And we that, 2021 is in the history books. Good riddance. May 2022 be the year that sees us back on the front roads and back roads of this great state, secure in our health. I give us perhaps a 60% chance.
Why so low? Do I need to say it?
[Insert pause so that the various link previewers put the rest below the fold]
I guess I do need to say it. There are those today who put politics and partisanship over science and reason. Refusing to do something simply because someone says you need to do it is the behavior of a child. “I won’t eat my spinach, even though you say it is good for me.”
We started 2021 with such promise. A number of new vaccines were approved, temporary public health restrictions were lessening. But getting to a global vaccine level is hard … and we didn’t get there. The end of 2021 with the rise of the Omicron variant is showing that. Omicron just may be what turns this from epidemic to endemic, at least for those who are vaccinated (and who, as is looking more likely, get regularly boosted as with the flu vaccine). For those who are not vaccinated, the news may not be as good. Sometimes, you lose the dice roll.
But this is a highway headlines post, you say. Why do you drone on each month about this? The answer is simple. If we want to get back on the roads we have to get a handle on this. We want our road workers to be safe. We want those travelling the roads to be safe. We want, if there is an accident on the roads, for there to be available caregivers and available hospital space so the injured do not turn into casualties. That’s why I talk about this.
Please do what you can to stop the further spread of this disease. Do all that is in your power to stay healthy. If you are hesitant about anything, please feel free to reach out to me and we can talk.
Let’s make 2022 the year we get back to our new normal, out of the roads happy and healthy. Of course, to do that, it is important to know what is happening on the roads. So, with that, I present to you the last headline post of 2021. May you have a happy, and most importantly, healthy, new year.
P.S.: I’ve been working on the updates to the California Highways site. Once these December headlines are reviewed and incorporated, I can regenerate the files and upload.
[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. ]
- BTTF#12: Edward Everett Horton’s Encino Ranch Estate and the 101 Freeway; How A Celebrity Lost His Ranch to Suburbanization (San Fernando Valley Blog). Welcome aboard the Delorean! Marty McFly here to take you on a journey to the affluent and trendy community of Encino. The Delorean has the required plutonium plus some random garbage in the Mr. Fusion reactor ready for this trip. The time circuits are set to sometime in 1926 (actual date unknown) and the flux capacitor is………fluxxing. The engine is running (not stalled this time) so we need to hurry. Hang on, as the ride can be a little bumpy as we travel back in time to the Edward Evertt Horton Ranch Estate known as “Belly Acres” or “Belleigh Acres” at 5521 Amestoy Avenue in Encino.
- Metro breaks ground on I-5 North County Enhancements Project (The Source). Metro on Wednesday celebrated the groundbreaking for the I-5 North County Enhancements Project, which will improve the operations and safety of the I-5 freeway for motorists in the Santa Clarita Valley. Metro is planning, designing and managing the construction of the project in partnership with Caltrans. Watch the event here. This $679-million project is specifically designed to make the I-5 freeway safer, improve the movement of freight and people and accommodate expected population growth in the Santa Clarita Valley. Improvements include the addition of one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction along with other improvements in the 14-mile corridor between State Route 14 in Santa Clarita and Parker Road in Castaic.
- Napa County seems unlikely choice for Highway 37 reroute (Napa Valley Register). Relocating Highway 37 through Napa County’s Carneros wine country to avoid sea-level rise never looked like an appealing option and recent data makes it appear even less so. Regional transportation leaders say Highway 37 faces two big problems. One is sea level rise from San Pablo Bay they say could someday put parts of the road underwater. The other is congestion. One proposed solution is to elevate and widen the highway along its present route from Vallejo to Novato through Solano, Sonoma, and Marin counties. Another is to move the highway away from marshland to higher ground.
- Highway 101 carpool lane opening in Petaluma (Press Democrat). A temporary carpool lane is expected to open early Thursday on a stretch of Highway 101 that’s undergoing a widening project in Petaluma. The new northbound lane is on the Washington Creek Bridge between Lakeville Highway to the south and the Lynch Creek Trail bridge to the north, according to Caltrans. It was expected to be open by 5 a.m. Thursday, Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss said. “There will be three lanes the whole way, which is the first time it’s happened there,“ he said.
