🛣 Headlines About California Highways – November 2021

Eleven down, one to go. Perhaps 2022 will be better than 2021 was. We went into 2021 with so much optimism after 2020 and its craziness. It looked like things were going better, but then we were slammed with supply chain woes, and people that seemed more concerned with themselves and partisan political positioning than with making the world a better place (Tikkun Olam). But we can make 2022 better. You can do your part. Get vaccinated (and get a booster if have your first shots). Put your vaccine card in your digital wallet (it makes things easy). Wear your masks. Let’s keep beating this virus down until we can get that R0 to 1 or below. Right now, the R0 is at 1.1, so we’re getting closer. This chart visualizes how infectious SARS-COV-2 is without the vaccine, compared to other diseases.

But November has been crazy in other ways. On the plus side, theatre is coming back and I saw two shows in November: Hamilton and Head Over Heels. That’s the good. The bad is that I saw the last show with a friend, not my wife. That’s because my wife fell in a store the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and has been in the hospital since. They repaired the broken kneecap and tib-fib fracture, and now it is just rehab until mid-December at least. That sees me on the roads more, but not for a good reason.

But at least I can give you something fun. Here are the headlines I collected for November. As always: Ready, Set, Discuss, and get your vaccine or booster.


[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For $ paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • Goodman urges California officials to widen I-15; Caltrans says not so fast (Las Vegas Review-Journal). After an end to any busy weekend in the Las Vegas Valley, you can almost count on two things happening: a miles-long traffic backup on Interstate 15 southbound, and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeting about it. With the interstate going from three lanes on the Nevada side to two on the California side, traffic can back up more than 20 miles on some busy holiday weekends. Last week’s EDC music festival drew hundreds of thousands of people, with many driving in from Southern California. The backup on Monday, after the festival ended, got up to at least 15 miles long, according to Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada traffic alerts. Goodman took to her Twitter account to urge California transportation officials to help ease the congestion.
  • $$American Canyon looks at gas stations and hotels on Highway 29 (Napa Valley Register). American Canyon’s main drag of Highway 29 could get another hotel, though adding gas stations beyond an upcoming Circle K looks doubtful. This week, the city Planning Commission had two discussions that could affect the Highway 29 ambiance. It recommended the City Council allow a Hampton Inn and favored a ban on new gas stations, pending a few details to be worked out. American Canyon’s highway stretch is the first look at Napa County for many visitors. It is a mixture of new shopping centers, old buildings and vacant lots. A three-story, 112-room Hampton Inn with such features as a fitness center and meeting room would be just south of Donaldson Way. It would replace, among other things, a house with a windmill in front of it on a 2.5-acre lot that is largely vacant.
  • Who killed L.A.’s streetcars? We all did (Los Angeles Times). Suppose you’re thinking of moving to Los Angeles, and you ask your friends, what movies should I watch to learn all about the place? Easy, they say. “Chinatown,” “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” That’s fine — if you’re willing to let movies teach you history. But do remember, please, that “Chinatown” is a brilliant but truth-adjacent film and that “Once Upon a Time” delivers a happy grisly alternate ending to the Charles Manson saga. And as for “Roger Rabbit,” do you really want your source material about L.A.’s electric streetcar system to come from a cast of animated lagomorphs? Next to the Black Dahlia, that is probably L.A.’s favorite murder-conspiracy whodunit: Who killed the Red Cars, once the grandest electric streetcar system in the nation?
  • Phase 2 of the Route 70 Safety and Passing Lanes Project (District 3/FB). Caltrans and its partners celebrated the completion of Phase 2 of the Highway 70 Safety and Passing Lanes Project in Butte County this morning. The new roadway improves safety along Highway 70 corridor by providing continuous passing opportunities for vehicles from East Gridley Road to the Butte-Yuba county line. The project is the third of six major roadway improvement projects completed on Highway 70 between Oroville and Marysville.
