Daily Press). California Highway Patrol officer when he sped down the freeway in the Cajon Pass on a modified skateboard — a stunt that made headlines around the world. Coyer, then a 19-year-old Apple Valley High School graduate from Hesperia, was attempting to break a Guinness World Record at the time. His feat on July 2, 1981, was actually one of several practice runs.
- ＄/SDUT San Diego County would get $97 million for transportation, road projects in House bill (San Diego Union-Tribune). The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would fund more than $97 million in major infrastructure projects in San Diego County. California would get nearly $1 billion for transportation and infrastructure projects statewide, if the measure passes through the Senate and is signed by President Joe Biden.
- The mantra at Manteca City Hall: Build Raymus Parkway (Expressway) come hell or high water (Manteca Bulletin). The sound of so-called planning experts slapping themselves on the back is actually more grating than the screeching of Jake brakes that Marian Rawlins and her neighbors rightfully fear as should thousands of current and future residents in South Manteca. Rawlins is fighting “The Machine” that created the problematic sprawl that led to all sorts of ills for California. “The Machine” is the Government Planning-Bank-Developer Complex. And while Rawlins seems convinced it is all done for the sake of developers and therefore bending to their whims, for the past 50 years California laws and court decisions have tipped the scales heavily in the Government Planning-Bank-Developer Complex toward planning bureaucrats and their merry band of highly paid consultants.
- EXCLUSIVE: Feds sign off on biggest DC interstate renumbering in decades (WTOP). Local highway history was made late last spring when the federal government cleared the way for D.C.’s proposed renumbering of the Southeast Freeway and 3rd Street Tunnel. Officials are now poised to implement sweeping changes that could transform how drivers navigate the freeway through the District. The Federal Highway Administration has signed off on a District Department of Transportation request to redesignate the 3rd Street Tunnel as Interstate 195 and extend Interstate 395 across the entire length of the Southeast-Southwest Freeway. [Not California, but the interstate renumbering was very interesting]
- Jackpot? California Drivers Win Traffic Tickets For Driving On 15 Freeway Shoulders Out Of Las Vegas (CBS Los Angeles). Some Californians who enjoyed a long holiday weekend in Las Vegas are coming home with an unwanted and expensive souvenir – a ticket for trying to bypass heavy traffic by driving on the shoulder. With the 15 Freeway near the California-Nevada border jammed for miles most of the day Monday, and Nevada Highway Patrol officers were ready for drivers who got fed up with the backup.
- Legislature Approves $2 Million for Wildlife ‘Undercrossing’ to Improve Highway 17 Safety (San Jose Inside). Motorists on heavily traveled Highway 17 through the Santa Cruz Mountain could face fewer deer in their headlights, thanks to a $2 million state grant. The California Legislature last week included in its final budget a proposal to fund a project that will connect more than 30,000 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains currently separated by a busy four-lane highway. Hikers and wildlife will be able to better enjoy the mountains after the Highway 17 Wildlife and Trail Crossings Project is completed.
- Destruction For Nada campaign aims to stop freeway widening (Spectrum1). “Destruction For Nada” is a campaign launched by several grassroots organizations working to stop freeway expansions in LA County. According to them, it is destruction for nothing because more lanes just result in more traffic. Alexandria Contreras is head of a coalition that is part of this campaign.
- Proposed State Route 30 freeway in planning stages | News | westvalleyview.com (West Valley View). Plans for the proposed State Route 30 freeway in the West Valley may take hold in the future, following a recent regional council meeting by the Maricopa Association of Governments, or MAG. During the meeting, members of the MAG Regional Council supported a plan that includes the extension of a tax aimed at funding transportation projects in the Valley. The MAG Regional Council consists mainly of mayors, leaders and presidents from surrounding towns, cities and Native American Nations in Maricopa County and northern Pinal County. [Note: This is AZ 30; I happened to notice this while on vacation in Scottsdale, and as there is no updated AZ highway page, I thought I might inspire someone.]