- Caltrans preps for 10-hour I-80 closure for bridge removal (Daily Republic). Crews on Thursday were making some of the final preparations for this weekend’s removal of the connector bridge from Highway 12 to eastbound Interstate 80. The work will cause a full I-80 closure from 11 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, the state Department of Transportation reported. Kiewit, of Fairfield, is the contractor on the $61 million project – the second package in the seven-phase $740 million Interstate 80/Interstate 680/Highway 12 Interchange Project.
- RAISE Grants Will Support Four California Transportation Projects (Streetsblog California). The federal transportation grants from what was the TIGER program created under President Obama have been released, and journalists and advocates note that this new version of the program is generally good news for sustainable and active transportation. The RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) grants, as they are now called, do support some road and highway expansion, but most of the money is going towards projects like greenways, transit planning, and pedestrian and bike improvements.
- Work crews complete I-80 bridge removal, reopen freeway on time in Fairfield (Daily Republic). A 10-hour closure of both eastbound and westbound Interstate 80 in Fairfield ended on time Sunday as crews reopened the freeway to traffic. I-80 was shut down in both directions for about 10 hours starting at 11 p.m. Saturday. The freeway was open again at 9 a.m. Sunday. Crews overseen by the state Department of Transportation removed the old Highway 12 to eastbound I-80 connector bridge. The work is part of the Interstate 80/Interstate 680/Highway 12 Interchange Project.
- San Anselmo Roads In Fair Condition; Fairfax Roads At Risk: Study (San Anselmo Patch). Pavement conditions in San Anselmo have improved since 2018, but streets in Fairfax are worse now, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission has found. Each year, the MTC studies the Bay Area’s nearly 44,000 lane-miles of local streets and roads, and in a report scores each city and county’s roads from 0-100. Numbers for 2020 were released in the MTC’s report last month, and San Anselmo was given a 68 — putting the city in the “fair” category. That number is an improvement for San Anselmo, as in 2019 the city’s roads earned a score of 66, and in 2018, a 65.
- Corte Madera Roads In Fair Shape; Larkspur Roads At Risk: Study (Larkspur Patch). Pavement conditions in Larkspur have improved since 2018, but the city’s roads are still “at risk” — and streets in Corte Madera have worsened, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission has found. Each year, the MTC studies the Bay Area’s nearly 44,000 lane-miles of local streets and roads, and in a report scores each city and county’s roads from 0-100. Numbers for 2020 were released in the MTC’s report last month, and Larkspur was given a 59 — putting the city in the “at risk” category. But that number is an improvement for Larkspur, as in 2019 the city’s roads earned a score of 52, and in 2018, a 46.
- xMarin water pipeline plan draws environmental lawsuit (Marin I-J). A Marin environmental group is suing to block a proposed water pipeline on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, citing the potential harm to endangered fish. The plaintiffs also allege the Marin Municipal Water District project could open the door to tens of thousands of new homes being developed in the county. The Fairfax-based North Coast Rivers Alliance filed the lawsuit on Thursday in Marin County Superior Court. “The question is, where are you going to get the water from? We’re saying, don’t take it from the delta,” said Frank Egger, the organization’s director. “Do you sacrifice salmon for consumptive uses in Marin County?”
- MTC funding helps North Bay Narrows project reach milestone (The Bay Link Blog). A 30-mile stretch of carpool lane has been connected on northbound Highway 101 in the North Bay from the Marin border to Windsor, which will improve traffic along a notoriously slow stretch of freeway known as the Marin Sonoma Narrows. MTC has long identified improvements to the U.S. 101 corridor in the North Bay as an important regional priority, including the Marin Sonoma Narrows, where lanes narrowed from three to two creating bottlenecks. MTC has contributed $15 Million in re-purposed federal earmarks, another $15.4 Million in STP funds and $23 Million in RTIP funds, and monies from the Prop 1B Corridor Improvement program, among other dollars. It also is advancing $76 in federal dollars toward the project. Caltrans, the Transportation Authority of Marin and Sonoma County Transportation Authority are partners on the project.
