🛣 Headlines About California Highways – January 2022

As we flip the calendar into 2022, we breath a deep sigh of relief (and hope there wasn’t anything infectious in that deep breath we took).

Hopefully, this will be a year where we will finally start to move out of this. You can do your part. Take all the measures you can to prevent further spread of this disease, and to protect you, your family, and those around you. This is what we need to do to get back out on the road having roadtrips.

One thing you can do from your desk is collect headlines, and that’s what I’ve been busily doing. Here are your headlines for January. My goal is to get the updates to the highway pages back to an every other month cadence, so look for updates in early March. And with that, here are your headlines. Ready, set, discuss.

Key

[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

  • Crews working to remove rocks, dirt at site of Hwy 1 rockslide in SLO County (KSBY). A roughly 10-mile stretch of Highway 1 remains closed due to a rockslide a couple of miles south of Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County. The popular road is traveled by millions of people each year from all over the world. “We are heading to San Francisco and now we are stuck in here,” said Fabio Queiroz of Brazil. If you’re planning on taking the coastal highway into Big Sur, you’ll be met with a road closure sign at the elephant seal viewing area in San Simeon. There are also a couple of signs warning of the closure miles before that.
  • SR-135 RESURFACING PROJECT IN SANTA MARIA BEGINS NEXT WEEK (Edhat). A project to resurface six-miles of State Route 135 (Broadway) from the US 101/State Route 135 Interchange to Lakeview Road will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 5. Travelers will encounter weekly lane closures in each direction of State Route 135 Sunday night through Friday morning during the overnight hours between 8 pm and 6 am. Adjacent streets may be closed during the overnight hours and during the day with traffic control from 9 am until 3 pm. Delays should not exceed 10 minutes. Travelers are encouraged to proceed safely in this work zone. The contractor for this $12 million dollar project is CalPortland Construction of Santa Maria, CA.
  • Golden Gate Bridge announces fix for noise nuisance (Marin I-J). Engineers have developed a $450,000 plan to muffle the loud humming noise that has been emanating from the Golden Gate Bridge on windy days. The sound was an unintended result of wind upgrades on the bridge railing last year. Residents living in nearby communities such as Sausalito and San Francisco’s Presidio area were most affected, but the strange humming could be heard from several miles away. The noise is generated by fast northwesterly winds passing through the new railings and wind fairings that were installed on the western side between the two towers.
  • Local leaders representatives respond to Caltrans’ plans for Union Avenue (KBAK). Back on December 15th, Ward 2 Bakersfield City Councilman, Andrae Gonzalez, and other city group leaders and representatives from local bike groups announced they were sending a letter to Caltrans, urging them to make needed improvements to Union Avenue, to stop deaths of pedestrians and cyclists that are happening. “I think we need to remember and put all of this in context, that 28 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have occurred, within a three-mile stretch on Union Avenue, since 2009. That’s far too many casualties,” Andrae Gonzales, Bakersfield City Councilman for Ward 2, said.
  • City removes historic lampposts off Glendale-Hyperion bridge following thefts (The Eastsider LA). This weekend reports circulated that more classic bronze lampposts had gone missing or were stolen off the Glendale-Hyperion bridge, which links Atwater Village and Silver Lake. While reports of the thefts have not been confirmed, it turns out city crews have been removing some of the nearly 12-foot-high lights for safe keeping before they could be stolen. The Bureau of Street Lighting has removed and stored 18 lights from the bridge, said Department of Public Works spokeswoman Elena Stern. Following reports of thefts in September, the city determined that a total of 7 lampposts had been stolen. But that number has now risen to 17, Stern said.
  • An Ode To Highway 1 (The Nob Hill Gazette). As we contemplate travel in 2022, road trips continue to hold a lot of appeal. And with access to such a storied thoroughfare as Highway 1, Californians aren’t complaining. We celebrate our coastal passageway with a three-part look at its engineering, its personal charms and worthy reasons to explore anew.
  • I-80 Yuba Pass Separation Overhead (SOH) Replacement (FB/District 3). Caltrans is currently seeking public feedback on two proposed Interstate 80 (I-80) improvement projects in Placer and Nevada counties. A $101.8 million project proposes to replace and widen the Yuba Pass Separation Overhead (SOH) bridges near the State Route 20 separation in Nevada County. The project would improve freight efficiency along I-80 by increasing the load carrying capacity and address structural deficiencies that necessitate bridge replacement: concrete cracking and spalling, high corrosive chloride content, superstructure repainting, bridge deck concrete degradation, and weight-bearing pad failures.
  • State Route 18 Emergency Repair Project Update (KBHR 93.3). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) continues repairs on an emergency project at a washout section of State Route 18 (SR-18) near Panorama point between 40th St and SR-138 near Crestline. Crews continue to make repairs and bring in necessary equipment and materials. Currently, crews work to keep the area as dry as possible take priority as more winter weather is predicted. To expediate the repairs, the route will remain closed to the public until further notice so crews can utilize the full roadway. Caltrans is evaluating all traffic handling situations and will have more updates on this in the future. Emergency responders will have access for emergency situations.