  • South Fresno Corridor Project (District 6/FB). District 6 will host a virtual public hearing for the South Fresno Corridor Project. The hearing will be held on November 4th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. You may access the virtual hearing through the project website: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-6/district-6-projects/06-0h240
  • Golden State Bridge Inc. Delivers Unique Reconstruction Project (Construction Eqpt. Guide). The new $18 million Klamath River Bridge, a 300-ft. long, one lane in each direction, arch structure located north of Yreka, Calif., constructed by Golden State Bridge Inc. for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), was fully delivered on Oct. 1 of this year. The complex project dealt with many environmental hurdles, which required a unique falsework system envisioned and implemented by Golden State’s Project Manager Paul Lukaszewicz, Superintendent Jim Banbury and Project Engineer Evan Huber to meet all concerns of the permitting agencies with no temporary structures in the flowing water. An engineered bridge removal plan also was required to dismantle the old structure and prevent debris from falling into the river.

  • Pilots, soarers angrily protest revised Rincon multi-use trail project (CoastalView). At the Oct. 28 Architectural Review Board meeting – held in-person, with no live streaming options – community members filled a packed city hall, angrily protesting the revised Rincon multi-use trail project. After lengthy public comment and discussion, the board unanimously voted to move the project forward to the Carpinteria Planning Commission. The controversial project has been a subject of public discussion over the past several years, after first appearing on the county and city’s desk nearly a decade ago. Its 2,800 linear feet stretches across county, city and CalTrans property, at 16-feet wide – all concrete – and with protective fencing and railings. Of the proposed trail, 850 feet is under Carpinteria’s jurisdiction.
  • Azalea Bridge Project Update (District 2/FB). Caltrans District 2, in conjunction with Abacus Construction, Inc., is nearing completion of the Azalea Bridge project on Interstate 5 near Mt. Shasta. Paving has been completed and the installation of guardrail on the bridge is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. Crews will also be conducting surface grinding to smooth out portions of the bridge. If weather permits these final touches in the coming weeks, work is scheduled to be completed by Thanksgiving.
  • Caltrans working to resolve traffic signal timing issues on Highway 49 in Auburn (Gold Country Media). Completion of the State Route 49 roadway rehabilitation and complete streets project in Auburn has been delayed due to traffic signal electrical malfunctions. While the bulk of the roadway and sidewalk improvements were completed over the summer, new traffic camera sensor systems were slated for activation by mid-October. During activation last month, an electrical malfunction was diagnosed in 12 of the 17 cabinets that control coordinated traffic signal timing. Caltrans, its electrical subcontractor and the electrical cabinet manufacturer have been working to diagnose and correct the issue and restore signal coordination to improve traffic flow.
  • $$Redwood City to cut ribbon on new Highway 101 pedestrian undercrossing (San Mateo Daily Journal). Redwood City officials will commemorate the opening of the new Highway 101 pedestrian undercrossing that will connect the bike path on Bair Island Road with the bike lanes on Main Street. The 14-foot wide path will maintain 9 to 10 feet of headroom beneath the freeway and adjacent to Redwood Creek and will have landscaping improvements, site lighting, two retaining walls and a scenic overlook, according to the city. The ribbon cutting will be 2 p.m. Nov. 10. Creating a physical link between the Bayfront areas and downtown has been a long-term planning goal of the city. Previously, an existing, undeveloped and narrow foot trail crossed under the freeway at this location.
  • MTC: Bay Area Roads In ‘Fair’ Condition 5 Years Running; Cupertino, Dublin, Palo Alto Top Region (CBS San Francisco). Pavement conditions on the Bay Area’s 44,000 miles of roads continue to be in “fair” condition, with the typical road showing significant wear, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Data released by the agency on Tuesday showed the region’s pavement condition index (PCI) was at 67 out of 100 points for the fifth straight year.
  • El Centro reopens access to I-8; PD to gain new personnel (The Desert Review). The El Centro City Council approved the hiring of additional police officers and a support staff; and announced the partial reopening of Westbound Interstate 8 and Imperial Avenue on- and off-ramps at its regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 2. “We look forward to build the organization back,” said El Centro Police Chief Brian Johnson. At a time when other cities in the nation were defunding their police forces, El Centro City Council members supported the Police Department with the approval of hiring two police lieutenants and one secretarial assistant, according to the chief.