- 71/91 Interchange Improvement Project in Corona Moves Closer to Start Line (Riverside County Transportation Commission). Improving the heavily congested and operationally deficient 71/91 Interchange in Corona took another step forward with the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s award last month of a construction management contract to Corona-based Falcon Engineering. The interchange serves as a gateway between Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties and is a vital link for commuters and freight vehicles that use the 91. The interchange reconstruction project is designed to help relieve traffic congestion, increase travel reliability, improve safety, and enhance air quality. Project team members are finalizing environmental approvals, plans, and permits before advertising for construction bids next spring. Construction is expected to start during the second half of 2022 and take about three years to complete.
- California Spending $61 Million on New Highway Crossings to Keep Wildlife Safe (Times of San Diego). It’d be just another normal day, nearly 17 feet above Highway 101 in Agoura Hills. A southern alligator lizard and a western toad hide from the heat in the greenery of restored native vegetation. Mountain lion cubs pounce on rocks and spring into the nearby canyons. The sun glints on the feathers of a golden eagle soaring overhead. This is the scene environmentalists hope will someday become reality on a massive overpass above the ten-lane freeway that cuts through the Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles. The project known as the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing is one step closer to happening now that Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a budget that includes $7 million to help build it — and another $54.5 million for similar projects in other parts of the state
- Caltrans seeks community feedback on SR-49 projects (Gold Country Media). Caltrans District 3 is conducting an online survey soliciting feedback from community members that will guide future project development to improve travel on the State Route 49 corridor between Auburn and Grass Valley. The survey is available at www.Hwy49CorridorPlan.com with public input requested by Aug. 15. Survey results will be incorporated into the SR-49 Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan (CMCP) being developed by Caltrans and its corridor partners, including local governments, community groups and transportation planning agencies in Placer and Nevada counties.
- ＄/PD Federal funds offer a ray of hope for long-suffering commuters on Highway 37 (Press Democrat). Rep. Jared Huffman had every intention of arriving early for Friday afternoon’s news conference at the Sonoma Raceway. The purpose of the event was to call attention to $7 million in federal funding requested by Huffman, D-San Rafael, and Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, for urgently needed improvements on Highway 37. But Huffman arrived 10 minutes late, having gotten stuck in the soul-crushing Friday afternoon traffic on — wait for it — Highway 37. “Took me a half hour to get here from Lakeville (Highway)” said the Congressman. “I was doing some fact finding out there.”
- ＄/MIJ San Rafael officials uneasy about I-580 connector impact (Marin I-J). San Rafael officials are expressing reservations about emerging plans to build a connector between Highway 101 and Interstate 580. City Council members, who received an update on the effort on Tuesday, said they are worried that the Transportation Authority Marin project could impact the city’s traffic flow. As it stands, northbound Highway 101 drivers must use local streets in San Rafael or Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Larkspur to get to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge by Interstate 580. The connector plan, still in the early stages of development, would link the two freeways for direct access to the bridge. Nine potential project routes are on the table, several of which could impact the city.
- Weekend Closures On Northbound SR-242 In Concord (Concord, CA Patch). Caltrans will be performing major road work on northbound state route 242 through Concord on the weekends of July 9-12 and July 16-19. The work will require full and partial highway closures for several days at a time. Northbound SR-242 is scheduled to be closed starting on Friday, July 9 at 10:00 p.m. until Monday, July 12 at 10:00 a.m. A second weekend closure is scheduled starting on Friday, July 16 at 10:00 p.m. until Monday, July 19 at 10:00 a.m.