  • Leaders tout infrastructure bill, future of I-505 corridor project (Daily Republic). Reps. John Garamendi and Mike Thompson held a joint press conference Thursday just off of Interstate 505 at the Vaca Valley Parkway, where $16 million in infrastructure improvements are planned to aid the area in the coming years. The Interstate 505/Vaca Valley Parkway Corridor Multi-Modal Improvements Project is in place to ease the movement of goods from industrial and manufacturing centers, improve safety and promote environmental sustainability, according to project officials.
  • Pasadena Progresses Towards Reclaiming 710 Freeway Stub (Pasadena Now). According to a Department of Transportation report submitted to the City Council, the city continues to make progress towards reclaiming the State Route (SR) 710 Northern Stub. More than 50 years ago, Caltrans seized hundreds of homes in southwestern Pasadena, the city of South Pasadena and the Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno through eminent domain in what ultimately became a failed effort to connect the Long Beach 710 and Foothill 210 freeways. “The development of a relinquishment agreement between the City and Caltrans is underway as are key agency briefings to ensure key parties are aware of the progress being made.
  • Replacement of Washington Street bridge in Colton will block nightly traffic Jan. 18 to Jan. 21 (Redlands Community News). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is alerting the public that construction contractors will be performing bridge demolition work and lane closures on Interstate 215 at the Washington Street overcrossing in the Colton. The work is scheduled to take place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly on Tuesday, Jan. 18, through Friday, Jan. 21. Work performed through Friday night will end at 5 a.m. Saturday, said a California Highway Patrol press release. Closures are dependent on contractor receiving proper materials for each job function. They can be changed or canceled at any time.
  • Construction begins on Rohnert Park roundabout (Press Democrat). Construction has begun on Rohnert Park’s first roundabout and motorists should anticipate traffic delays into July. It’s being installed at Commerce and Southwest boulevards, an intersection that’s directly east of Highway 101 and an entryway to a southern Rohnert Park commercial and residential area. Commerce runs north and south and curves into Southwest as opposed to being a traditional T-intersection with straight roads. Drivers are confined to narrow lanes on the east side of Commerce while work takes place on its western half. Homeowners say traffic is flowing smoothly outside of rush hour.
  • Vallejo mayor urges citizens to stop fixing potholes on their own (Mercury News). Vallejo Mayor Robert McConnell is asking for citizens to stop repairing potholes on their own in his weekly Mayor’s Message. In the past few weeks Vallejo residents David Marsteller Jr, Sean West, Garrett Toles and Mike Brigandi have done their best to fill a few potholes in the city that have been causing vehicle damage. Vallejo City Council member Cristina Arriola was also on the site helping out with traffic control while some of the potholes were fixed. However, Arriola admitted in a Times-Herald story earlier this week that there very well could be a liability problem and a cease and desist order could be coming in the future. During McConnell’s message, he addressed the issue.
  • Federal money allocated to repair damaged California coast road (KSBW). The Federal Highway Administration will provide $12.6 million to repair Nacimiento-Fergusson Road in Monterey County, Congressman Jimmy Panetta announced Monday. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road runs through the Los Padres National Forest and connects Highway 1 to Fort Hunter Liggett.
  • CA: Work on freeways, OC streetcar project will take shape in 2022 (Mass Transit Magazine). Continued work and future project planning on major freeways and toll roads throughout Orange County promise to make 2022 another busy year in transportation activity. Construction should ramp up on the 405 improvement project – entering its last full year before completion – and crews will continue making headway on the last two-thirds of work to be done on the 5 Freeway widening between the 73 and El Toro Road. After years of planning, a project to widen a key stretch of the 55 Freeway should begin midway through 2022, launching a four-year construction process.