  • Final Marin-Sonoma Narrows project put out to bid (Marin I-J). A decades-old project to widen a traffic-plagued section of Highway 101 in Marin and Sonoma counties has moved a step closer to completion. Caltrans put the last 6-mile segment of the Marin-Sonoma Narrows project out to bid for construction on Monday. Bids for the $90 million, three-year job are due by Jan. 5. The final stage involves the southern section of the larger $762 million traffic relief project on a 17-mile stretch between Novato and Petaluma. Traffic congests as the highway narrows from four or three lanes to two, depending on the direction.
  • San Elijo Lagoon Highway Bridge (District 11/FB). Still unsure about where the bike and pedestrian bridge will sit underneath the San Elijo Lagoon highway bridge? In these recent photos, you can see that it hangs about 20 feet below the southbound lane over the lagoon. Once complete it will connect the new bike and walking path from Solana beach to Manchester Avenue. The new bike and pedestrian bridge are expected to be open for public use by April 2022.
  • Conway Ranch Shoulders Project (District 9/FB). Caltrans District 9 is seeking public comment on its proposed Conway Ranch Shoulders Project beginning today until Monday, December 6, 2021. This 2.2-mile project, which is currently in the design stages, will construct 8-foot wide shoulders on both sides of U.S. Highway 395 north of Lee Vining from the junction of State Route 167 to 0.4 miles north of Conway Ranch Road.
  • Orange Striping for Lanes (FB) (District 11/FB). As part of the Build NCC Carlsbad Carpool/HOV extension project, @SANDAGregion and Caltrans District 11 will be piloting temporary orange lane striping within the construction zone on I-5. Highly visible orange lane striping will be used for the first time in California to enhance construction work zone awareness and to distinguish the proper travel path for motorists, especially when they enter and exit a construction work zone on the highway.
  • Caltrans to begin Interstate 15 work between Hesperia and Victorville on Sunday (VV Daily Press). Caltrans is scheduled to begin a roadwork project this weekend on Interstate 15 between Oak Hill Road in Hesperia and just south of Bear Valley Road in Victorville. The lane-and-ramp rehabilitation project between the two cities is part of Caltrans’ $122 million roadway project along I-15 in San Bernardino County, according to the state  agency. The project includes the rehabilitation and repaving of 59 miles of lanes and ramps, and upgrading drainage systems, Caltrans said. Work is expected to restore the structural integrity and ride quality of I-15 pavement over the course of the project.
  • California, Bay Area expected to be big beneficiaries of infrastructure bill (KTVU). California and the Bay Area are expected to be big beneficiaries of the infrastructure bill. All manner of transportation projects, like road improvement and bridge repair, are expected to get a sizable chunk of infrastructure money. So, passage of the $1.2 trillion plan is welcome news to people like Alfredo Pedroza, who chairs the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
  • Caltrans meets with Chico residents about a $33.2M Highway 32 repaving plan (Action News Now).Caltrans met with people living in Chico about their new $33.2 million Highway 32 re-paving plan between Muir Ave. and Highway 99. Several people at the meeting Tuesday met in the Valley Contractors Exchange building parking lot off of East Eight St. They told Action News Now the plan will help a lot, but there are still many issues not addressed, that need to be solved. “Some of the things that we are primarily concerned about regarding bike advocacy, are the lack of bike lanes or any bike infrastructure included on the 8th and 9th portion going towards the freeway,” said Katie Carpenter, a Board Member at Chico Velo. Many people are mainly concerned about the safety for pedestrians and cyclists as several parts of the highway don’t have paths they can walk or bike on. “Most people will not ride a bicycle for transportation unless they feel comfortable, so if you make them feel comfortable by having bike lanes, more people will ride their bicycles, and that eases traffic,” said Ann Bykerk-Kauffman, who lives in Chico.
  • California gets small share of infrastructure bill (CalMatters). California will receive about $45.5 billion from the infrastructure improvement legislation that Congress approved last week, which sounds like a lot of money. In fact, it’s the largest share of the $1.2 trillion program of any state and President Joe Biden wants Californians to be appreciative. “The historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make life better for millions of California residents, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth, and position the United States to win the 21st century,” the White House said in a statement detailing the state’s share.