- Maintenance work on historic Bixby Bridge shuts down Hwy 1 (KRON4). Planned maintenance work this month on the Big Sur coast’s historic Bixby Bridge along Highway 1 will result in full overnight closures for three weeks beginning Monday. The overnight closures will take place from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. The first night of the closure will be Monday. During the first week of maintenance work, Highway 1 at the Bixby Bridge will be closed from Monday, July 12 through Thursday, July 15, during the above specified hours, according to a Caltrans spokesperson. But, Highway 1 will be open for the weekend beginning at 6:30 a.m. Friday, July 16.
- Pomona Families Holding Out Against Caltrans/Metro Home Demolitions for 71 Widening (Streetsblog Los Angeles). Last month, Caltrans and Metro celebrated a virtual groundbreaking for the widening of State Route 71 through Pomona. The four-lane expressway is being widened into an eight-lane freeway. Construction is underway on the initial nearly two-mile $174 million segment, anticipated to be completed in 2024. Though the project is led by Caltrans, it is funded in large part by Metro county sales tax revenue.
- ＄/SDUT Caltrans to start resurfacing portions of SR-67 as large-scale project is delayed (Ramona Sentinel/SDUT). The start date of Caltrans’ proposed state Route 67 resurfacing project is being pushed back from this summer to spring 2022, Caltrans officials said. But in the meantime, a small-scale resurfacing project will begin July 19 to improve the main thoroughfare through Ramona, according to Caltrans. The full-scale Pavement Rehabilitation Project is planned for 18 miles of the highway from Willow Road just north of the San Diego River bridge in Lakeside to 10th Street in Ramona, said Marcelo Peinado, Caltrans district division chief maintenance engineering and asset management.
- Fed up with I-15 traffic at state line, Las Vegas mayor calls for action by California officials (Fox 5 Vegas). For more than a decade, Las Vegas locals have heard about a high-speed rail line for ushering Californians to and from Las Vegas. The pandemic caused even more delays; the latest company behind the project announced recently it’ll wait until next year just to fund it. Meanwhile, Californians keep pouring into Las Vegas, and vehicle traffic seems as bad as ever at the state line on weekends. It’s an issue wherein Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is calling for change. Goodman said the need is dire for California to put money into widening Interstate 15 from Barstow to the Nevada state line.
- Highway 101 Widening Project Gains $11 Million (The Santa Barbara Independent). A far-reaching bill to improve roads, bridges, transit, rail, and water in the United States passed the House of Representatives on July 1, with several projects specifically targeted for the central coast. Among them is $11 million toward adding a carpool lane to the 101 between roughly Sheffield Drive and Milpas Street. The INVEST in America Act (with INVEST standing for Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation) would put $715 billion toward infrastructure improvements nationwide, an every-five-years bill that provides bread-and-butter funding for local projects, said Lauren Bianchi Klemann, a spokesperson for the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG).
- ＄/PD Why is Highway 101 in the middle of Santa Rosa? (Press Democrat). Having Highway 101 run north and south smack through the middle of Santa Rosa may be convenient, but the divide it creates between east and west is mostly unfortunate. Some Santa Rosans in the 1940s thought the Highway 101 route could be placed around the town instead of through it and proposed routes further east or west, possibly along Fulton and Wright roads, to ease truck traffic in the city. But some businessmen worried about potential customers being rerouted too far from shops lobbied to have it close to downtown, and ultimately the city council agreed.
- ＄/SFC Higher tides will threaten Bay Area roads. Highway 37 shows the challenge ahead (SF Chronicle). It is by no means the only one. All along San Francisco Bay, low-lying roadways and rail lines face the potential of being flooded as sea levels rise and the bay expands. “This is a much bigger thing than most people realize,” said Randy Rentschler, director of legislation for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “The whole area is a transportation network at risk.” That risk is the result of generations viewing the shoreline’s shallow tidelands and mudflats as easy places to build the infrastructure required by a growing region, including highways and railroad tracks lines. The assumption was that the bay was locked in place — portions could be filled in, but it would never grow. That assumption didn’t take into account larger changes in the climate triggered by global temperatures that have climbed steadily since 1980 and show no signs of leveling off. As a result, a study last year by state and regional agencies said the combination of higher tides and rough storms in coming decades could upend travel in all nine Bay Area counties.