- Leaving Las Vegas: Newsom announces plan to ease congestion from Vegas to L.A. area (KTLA). A new plan to ease the traffic congestion that builds up to the L.A. area following weekend getaways to Las Vegas was announced Sunday. The shoulder portion of a five-mile stretch of the southbound 15 Freeway between the Nevada state line and the California Food and Agriculture checkpoint will be converted for use as an extra lane during peak hours, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said during a joint news conference to announce the plan.
- California and Nevada’s I-15 highway to get new lane (SF Gate). For those who frequently drive between California and Nevada, a 5-mile stretch of highway along the state lines is infamous for its terrible gridlock. Traffic on Interstate 15 can be backed up as many as 30 miles between Las Vegas and California on holidays, according to FOX5. Now, I-15 drivers might see some relief: California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a plan Sunday to temporarily add a third lane to the highway during peak congestion hours, reported FOX5.
- New roundabout at Hwy 129-Lakeview Road opens (The Pajaronian). The newly constructed roundabout at the intersection of Highway 129 (Riverside Road) and Lakeview Road opened on Dec. 3 to through traffic. Final roadway striping and a variety of construction details will be completed over the next few weeks, but the roadway and roundabout are now open to motor and pedestrian traffic, said Caltrans spokesperson Kevin Drabinski. The $3 million project was completed by Dreambuilder Construction of Placentia, Calif.
- Hwy. 46 widening project well under way in Lost Hills: Disruption in the name of traffic safety (KGET 17). Maybe you’re one of those who’ve been waiting for a faster, safer way to get to San Luis Obispo County on State Route 46. Well, step by step, that’s happening. The California Department of Transportation is making progress on the long-range project to make that east-west highway to Paso Robles faster and safer. In fact, just two sections of about a mile each remain – one through a section of the Lost Hills oilfield, and the other, under way now, through the tiny little village of Lost Hills itself. Residents of the company town, where the Wonderful Company employs hundreds – have mixed feelings about their heavily traveled two-lane main drag turning into a heavily traveled four lane highway.
- Newsom: Southbound I-15 near Nevada line will be widened to alleviate traffic jams (San Bernardino Sun). A 5-mile stretch of Interstate 15 south of the Nevada state line will be widened this spring in an effort to eliminate a frustrating bottleneck that has caused miles of backups for travelers to California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday. Caltrans will repave and restripe the right shoulder for use as a third lane during peak traffic periods, which Newsom described as Sundays and Mondays. Currently, that stretch narrows from three lanes to two lanes before increasing back to three. “This 5-mile stretch of highway is a critical piece of infrastructure for not only our two states but for the whole country. However, the hours of traffic deters tourism and goods movement,” Newsom said.
- ‘Bus on Shoulder’ Training Begins Along Northbound I-805 and Westbound SR-94 Shoulders (Times of San Diego). The Bus on Shoulder pilot project hit a major milestone this week when driver training began on the I-805 and SR-94 freeway shoulders between National City and Downtown San Diego. The pilot project is a joint effort between SANDAG, MTS, and Caltrans, in partnership with the California Highway Patrol, to improve reliability and maintain travel times for the South Bay Rapid Transit Service Route 225 by using select shoulders on the two freeways to bypass vehicle congestion during peak travel times.
- ＄60 years after being taken for abandoned L.A. freeway, homes may get new life (Los Angeles Times). Six decades after California transportation officials began seizing hundreds of properties for a freeway project that never came, Los Angeles leaders have unveiled a proposal to replace the decaying vacant homes and dirt-filled lots in the El Sereno neighborhood with new parks and housing. If the plan comes to fruition, it would be a major step forward in the saga involving the curtailed 710 Freeway, which hit a wall of opposition before it could stretch into wealthier communities.
- ＄Thomas Guide map books publish 2022 editions for Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times). For decades a Thomas Guide was a driver’s well-thumbed tool for survival in the freeway-heavy, ever-expanding sprawl of Southern California — as essential as a spare tire, at least until traffic apps made paper books seemingly obsolete. Younger Angelenos may never have heard of them, but the Thomas Guide lives on. The 2022 editions — the first in three years — are due out next week. Guidebooks and fold-out maps were first published by three Thomas brothers in Oakland in 1915. Their first city map, Los Angeles, came in 1946. San Francisco and other California cities followed a few years later, and the operation expanded to cover regions across America and Canada.