  • Highways force out residents in communities of color — again (Los Angeles Times). Modesti Cooper first spotted the patch of land from 8,000 miles away. The tree-studded lot with a “For sale” sign zoomed into focus on Google Earth seven years ago as Cooper sat at a computer inside her U.S. Air Force office in Afghanistan. After six overseas deployments, the civilian IT worker was finally ready to settle down and had been scouring for properties in her hometown of Houston. She bought the land and built a four-story home with a pool, the letter “M” engraved in the tile. Today, the house is slated for destruction to make way for a planned widening of Interstate 10.
  • The racist history of America’s interstate highway boom (Los Angeles Times). When President Eisenhower created the U.S. Interstate Highway System in 1956, transportation planners tore through the nation’s urban areas with freeways that, through intention and indifference, carved up Black communities. Overall, within the first two decades of highway construction alone, more than 1 million people had lost their homes nationwide. In Nashville, civic officials added a curve to Interstate 40 in 1967 to avoid a white community in favor of knocking down hundreds of homes and businesses in a prominent Black neighborhood. Highway planners in Birmingham, Ala., did the same thing when routing Interstate 59.
  • $$On 85th anniversary of Bay Bridge, we look at designs that wound up going nowhere (SF Chronicle). The map of any large city is shadowed by architectural ghosts — not just what once existed, but visions of a future that never came to pass. For San Francisco, these what-ifs include all the Bay Bridges that ultimately went nowhere — including two that touched down on Telegraph Hill. They now reside in three boxes tucked deep within the sixth-floor history center at the San Francisco Main Library. That’s because they weren’t just clownish trial balloons. In fact, they were debated at City Hall during a lengthy quest by officials in the 1920s to craft a bridge concept that the U.S. War Department would allow. This endeavor was a flop, as Mayor “Sunny Jim” Rolph confessed in July 1927: “We have been to Washington. We have returned. We did not bring back the bacon.” But it helped lay the groundwork for the bridge that opened 85 years ago, on Nov. 12, 1936. To mark the occasion, we’ve exhumed a handful of the long-forgotten contenders. You’re about to see how different today’s San Francisco would be if these proposals had come to pass.
  • $$This Bay Area highway sees more roadkill than any other road in the state (SF Chronicle). A stretch of Interstate 280 between San Bruno and Cupertino on the Peninsula has been rated the worst place in California for vehicle collisions with wildlife, according to a new report from researchers at UC Davis. For the past five years, that stretch of roadway has seen the most — and the costliest — wildlife-vehicle collisions in the state, the report found. Five of the top 20 most expensive 1-mile segments of highway for wildlife collisions in California are on Interstate 280: Roadkill incidents on 31 miles of the highway cost around $5.8 million annually, or nearly $188,000 per mile every year. Wildlife-related crashes can also lead to highway deaths and severe injuries.
  • Happy 85th to the Bay Bridge (The Bay Link Blog). November marks the 85th anniversary of the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The span opened Nov. 12, 1936, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge. The MTC Library has uncovered a document that is a fun read for fans of the Bay Bridge and history. The document was published in November 1936 by the California Department of Public Works to commemorate the opening. The publication has many photos and stories about the building of the span, as well as opening day ceremonies and documents President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s participation in the event.
  • Bipartisan infrastructure bill: Here’s what California will get (SF Gate). Billions of dollars will be poured into California’s roads, pipes and wires, among other infrastructure projects, after President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Tuesday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris at his side. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., celebrated the passage of the bill for Californians in a tweet Tuesday, citing the historic lack of investment in the state’s infrastructure and the state’s subpar grades from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The bill’s signing comes after weeks of arduous debate and demands for cutbacks. The bill eventually received support from a critical mass of Republicans, including Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky..
  • Steelhead Constructors Demolishes Old Bridge, Builds New One (Construction Eqpt. Guide). Steelhead Constructors started work on the $10.2 million Moffett Creek Bridge Replacement Project last May, a California Department of Transportation initiative that will be delivered by the end of November. The project is taking place 6 mi. north of the city of Fort Jones (Siskiyou County) in Scott Valley. The bridge is along State Route 3.