- ＄/SIT ‘Closure’ of Hwy. 37 not as bad as it sounds, says Caltrans (Sonoma News). Motorists have been taken aback by a roadside sign reading that Highway 37 will be closed from Aug. 2 to Aug. 13. For commuters on the heavily used route between Marin County and Solano County, Highway 101 and Interstate 80, it raised alarms. As it turns out, “closure” is too strong a word, and according to Vince Jacala of the California Department of Transportation, not a very accurate one. The work will be patch road repairs and sealing, and it will almost always take place during the night. “It’s just part of our infrastructure plan – Caltrans has to maintain the highway. There’s nothing wrong with it, it just needs work. Kind of a fix-it project.” The affected area is limited to the highway from Walnut Street in Vallejo to the junction of 37 with State Route 121 near the Sonoma Raceway, which is indeed the heart of the Sonoma-to-Solano commute route. But for the most it will be limited to non-commute hours between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. on weekdays. During those hours, westbound traffic may be interrupted. Traffic headed eastbound on the route may find their lane closed as well, on occasional nights, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. “Only one travel direction of State Route 37 will be closed at a time,” Caltrans said in an updated press release on July 14.
- Hummingbirds and Other Designs Beautify I-405 Retaining Walls (OCTA). Representations of hummingbirds and other natural elements grace retaining walls throughout the I-405 Improvement Project corridor, part of the Urban Garden theme that informs the aesthetic and landscape components of the project. As part of the Project Aesthetics and Landscaping Master (PALM) Plan, OCTA and Caltrans worked with each city along the corridor to create wall aesthetic plans that reflected natural and beach motifs within Orange County. The Urban Garden theme was selected to bring into harmony the sometimes conflicting nature of the county’s natural environment and the urban development that now dominates.
- July-August 2021 Newsletter (Ridge Route Preservation Organization). I-5 is commonly referred to as “The Grapevine” by locals and traffic reporters. Most assume the name derives from the twisty nature of the original roadway – the Ridge Route. That road was indeed very twisty, much like a grapevine. However, that is still not the reason. The name Grapevine actually comes from Grapevine Canyon, where old US 99 and I-5 come down from the mountains and into the San Joaquin Valley. The canyon is called such as wild grapes grow along the canyon walls. It was formerly known as Canada De Las Uvas which is Spanish for Canyon of the Grapes. The name Tejon Pass is also a “new” addition to the area. The current Tejon Pass was known as Grapevine Pass or Badger Pass until the 1850’s. Old Tejon Pass, much farther to the east, was a very treacherous route. That pass was eventually abandoned in favor of the current Tejon Pass. The name was just shifted to the new route.
- The US Interstate Highway System Shows Us The Future of EV Charging (CleanTechnica). On my recent cross-country trip, I realized just how weird the US highway system is. Numbers can be inconsistent, construction practices differ (sometimes in important ways), and at times the system just isn’t really complete. One great example of incompleteness was US Highway 70 between Raleigh, North Carolina, and the coast, now also known as “Future Interstate 42.” The biggest annoyance was that the road kept switching between freeway and surface street, often with no real warning other than a speed limit decrease and maybe some flashing lights. For people paying attention, it isn’t a problem at all, but we know how that goes. One semi-truck driver almost rear-ended me when I was stopped at the first light in a town, and there were several times that a person would randomly nail the brakes in front of me because they lifted their heads from a phone stupor and suddenly noticed a traffic light (but didn’t quite get as far as realizing that it was green before they slammed the wide pedal just in case).