- 4 L.A. freeways make list of roads with most traffic in U.S. (KTLA). Even as traffic has somewhat improved since before the pandemic, Los Angeles still has some of the busiest roads in the U.S. — including the one with the worst gridlock, a new study released Wednesday showed. Transportation analytics firm INRIX crunched the data and came up with a list of the 25 most congested roads in America, which it included on its 2021 Global Traffic Scorecard. Topping the rankings is the southbound 5 Freeway between Euclid Avenue and the 605 Freeway, which has a peak delay of 22 minutes at 4 p.m., according to traffic data firm INRIX. The delay costs drivers an average of 89 hours this year, about a dozen hours more than the second busiest highway in New York City.
- Interstate 5 Improvement Project Breaks Ground in Santa Clarita (SCVNews). Metro Los Angeles celebrated the groundbreaking Wednesday for the I-5 North County Enhancements Project, which will improve the operations and safety of the I-5 freeway for motorists in the Santa Clarita Valley. Metro is planning, designing and managing the construction of the project in partnership with Caltrans. This $679-million project is specifically designed to make the I-5 freeway safer, improve the movement of freight and people and accommodate expected population growth in the Santa Clarita Valley. Improvements include the addition of one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction along with other improvements in the 14-mile corridor between State Route 14 in Santa Clarita and Parker Road in Castaic.
- Update on five Caltrans projects in San Benito County (BenitoLink). Five multi-million dollar projects scheduled for Highways 25 and 156 will soon bring relief from some of the traffic congestion plaguing drivers in San Benito County. While some of the projects are still in the development phase, others are under construction. On Sept. 16, the Caltrans provided a timeline to the San Benito Council of Governments (COG). It’s been updated for the Dec. 16 meeting with the current status of each project.
- Public weighs in on Santa Rosa Highway 101 pedestrian crossing (Press Democrat). A proposed pedestrian and bicycle crossing across Highway 101 is mostly designed and funded, but the public weighed in Wednesday night on a few more odds and ends that still need to be addressed. Feedback came during a 90-minute online meeting where officials updated attendees on the $14 million bridge that will link Elliott and Edwards avenues in Santa Rosa. No one doubted the bridge would be a welcome addition to the city, but several attendees stressed there’s room for improvement. Common suggestions were: Steps need to be taken to prevent the homeless from congregating on and around the bridge. Artwork should be installed on the structure and safety measures are necessary if pedestrian and bicycling will increase in the area.
- ＄Beth Pratt raised millions for a cougar overpass (Los Angeles Times). On a warm spring morning in 1976, when Beth Pratt was 7 years old, she noticed a “For sale” sign posted in the woods near her home just north of Boston. “I asked my mom what it meant,” she recalled. “She said the land was up for sale and would soon be flattened by bulldozers.” The next day, Pratt went door to door in her neighborhood of old elms and deep porches asking for donations to save one of her favorite outdoor playgrounds. Then she called the phone number on the sign and made an offer: $5. After several seconds of silence, the person on the other end of the line said, “Wonderful. Just $40,000 more and that property is all yours.”
- SANDAG plan: Board of directors approves $160 billion transportation plan, cuts out mileage tax (Fox 5 San Diego). The San Diego Association of Governments’ board of directors passed the 2021 Regional Transportation Plan without the controversial road mileage tax Friday, but questions remain as to how the regional transportation agency will fund the $160 billion plan. A four-cents-per-mile road usage tax proposal and two half-cent regional sales taxes proposed for 2022 and 2028 were some of the key funding strategies SANDAG leadership proposed. SANDAG estimated the road usage tax could raise more than $34 billion through 2050, but the agency’s chief economist, Ray Major, said the final figures would have changed once the scope was narrowed to implementation of the proposal in 2030.