  • Carpinteria Architectural Review Board OKs Rincon Multiuse Trail Despite Paraglider Opposition (Noozhawk). The Carpinteria Architectural Review Board last month voted to move forward on the revised Rincon multiuse trail project despite strong opposition from a group of local  paragliders. The 2,800-foot, multiuse trail, which was originally proposed nearly a decade ago, would connect the eastern end of Carpinteria to Rincon Beach County Park, filling a gap in the California Coastal Trail that would run through both the city’s and county’s jurisdiction. “The purpose of the project is to close an existing critical gap in the California Coastal Trail between the Carpinteria bluffs and the Pacific Coast bikeway that would serve to enhance opportunities for public coastal access and recreation, support alternative means of transportation, and provide a safe and attractive alternative route to the existing unsanctioned, informal use trails connecting the Carpinteria bluffs to Rincon Beach County Park,” according to the staff report.
  • Biden signs $1T infrastructure deal with bipartisan crowd (AP News). President Joe Biden signed his hard-fought $1 trillion infrastructure deal into law Monday before a bipartisan, celebratory crowd on the White House lawn, declaring that the new infusion of cash for roads, bridges, ports and more is going to make life “change for the better” for the American people. But prospects are tougher for further bipartisanship ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as Biden pivots back to more difficult negotiations over his broader $1.85 trillion social spending package.
  • $$Napa County wants share of $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill | Local News | napavalleyregister.com (Napa Valley Register). President Joe Biden signed the trillion-dollar federal infrastructure bill on Monday and local officials say a portion should flow here to address Highway 29 congestion, improve bus service and possibly boost broadband coverage. Napa County isn’t mentioned in a bill that’s 1,000 to 2,000 pages, depending on the print size. Local leaders didn’t name one specific Napa County project that has an earmark. There’s no huge check in the mail with the county’s name on it. Instead, local leaders talked of more formula transportation funds coming to the county for highways, roads, and transit. They talked of more chances to compete for money for specific projects.
  • Malibu, CA Department Of Transit Discuss Rock Retaining Wall (Malibu Patch). Malibu and the California Department of Transportation updated residents on their ongoing construction of a big rock retaining wall on State Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway), according to Caltrans. The meeting took place virtually at 6 p.m. Thursday. The $12.4 million project will restore a 180-foot area of PCH that was damaged during 2015 and 2016, thus making PCH dangerous just south of Big Rock Drive, according to Caltrans.
  • San Rafael officials narrow I-580 connector preferences (Marin I-J). Officials took a step closer this week to narrowing options for a proposed freeway connector from northbound Highway 101 to eastbound Interstate 580. Members of the San Rafael City Council, which received a project update on Monday, generally supported continuing to study four out of nine alternatives based on community concerns about cost and impacts on the city. The Transportation Authority of Marin is leading the effort. The preferred proposals included alternatives 2 and 6, which would exit Highway 101 midway down the bridge structure at the top of Cal Park Hill; and alternatives 3 and 3b modified, which would exit closer to Bellam Boulevard near Marin Square Shopping Center.
  • Here’s what the Biden infrastructure bill could mean for Berkeley (BerkeleySide). The $1.2 trillion infrastructure package President Joe Biden signed Monday is expected to pour billions of dollars into the Bay Area, where the surge of new spending could help repair aging bridges, protect key highways from sea level rise and make BART commutes quicker. In Berkeley, the bill could fund new zero-emission AC Transit buses and street safety improvements, among other potential uses. But for some infrastructure needs, namely repaving local roads, its impact could be a lot more limited.
  • The Bay Area’s very first bridge has been abandoned for nearly 40 years (SF Gate). A roar of laughter made its way down the long picnic table where men, women and children enjoyed a special barbecue feast. Throughout the park, an enthusiastic crowd delighted in the day’s festivities of knife throwing competitions, fortune-teller readings, and dancing at the jubilee held in honor of the new bridge. Newark residents could hardly contain themselves the morning the Dumbarton Rail Bridge finally opened in 1910. Fueled by the opportunities it could bring, the city of Newark hosted a grand celebration for thousands of locals who traveled from surrounding cities to the sleepy East Bay town. Guests clanked their beer mugs and were even allowed to trek along the bridge span where they admired it within reach. Some ventured off dangerously close to the edge and gazed into the dark, churning waters below.