- Highway 37 and sea level rise comes info focus (The Bay Link Blog). The future of the North Bay’s Highway 37 is the subject of interest as it relates to sea level rise — flooding has already affected the highway causing its closure for 28 days in 2017. The San Francisco Chronicle has taken a look at the issue in a recent story. MTC has also produced a video looking at Highway 37. Highway 37 cuts through delicate wetlands but also provides a critical link between the Bay Area’s northern counties. As many as 40,000 vehicles a day use the 21-mile highway that skirts the northern shore of San Pablo Bay, delivering commuters and goods.
- ＄/PD Highway 37 closures planned for road repair project (Press Democrat). Overnight closures of Highway 37 in Sonoma County are planned for next month during a road repair project. Crews will seal broken asphalt and make other repairs along the highway between Walnut Street in Vallejo and Highway 121, Caltrans said. The bulk of the work is scheduled to take place overnight on weekdays from Aug. 2 through Aug. 13. One side of the highway will be closed at a time. The eastbound side will be closed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on “various” nights, Caltrans said.
- California Makes $1.18 Billion Transportation Investment (Edhat). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) [last month] 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. “California has the most heavily-traveled transportation system in the country,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Today’s investment will allow Caltrans to make critical repairs and upgrades to our state’s roads and bridges, increase options for transit, rail, walking and biking, and support thousands of jobs.” Projects approved today include:
- Tehama County Highway 32 paving project underway (Corning Observer). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans District 2), in conjunction with Dig It Construction, Inc., is preparing to begin work on the Potato Patch Overlay Project on State Route (Highway) 32 in Tehama County. The $1 million project will replace asphalt concrete surfacing via dig outs and place a thin hot mix asphalt overlay approximately 28 miles east of Forest Ranch, from approximately 1 mile east of Deer Creek Bridge to a half-mile west of Slate Creek Bridge, and will include shoulder backing and upgrading guardrail to current standards.
- ＄Slab replacement project on 71 Freeway in Chino, Chino Hills begins July 26 (Champion Newspapers). Lanes and ramps will close periodically along the 71 Freeway from the Los Angeles-San Bernardino County line south past Butterfield Ranch Road for a $4.2 million slab replacement project, Caltrans announced. Work begins Monday, July 26 and will continue through late fall. Crews will work from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday. At times, full freeway closures could occur.
- Walnut Creek Express Lane Tolls Begin Aug. 20 (Walnut Creek, CA Patch). The Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Tuesday announced that an express lane along an 11-mile stretch of southbound Interstate Highway 680 from Martinez through Walnut Creek will begin charging tolls next month. The tolling operations will begin at 5 a.m. on Aug. 20 and will connect with the existing 11-mile express lane from Rudgear Road in Walnut Creek to Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon, according to the MTC.
- Resurfacing Starts on State Route 192 Near Carpinteria (Noozhawk.com). A project to resurface State Route 192 in both directions from Linden Avenue to State Route 150 near Carpinteria will begin Thursday, July 15. Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control Sunday night through Friday morning during the overnight hours, 11:55 p.m.-6 a.m.
- Caltrans re-doing Main Street and West Line Street in Bishop and they want to hear YOUR suggestions (Sierra Wave: Eastern Sierra News). Bishop Mayor Stephen Muchovej want Bishop residents to know that Caltrans is starting the process to re-do Main Street and West Line street. Even though the work won’t happen until 2022, the time for you to give your input is NOW!!! So what would you like to see as part of this large project? Have your say by NEXT MONDAY by commenting here: https://deavpm.wixsite.com/bishop-pvmt/submit-comments!!!!!
- Bixby Bridge has fully reopened after maintenance work was completed ahead of schedule (KSBW). CalTrans District 5 has announced Bixby Bridge is now fully reopened after overnight closures for maintenance were canceled. The overnight closures were originally scheduled to continue into next week through July 30. Contracted maintenance crews were able to perform repairs and complete inspections of the bridge ahead of schedule.
- Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads – Featured Image – 7/22/2021. In 1955, the first section of the Golden State Freeway opened. It was a short section, running from near Weldon Summit to Foothill Blvd. The freeway was the first major attempt to improve traffic in the Newhall Pass area and it did help for a time. The freeway remained until the early 1970’s when the new I-5 / State 14 interchange was constructed and the old freeway was reconfigured to become the “Truck Lanes”.
- Pardon our temporary lack of materials says Caltrans, as work on Bishop Pedestrian Safety Plan resumes (Sierra Wave: Eastern Sierra News). The Pedestrian Safety Project in Bishop was delayed on Friday due to an anticipated shortage in materials. The project will resume tomorrow, Monday, July 26th, as originally planned, as the contractor was able to procure additional construction materials.
- I-680 express lane tolls to begin Aug. 20 between Martinez and Walnut Creek (Local News Matters). A new express lane along an 11-mile stretch of southbound Interstate 680 from Martinez through Walnut Creek will begin charging tolls next month, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission announced. The tolling operations will begin at 5 a.m. on Aug. 20 and will connect with the existing 11-mile express lane from Rudgear Road in Walnut Creek to Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon, according to the MTC. To use the express lane, drivers must have a FasTrak toll tag, with carpoolers needing a FasTrak Flex toll tag set to the 2 or 3+ position. People driving solo can pay a half-price toll if they have eligible clean-air vehicles and have a FasTrak CAV toll tag.
- 55-Hour 210 Freeway Closure In Sylmar To Begin Friday For Replacement Project (The Valley Post). A 55-hour closure of the westbound 210 Freeway in Sylmar is set to begin Friday evening as part of a replacement project. The closure is expected to begin at 10 p.m. Friday and end at 5 a.m. Monday, impacting the westbound 210 Freeway between the 5 Freeway and Roxford Street, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). In addition to the freeway, the closure also includes the westbound Polk Street on-ramp, the westbound Roxford Street on-ramp, the westbound Yarnell Street on- and off-ramps, the interchange from the westbound 210 Freeway to the 5 Freeway and the eastbound Paxton Street off-ramp.
- ＄/SJMN What happened to the Interstate 80-San Pablo Dam Road project? (SJ Mercury News). Q: I have a couple of questions about the highway connections I use regularly. First up is the Interstate 80/San Pablo Dam Road connection. A couple of years ago plans for a major reconfiguration were announced, detour signs were posted, etc. But since then nothing has happened. What gives? Was the project canceled?
- ＄/WDN Another milestone for 5 Freeway project is scheduled, but it means closures (Whittier Daily News). Another milestone in the ongoing widening of the 5 Freeway is expected to take place at 5 a.m. Saturday, July 31. New lanes on the south side of the freeway will open from half way between the Alondra Boulevard and Valley View Avenue bridges to the Orange County line, Caltrans spokesman Marc Bischoff said. Before the new lanes open, between 9 p.m. Thursday, July 29 until 6 a.m. Friday, July 30, the freeway will be reduced to two lanes for grinding and striping layout. Then, from 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 30 until 5 a.m. Saturday, July 31, the entire south side will be closed to allow for the traffic shift.
- Northbound SR-57 Improvements Advance (OCTA). OCTA continues to move forward on a project to improve northbound SR-57 in a critical part of the central Orange County freeway network. Recently, Parsons Transportation Group was selected to prepare plans, specifications and estimates for improvements to northbound SR-57 in Anaheim and Orange. The SR-57 Northbound Improvement Project will add one regular lane in the northbound direction of SR-57 between Orangewood and Katella avenues to improve traffic.
- Ortega Highway Closes For 55-Hours: San Juan Capistrano Drivers (San Juan Capistrano, CA Patch). The Ortega Highway will be closed, both ways, between Lake Elsinore and the Orange County line, CalTrans reports. The roadway will be shut down this weekend, for the second time this month, to facilitate work on the two-lane corridor, according to CalTrans. Though Friday commuters should be able to get home, provided they are done traveling the winding stretch of mountain road by 9 p.m., the closure was expected to last a full 55 hours.