- State Route 37 is at risk from sea level rise: MTC and the Bay Area Toll Authority are working to protect this vital transportation link (The Bay Link Blog). State Route 37 is facing numerous challenges — including sea level rise — and MTC and the Bay Area Toll Authority are looking to address those issues. They are explored here. Highway 37 cuts through delicate wetlands but also provides a critical link between the Bay Area’s northern counties. About 47,000 vehicles a day use the 21-mile highway that skirts the northern shore of San Pablo Bay, delivering commuters and goods. But climate change is already affecting the highway and flooding on the roadway caused its closure for 28 days in 2017.
- ＄Proposed state law seeks to ban freeway expansions in underserved communities (Los Angeles Times). A state lawmaker from Los Angeles County plans to introduce legislation that would block freeway expansions in underserved communities across California. Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) said her bill would prohibit the state from funding or permitting highway projects in areas with high rates of pollution and poverty and where residents have suffered negative health effects from living near freeways. She said state leaders should consider the significant evidence of racial and health disparities caused by highway construction as well as research showing that freeway widenings frequently fail to resolve traffic congestion because they induce more car trips.
- CTC Puts $495 Million Into Multiple Road Projects in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties (Redheaded Blackbelt). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) this week allocated more than $495 million 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 two-thirds of this critical investment – $328 million. […] Projects approved today [in Humboldt and Mendocino County] include:
- Roadwork To Slow Traffic On Two Tuolumne County Highways (myMotherLode.com). Caltrans repairs will reduce traffic to one lane along two stretches of two highways in Tuolumne County next week. Beginning on Monday (Dec. 13), Highway 108 will be down to one lane in both directions from the Hess Avenue Under-Crossing to Peaceful Oak Road for bridge construction. The work will take place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and run through Friday (Dec. 17).
- County backs push to make 247 a scenic highway (Hi-Desert Star). Old Woman Springs Road got one step closer to being designated a state scenic highway, fulfilling the work of a grassroots movement started by local volunteers in 2009. The San Bernardino County Planning Commission voted Dec. 9 to support designation of State Route 247 as a scenic highway. The Scenic Highway 247 Committee, under the Homestead Valley Community Council, has been pushing for the designation since 2009. The commission’s approval will move the proposal to the county board of supervisors. From there it will go to the California Department of Transportation and then to the county board of supervisors for final approval.
- Local elected officials push Caltrans to make Union Avenue safer (bakersfield.com). Bakersfield and Kern elected officials called on Caltrans Wednesday to make safety improvements along Union Avenue as a way of possibly reducing pedestrian and driver deaths on the busy thoroughfare. Three city councilmen and one county supervisor told reporters gathered mid-afternoon at Union and 21st Street that the state agency has long recognized problems on the avenue, such as a need for formal crosswalks, but failed to act on them.
- Caltrans, SANDAG Build NCC celebrate 2021 achievements (The Coast News Group). The Caltrans and SANDAG Build NCC project team is acknowledging another year of project successes throughout North San Diego County. Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Build NCC crews have safely tracked towards the completion of highway, environmental, community enhancement, and coastal access improvement projects as part of the North Coast Corridor Program. Most notably, this fall Build NCC crews began the final construction segment which will allow for four new miles of Carpool/HOV Lanes on Interstate 5 (I-5) from Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad to State Route 78 (SR 78). The new Carlsbad Carpool/HOV Extension features the first temporary orange lane striping pilot program in California to enhance construction zone awareness and alert motorists of the reduced speed limit.
- ＄＄I-5 Thomes Creek Bridge to receive state funded repairs (Corning Observer). Work on the Thomes Creek Bridge at Interstate 5 in Tehama County is among five projects being funded by the state’s Road Repair and Accountability Act. The California Transportation Commission this week allocated more than $328 million for projects to fix and improve transportation infrastructure throughout California. The Thomes Creek Bridge project on Interstate 5 near Corning, will include applying polyester concrete overlay to bridge deck, replacing joint seals, repairing concrete and upgrading the guardrail.