  • Caltrans completes three major I-80 projects near Nevada state line (KRNV). A few projects along Interstate 80 are finally done after causing some slowdowns over the past couple of years. Caltrans said the completed projects are making the corridor much safer for drivers, especially ahead of winter. The three projects are focused through the corridor just past the California-Nevada state line on the westbound side of I-80, between Floriston and Farad. According to Raquel Borrayo, spokeswoman for Caltrans District 3, all of these projects are now wrapped up.
  • Historic 101 Signs in San Juan Bautista (San Juan Bautista Hist. Society/FB). Thanks to our membership, the SJB Historical Society has donated 4 Historic California US 101 Route signs placed along the Alameda and Third Street in town. Have you spotted them? Here are 2. One is in front of 18th Barrel Tasting Room.
  • Burbank Bridge Scheduled to Reopen (Outlook Newspapers). More than a year and a half after work crews demolished it, a reconstructed Burbank Boulevard bridge is projected to reopen on Nov. 24. Michael Comeaux, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, said that the date might change depending on weather or operational hiccups. Caltrans demolished the bridge in April 2020 as part of a project to widen the 5 Freeway with carpool lanes between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street. The bigger bridge will accommodate the freeway’s new layout, expanding from a total of six lanes to 10 — three in each direction for vehicles traveling on Burbank Boulevard and two turn lanes in each direction toward the on-ramp.
  • Caltrans nearing completion of Hwy 174 Safety Project (YubaNet). Caltrans has completed major roadway improvements with minor construction items remaining on the State Route 174 (SR-174) safety improvement project between You Bet Road and Maple Way in Nevada County. The $27.1 million safety improvement project, which began in August 2020, has realigned several curves, widened shoulders, added a southbound left-turn pocket at Greenhorn Access Road and improved the clear recovery zone for errant drivers to regain control.
  • A ‘mythical bridge’ no more: Palo Alto’s new bike overpass is now open (Palo Alto Online). As a coalition of cycling groups, community members, city employees and company representatives gathered on the east Baylands side of the new bridge over U.S. Highway 101, officials from the city, county and state couldn’t help but repeat one message in their speeches before they opened the path with a ribbon cutting: Finally. “After a year and a half of construction that included 13 million pounds of concrete, 1 million pounds of structural steel and 7,000 feet of electrical and fiber optic cable … we can definitely say now that the bridge is tangible and real,” Palo Alto Public Works director Brad Eggleston said.
  • First construction season finished for Highway 1 realignment at Gleason Beach (Press Democrat). It will be a few years before motorists can travel the newly prescribed route of Highway 1 on the south Sonoma Coast — a three-quarter-mile stretch of road that has been under construction since late summer. But steel and concrete pillars erected in recent months to support bridge decking that will be built next spring already delineate part of its path, as it swoops inland, curving up to 400 feet away from where the existing highway hugs the crumbling coast. Caltrans and other state officials say the $30 million-plus realignment is a critical step in guarding the state’s scenic highway from rising seas and storm surge.
  • “Moving San Francisco” looks at transportation in the city past and present (The Bay Link Blog). KQED will air a new documentary, “Moving San Francisco,” on KQED (Channel 9) on Monday at 9 p.m. It looks at how the city has been a constant laboratory for how to move people through its difficult urban landscape and how innovations throughout its history are setting the stage for solving today’s pressing transit problems. Among those interviewed is Therese McMillan, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
  • $$Opening date for San Mateo County’s Express Lanes segment delayed (San Mateo Daily Journal). Work on the San Mateo County 101 Express Lanes is progressing, with tolling expected to start soon, although the projected express lanes opening date for the southern segment has been pushed back to Jan. 28. The Express Lanes Project is a joint venture from Caltrans, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, or TA, and the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, or C/CAG. The project will create 22 miles in each direction of new express lanes on the Highway 101 corridor in San Mateo County. Transportation officials have said it would reduce congestion, increase the number of people who can travel, encourage carpooling and transit use and improve travel times. Express lanes are carpool lanes that give solo drivers the option to pay a toll to use the lanes, which transit agencies believe will provide an incentive for solo drivers to switch to carpools or buses.
  • Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge Opens in Palo Alto (CBS San Francisco). The City of Palo Alto held a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday to open the new Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge. The $23.1 million project replaces the seasonal Benjamin Lefkowitz Underpass that was available only half the year (on average) due to seasonal flooding. It provides a new access route to Baylands Nature Preserve and East Bayshore Road amenities and businesses.
  • Hecker Pass roundabout complete (Gilroy Dispatch). Work recently wrapped up on a new roundabout on Hecker Pass Highway at Autumn Way. Construction began in early spring. A crosswalk was also included in the roundabout, where traffic will slow down to 30mph. The new traffic pattern is part of the Hecker Pass Specific Plan, approved in 2005 and last modified in 2015, which provides a framework for development within 423 acres surrounding Hecker Pass Highway between Santa Teresa Boulevard and Gilroy Gardens.
  • $$Caltrans OKs new look on Broadway through Sonoma (Sonoma News). New yellow lines on Broadway have the green light – as Caltrans has approved a request by the Sonoma City Council to restripe the thoroughfare’s approach to Napa Street in a new configuration. Broadway’s new look will include a reduction in vehicle lanes between MacArthur and Napa streets to make room for the addition of bike lanes in both north- and south-bound directions. The changes to Broadway’s transportation lanes have been in the cards for more than a year, as Caltrans offered to complete the work as part of its $7 million Highway 12 repaving project planned for the fall of 2021.
  • More minor blasting on Highway 70 anticipated (Plumas News). Caltrans District 2 and contractors conducted blasting operations at the slide location on Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon near the Butte/Plumas County Line just before noon yesterday as planned. The blasting was able to loosen fractured rock from the slope and near the roadway. Minor blasting operations are currently anticipated to remove and bring more debris closer to the roadway. Scaling operations from above took place on Monday and are ongoing today. Following scaling and blasting operations, the site will be further assessed for safety prior to crews and equipment being placed underneath for continued debris removal.
  • How the Port of Oakland Can Help Relieve the Global Supply Chain (KQED). Massive bottlenecks and backlogs in southern California are disrupting the global supply chain, leading to a shortage of everything from computer chips to kitchen supplies. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach together bring in 40% of all goods shipped to the country by water, but these harbors are struggling to keep up with the influx of containers full of new goods coming in.
  • Ħ Lincoln Highway artifact found! (Adventures in California History). An exciting discovery of a long-lost artifact from the terminus of the Lincoln Highway has been found and is now in possession of the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA). The LHA replica concrete terminus post is shown above at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, San Francisco. That post was installed in 2002 by the LHA. The object below comes to us from 1917 and is the only known object remaining from the Terminus area. It read’s, END OF THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY.
  • Conway Ranch Shoulders Project (District 9/Twitter). Caltrans District 9 is seeking public comment on its proposed Conway Ranch Shoulders Project beginning today until 12/6/2021. Please submit your comments to Kirsten Helton, District 9 Environmental Branch Chief, at Kirsten.Helton@dot.ca.gov or to D9PublicInfo@dot.ca.gov.
  • Highway 46 rest area reopens in Shandon after renovations |  (San Luis Obispo Tribune). The roadside rest stop in Shandon off Highway 46 East reopened Monday after extensive renovations. The $1.1 million project focused on improvements to the wastewater system, with upgrades to the advanced treatment wastewater disposal system and the installation of a cloud-based resource monitoring system, according to a news release from Caltrans. The reopening includes full access to the electronic vehicle charging system, the release said.
  • Bay Area projects get cash as part of nearly $1 Billion in grants from DOT (The Bay Link Blog). Nearly $1 billion in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program have been announced, and include money for two Bay Area projects. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority will receive $18 million toward the $110 million project to replace seven seismically deficient bridges, reinforce one bridge, and narrow exit ramps with a realigned roadway on Treasure Island. Additionally, this project includes foundations for tolling infrastructure, a Class 1 bicycle facility and a transit-only access ramp. This project is the last of three projects designed to improve multi-modal access between Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands and the greater San Francisco/Oakland area.