- Metro Moves to Revive Canceled High Desert Freeway Project (Streetsblog Los Angeles). Remember that High Desert freeway project? The one that Caltrans canceled in 2019 due to legal pressure from environmentalists? It’s back. Kind of. Metro’s $8 billion, 63-mile High Desert Corridor freeway was supposed to connect Palmdale/Lancaster to Victorville/Apple Valley/Adelanto in San Bernardino County. Officially called the High Desert Multi-Purpose Corridor (HDMC), the project has Measure M sales tax funding for the L.A. County portion: $170 million available now, slated for property acquisition, and $1.8 billion scheduled for 2063-2067 for construction. Metro’s Measure R sales tax also had some
- Bridge Demolition Work To Close I-80 Connector Ramp In Vallejo (Benicia, CA Patch). Caltrans will close the eastbound Interstate Highway 80 and state Highway 29 (Sonoma Boulevard) connector ramp in Vallejo for two consecutive nights as crews start bridge demolition work for the bridge replacement project. The closure is from 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 31, until 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 1, and again from 11:59 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2.
- Vallejo expecting ramp closures for 80-29 Separation Bridge Project (California News Times). The Caltrans Bay Area will begin construction of the Interstate 80 Bridgebed at the State Highway 29 interchange in early June and is scheduled to be completed in June 2023. In this project, the 173 foot long bridge floor will be completely removed and replaced with a new reinforced bridge floor. Approach the slab. The new construction will include a Class 1 bike path north of State Highway 29, increasing the vertical clearance of the bridge from 15.2 feet to 18.7 feet and new drains on the I-80 upstream and downstream of the bridge. Is added.
Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)
- Former US Route 101 through Atascadero and Santa Margarita. US Route 101 through Atascadero and Santa Margarita of San Luis Obispo County, California was once carried through the communities via El Camino Real. US Route 101 is depicted below on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County when it was aligned on El Camino Real through Atascadero and Santa Margarita.
- Former US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo. Originally US Route 101 upon descending Cuesta Pass southbound entered the City of San Luis Obispo via Monterey Street. From Monterey Street US Route 101 utilized Santa Rosa Street and Higuera Street southbound through downtown San Luis Obispo. Upon departing downtown San Luis Obispo US Route 101 would have stayed on Higuera Street southward towards Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande. Notably; beginning in 1934 US Route 101 picked up California State Route 1 at the intersection of Monterey Street/Santa Rosa Street where the two would multiplex to Pismo Beach. Pictured below is the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County depicting the original alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in the City of San Luis Obispo.
- Former US Route 101 through Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande. The Cities of Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande are both located on US Route 101 in southern San Luis Obispo County. Within the City of Pismo Beach the original alignment of US Route 101 can be found on Price Street. The City of Arroyo Grande has two historic alignments of US Route 101; one that follows Branch Street and Bridge Street over the 1908 Arroyo Grande Creek Bridge and the other which follows Traffic Way. Pictured above is the then new US Route 101 freeway in Pismo Beach as it was in 1961. Depicted below is the alignment of US Route 101 through Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County.
- Former US Route 101 through Nipomo. The community of Nipomo is located on US Route 101 in southern San Luis Obispo County. Within the community of Nipomo the original alignment of US Route 101 can be found on Thompson Avenue. Depicted below is the alignment of US Route 101 through Nipomo when it was located on Thompson Avenue as seen on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County.
- Former California State Route 1 over Old Pedro Mountain Road. California State Route 1 in western San Mateo County traverses the Montara Mountain spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains. In modern times California State Route 1 passes through Montara Mountain via the Tom Lantos Tunnels and the highway is traditionally associated with Devils Slide. Although Devils Slide carries an infamous legacy due it being prone landslides it pales in comparison to the alignment California State Route 1 carried prior to November 1937 over Old Pedro Mountain Road.