- California invests $1.4 billion for transportation improvements (Orange County Breeze). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) this week allocated more than $495 million 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 two-thirds of this critical investment – $328 million. “This substantial investment will help improve transportation for all Californians now and in the future,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This includes moving towards a more climate-friendly, safe, and equitable state transportation system.” Projects approved today in District 12 – Orange County include:
- Route 11/Route 905 Connector Completion (District 11/FB). Today, the Caltrans and @SANDAGregion State Route 11 (SR 11)/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project team is celebrating the completion of the new southbound State Route 125 (SR 125) to eastbound State Route 905 (SR 905) and eastbound SR 11 freeway connectors in Otay Mesa. The connectors will provide a direct highway connection from East County and Chula Vista to the Otay Mesa area and the existing Otay Mesa Port of Entry. These connectors also will enhance existing transit connections and create a connection for the future planned Otay Mesa East Port of Entry.
- Ridge Route Preservation Organization – 2021 In Review (RRPO). 2021 has been a good year for the Ridge Route and the RRPO. We have accomplished a fair amount this year starting with two CUTRR events resulting in a clearer roadway and a better appreciation for the work we have before us. We intend to have more events in 2022 and, using the knowledge gained from the last two events, we will accomplish even more using better tools. We have also worked to survey the roadway about once a month since we gained access to the closed section. These trips not only offer the opportunity to experience the roadway and take photos, but to review what we need to do to help preserve it. Each time we go up there, we seem to find something new. Sections of original striping, wooden railing, and even some concrete curbing have been found that was thought to have been lost. Each trip is an adventure. It is something we look forward to many more being able to enjoy in the future.
- ＄＄County commits $1.5M to SR99/Oswald project (Appeal Democrat). After a lengthy discussion concerning possible changes to the State Route 99 and Oswald Road intersection, the Sutter County Board of Supervisors approved a $1.5 million commitment toward improvements on Tuesday. While the main focus of public and supervisor discussion on the topic concerned whether a roundabout or traffic light should be put in place, the main purpose of the agenda item was the cooperative agreement with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) that commits Sutter County to pay $1.5 million toward the cost of construction improvements. Due to several complaints from residents regarding heavy truck traffic in the area, the county previously met with Caltrans to discuss options that could impact State Route 99, a staff report said. Those discussions with Caltrans led to possible solutions to better control traffic at the intersection of State Route 99 and Oswald Road, according to the report.
- New Freeway Routes Connect Chula Vista, East County to Otay Mesa (NBC 7 San Diego). Local and state officials from the U.S. and Mexico gathered on Thursday to celebrate the completion of freeway connectors that will provide direct access to Otay Mesa from Chula Vista and East County. Representatives from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) were joined by area politicians in applauding the project‘s completion. Soon, commuters will be able to use the connectors in Otay Mesa on southbound SR-125 to eastbound SR-905 and eastbound SR-11.
- California to get $4.86B share of federal highway apportionment pool (Daily Republic). The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it will provide $52.5 billion to the states and the District of Columbia in 2022 under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. California is set to get $4.86 billion, the federal agency announced. Daryl Halls, the executive director of the Solano Transportation Authority, said how much Solano County agencies receive will depend largely on getting shovel-ready projects in the pipeline for grant funding. “We don’t have an exact figure. The way the apportionment bill works is there are a number of grants we will apply for. The direct apportionments will go to our transit operators,” Halls said.
- Horse Creek Bridge Replacement Project – Route 96 (District 2/FB). HORSE CREEK BRIDGE REPLACEMENT PROJECT: The Horse Creek Bridge Replacement Project will replace the Klamath River Bridge on State Route 96 in Siskiyou County near Horse Creek. Construction is currently planned to begin in the spring of 2024, with tree cutting in the fall of 2023.
Originally constructed in 1953, the existing bridge is planned for replacement due to scour around the piers. The new bridge will be 545 feet long, 44 feet wide, and constructed on a new highway alignment in the area.
- Bridge Replacement Project Continues in Los Alamos (Edhat). A project to reconstruct the bridges on US Highway 101 at the Interchange with State Route 135 in Los Alamos will continue with the installation of bridge girders beginning Tuesday Dec .21, weather permitting and subject to cancellation if there is rainfall. State Route 135 will be closed in both directions between Bell/Main Street to San Antonio Boulevard from Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 8 pm until Wednesday morning, Dec. 22 at 6 am. A temporary shuttle service will transport passengers near the Los Alamos Rancho Mobile Home Park and the Los Alamos Senior Center. The US 101 southbound on/off ramps at State Route 135 will remain open and the northbound on/off ramps will remain open for travelers headed to the Skyview Hotel and Peppertree Lane.