  • Marin Voice: All San Rafael stakeholders must have say in highway connector project for 101-580 (Marin Independent Journal). Resolving serious traffic safety and congestion problems in San Rafael is not currently part of the Transportation Authority of Marin’s project to connect Highway 101 and Highway 580. It’s intended to reduce the evening backup on 101 by rerouting Richmond-San Rafael Bridge traffic from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Larkspur to a new connector ramp from northbound 101 to eastbound 580 in San Rafael. Unfortunately, this doesn’t address longstanding problems including the daily backup of traffic from Bellam Boulevard onto 101 and 580. This is not only an inconvenience, but also a recipe for collisions.
  • Roadkill runs rampant on 280 (Scot Scoop News). In addition to the rolling green hills and the sparkling Crystal Springs reservoir one might see taking a drive down Interstate 280, dead animals along the road are familiar sights for many citizens of the Bay Area. According to a new report by the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis, the Peninsula I-280 was named the deadliest highway for wildlife in all of California. Wildlife and vehicle collisions (WVC) cost $5.8 million in damage a year, are a depressing scene for many passersby, and a likely death sentence for the animals involved.
  • Scenic 247 committee making some progress on highway’s status (Hi-Desert Star). The Homestead Valley Community Council has good news about the progress of the campaign to achieve State Scenic Highway status for Highway 247. This Hi-Desert route had its beginnings when nomadic tribes traveled along the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains close to the year-round springs. A railroad surveyor encountered either a woman or women who were too old to travel camped by one of those springs, and it became Old Woman Springs Road.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • California State Route 266. California State Route 266 is 12 mile State Highway entirely contained within Fish Lake Valley of remote eastern Mono County. California State Route 266 begins at the southern terminus of Nevada State Route 264 at the Nevada State Line/Esmeralda County Line and jogs southward to California State Route 168 at the small community of Oasis. From Oasis the alignment of California State Route 266 swings eastward to a terminus at Nevada State Route 266 at the Nevada State Line/Esmeralda County Line. California State Route 266 has one of the lowest average daily traffic counts on any California State Highway with a 1992 estimate of 70-110 vehicles daily. Pictured above is the northern terminus of California State Route 266 at the Nevada State Line transitioning onto Nevada State Route 3A as depicted in the July/August 1966 California Highways & Public Works.
  • The Legislative Route gaps of US Route 101 and California State Route 1 on the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco Bay was dedicated on May 28th, 1937. The Golden Gate Bridge is associated with US Route 101 and California State Route 1 despite never having been maintained by the State of California. The lack of State Maintenance of the Golden Gate Bridge has led to numerous oddities pertaining to the Legislative Route descriptions of US Route 101 and California State Route 1 containing gaps over the structure. The Legislative Route descriptions are accentuated by a near signage gap in California State Route 1 over the Golden Gate Bridge. Pictured above as the blog cover is the Golden Gate Bridge as it appeared in the May 1937 California Highways & Public Works.
  • Paper Highways; US Route 6 to San Francisco via Tioga Pass. On February 8th, 1937 US Route 6 was approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials to be extended to Long Beach, California from Greeley, Colorado. The extension of US Route 6 to Long Beach is well documented due to it making the highway the longest US Route to have ever existed at 3,652 miles. What is not well known regarding US Route 6 is that it’s proposed extension to California included an alternative routing which would have seen the highway end in San Francisco upon crossing Tioga Pass of the Sierra Nevada Mountains through Yosemite National Park. Pictured above is the proposed alignment US Route 6 to San Francisco via Tioga Pass drafted by the California Division of Highways during June 1935.
  • California State Route 182 and the Sweetwater Road. California State Route 182 is a 13 mile State Highway entirely contained within northern Mono County. California State Route 182 follows Sweetwater Road north from US Route 395 in Bridgeport via the East Walker River to the Nevada State Line and Nevada State Route 338. Pictured above is Legislative Route Number 96 (now California State Route 182) facing north along the Bridgeport Reservoir as seen in the September/October 1953 California Highways & Public Works.