- Highway 99 in Lodi to close Thursday (Lodi News). Due to this week’s storm, the California Department of Transportation has postponed the overnight full closure of Highway 99 to Thursday at 9 p.m. The highway will reopen at 5 a.m. Friday. Caltrans originally planned to close both directions of Highway 99 between Victor Road and Turner Road on Wednesday. Crews will be raising the Lockeford Street overpass to increase vertical clearing for vehicles to 16 feet during the Thursday night closure.
- Planning for key freeway connector in Marin continues (The Bay Link Blog). The Marin 101-580 connector project is in the planning phase and the number of alternatives for the undertaking is narrowing. At a Dec. 13 meeting, the Transportation of Authority of Marin approved moving forward with alternatives 2, 3a, 3b modified and 6, and removing from further consideration alternatives 1a, 1b, 3b, 4 and 5, according to the agency. Sign up for project updates here. Currently, drivers who wish to access the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (I-580) via northbound US-101 have to exit the freeway and travel on East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard or across Bellam Boulevard to the bridge entrance. Having to drive on local streets causes congestion and traffic delays on northbound US 101 and on local streets, including Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Bellam Boulevard.
- ＄Santa Monica’s message to people evicted long ago for the 10 Freeway: Come home (Los Angeles Times). Nichelle Monroe’s ties to Santa Monica run deep. Her great-uncle is said to have been the first Black baby born there more than a century ago. Apartments and other buildings in the beachfront city were designed by her architect grandfather, Vernon Brunson. Monroe remembers when her grandparents would drive her by the intersection of 20th Street and Michigan Avenue and point up an alleyway to where their duplex used to be. In that spot today looms the 10 Freeway, which cut through Santa Monica’s Pico neighborhood as it was built to stretch to the Pacific. Monroe’s grandparents, along with about 600 other predominately Black families, lost their homes.
- Caltrans Officially Embraces Complete Streets in All Projects (Streetsblog California). Caltrans has officially issued its new Complete Streets policy, just in time for the holidays. While department personnel are not ready to answer detailed questions yet, the policy itself is publicly available [PDF] and in many ways speaks for itself. The policy, signed by director Toks Omishakin on December 7, states that “Caltrans recognizes that streets are not only used for transportation but are also valuable community spaces. Accordingly, in locations with current and/or future pedestrian, bicycle, or transit needs, all transportation projects funded or overseen by Caltrans will provide comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities for people walking, biking, and taking transit or passenger rail unless an exception is documented and approved. When decisions are made not to include complete streets elements in capital and maintenance projects, the justification will be documented with final approval by the responsible District Director.”
- Highway 173 Construction Update (Mountain-News). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) started the major project on Highway 173, between Hospital Road and Torrey Pines Road in Lake Arrowhead in Spring. Over the last few months, commuters have experienced daily delays when passing through the construction section as it has been barricaded as a single lane. As reported previously, it is projected that this construction will take two to four years to complete. According to Public and Legislative Liaison Emily Leinen, “The contractor has made a lot of progress despite some material setbacks. Now that those delays are behind us, the project is continuing as planned. Currently, we are still in Stage 1. This is likely to be complete sometime in February or March 2022, and this is when we will begin Stage 2. At this time, we are installing the soil nail walls, installing rebar, excavating and drilling.”
- Caltrans Announces $44 Million Project to Replace Horse Creek Bridge in 2024 (Redheaded Blackbelt). The Horse Creek Bridge Replacement Project will replace the Klamath River Bridge on State Route 96 in Siskiyou County near Horse Creek. Construction is currently planned to begin in the spring of 2024, with tree cutting in the fall of 2023. Originally constructed in 1953, the existing bridge is planned for replacement due to scour around the piers. The new bridge will be 545-foot long, 44-foot wide, and constructed on a new highway alignment in the area. The purpose of the project is to provide a safe, sustainable, and traversable structure to the public, reduce operational deficiencies, improve worker safety, and decrease maintenance and repair costs.
- South San Francisco coalition aims to prevent highway expansion (San Mateo Daily Journal). A 9-mile stretch of Highway 101 north of the Interstate 380 interchange could soon be the next span of the thoroughfare to get carpool or toll lanes — but opposition to the potential expansion is already mounting. Multiple portions of the highway, which spans much of the state, are slated to receive such lanes, which are designed to reduce traffic and encourage ride-sharing or use of shuttles or buses. While the lanes are often added by widening the freeway, a South San Francisco Coalition is leading a charge to see the lane added by converting an existing lane, citing environment and other harms associated with increasing overall capacity.
Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)
- Former California State Route 42 and Former California State Route 10. California State Route 42 was a east/west State Highway located in the greater Los Angeles area. California State Route 42 was aligned from California State Route 1 near Los Angeles International Airport eastward to via Manchester Boulevard and Firestone Boulevard to Interstate 5 in Norwalk. The designation of California State Route 42 was an early 1960s numbering swap from California State Route 10 to avoid duplication with Interstate 10. California State Route 42 was slated to become part of the Century Freeway before the corridor was added to the Interstate System in 1968 as Interstate 105. Upon the completion of Interstate 105 the surface segments of California State Route 42 were relinquished. Despite being relinquished California State Route 42 remains signed in places such as above via southbound La Cienega Boulevard (courtesy M3100 of the AAroads forum). Below California State Route 42 can be observed on the 1990 Caltrans Map with a legislative designation of Route 105 prior to the completion of Interstate 105.
- California State Route 11; the Otay Mesa Freeway Extension. The current iteration of California State Route 11 is a planned tolled freeway known as the Otay Mesa Freeway Extension. The alignment of California State Route 11 is planned to originate from the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry and terminate to the west at California State Route 905/California State Route 125 interchange in San Diego. In current form only a mile of California State Route 11 from Enrico Fermi Drive west to the California State Route 905/California State Route 125 interchange has been opened to traffic.
- California State Route 905. California State Route 905 is a 8.964 mile freeway presently aligned from Tocayo Avenue in the City of San Diego to the Mexican Border at Otay Mesa. California State Route 905 is known as the Otay Mesa Freeway and was approved during 1984 to become Interstate 905 upon being completed to Interstate standards. Presently California State Route 905 has a unbuilt segment west from Interstate 5 to the Mexican Border near Border Field State Park.
- Coalinga Mineral Springs Road, Fresno Hot Springs Resort site and Coalinga Mineral Springs National Recreation Trail. Coalinga Mineral Springs Road is a short north/south roadway in Fresno County in the Diablo Mountains west of Coalinga. Coalinga Mineral Springs Road is only five miles and is located entirety in Hot Springs Canyon. Coalinga Mineral Springs Road holds historic significance due to it’s 19th Century origin as the stage road to the Fresno Hot Springs Resort.
- US Route 99 East and “New” US Route 99 (California State Route 99 Red Bluff-Sacramento). US Route 99 from Red Bluff south to Sacramento was originally a singular highway which traversed Sacramento Valley by way of Woodland. By 1928 US Route 99 had been split into an east/west dual alignment in Sacramento Valley. US Route 99 West followed the original mainline highway through Woodland whereas US Route 99 East followed eastern Sacramento Valley towards Marysville. Much of the alignment of US Route 99 East was streamlined following the decommissioning of US Route 99 in California becoming modern California State Route 99. The blog cover images features what was US Route 99 East on E Street in Marysville as seen in the November/December 1966 California Highways & Public Works. The below images are taken from the 1965 Division of Highways Map which shows US Route 99 East alongside California State Route 99 during the dying days of US Route 99 in California.
- Gribblenation US Route 99 Page. Welcome to the Gribblenation US Route 99 Page, your destination to find all things US Route 99. US Route 99 was one of the original US Routes created in 1926 alongside the US Route System. At it’s peak US Route 99 was approximately 1,600 miles spanning from Mexican Broder in Calexico, California north to the Canadian Border at Blaine, Washington. US Route 99 has a legacy which is approached by few other American highways which has developed a strong following in the road community. This page is meant to serve as compellation of all Gribblenation blogs and media pertaining to the US Route 99 family of highways.