  • CalTrans Work Delays Traffic On South Coast Highway In Laguna (Laguna Beach, CA Patch). Traffic delays are expected on Coast Highway through Friday in Laguna Beach, CalTrans warned Monday morning. CalTrans is working on Coast Highway between 7th Avenue and Vista Del Sol, they reported. This is part of the ongoing Coast Highway ADA Sidewalk improvement project that began last fall, CalTrans reported.
  • Striping will complete Hwy. 25 resurfacing project (SanBenito.com). A two-day striping operation on Highway 25 near Hollister between Best Road/South Ridgemark Drive and Plaza Drive began on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Work is expected to continue Jan. 12 between 8am and 5pm, says a press release from Caltrans. Travelers will encounter alternating lane closures during the final phase of this three-mile construction project. All businesses along Highway 25 will remain open during the repaving project. Uninterrupted access to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital will also be maintained throughout the duration of this project, says the press release. Message and directional signs will be in place to assist travelers. Travelers can expect delays not to exceed 15 minutes.
  • Newsom Puts $10M Toward Agoura Hills Wildlife Crossing (Agoura Hills, CA Patch). The long-awaited wildlife bridge over the State Route 101 (Ventura Freeway) in Agoura Hills just took a major step forward. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his 2022-2023 budget on Monday, and it includes a whopping $10 million for the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, according to the State of California’s website.
  • Freeway News Round-Up: 710 Widening and Aesthetics, 71 and 5 Widening Snags, and Bakersfield’s Centennial Corridor (Streetsblog Los Angeles). Below is a round-up of several recent freeway stories that didn’t quite rise to the level of their own post. Metro’s 710 widening task force met, the 710 aesthetic plan is ridiculous, 71 and 5 Freeway widening hitting snags, and mass home demolition for a Bakersfield freeway
  • Redding-Anderson Six Lane Project in its final stage, says Caltrans officials (KRCR). The Redding Anderson Six Lane Project has been in the works since 2018 with a $120 million price tag. The project was supposed to be completed by the end of 2021, but work is still being done on I-5 southbound in Anderson due to December’s winter weather. Kurt Villavicencio with Caltrans explained on Thursday, “they’re still, kind of, wrapping up some last-minute work on it; we’ve had some weather delays but with some nice weather, right now, they’re knocking out a lot of the last-minute work.”
  • California to Receive Nearly $850 Million in Initial Funding for Bridge Repair Under Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Caltrans). Following the Federal Highway Administration’s news today on the largest federal investment ever made to upgrade bridges, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will receive nearly $850 million in initial funding for the five-year bridge repair program. California will receive $849.4 million this fiscal year – more than double the amount of any other state – and an estimated total of $4.2 billion over five years, to address highway bridge needs. Caltrans and local transportation agencies will target the funds to improve the nearly 1,500 bridges rated in “poor” condition in the state. Caltrans inspects every bridge in California at least every two years, and these inspectors rate bridges “good,” “fair,” or “poor” based on issues such as cracks, concrete loss, and the need to repaint. Bridges are prioritized for maintenance based on their condition. A poor rating – while not an indication that the bridge is unsound – signals the need to prioritize the bridge’s maintenance.
  • California road crews begin bridge repair project in Aptos (KSBW). Work to repair a damaged railroad bridge over Highway 1 in Aptos is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 18 after a five-year wait. Crews will repair the bridge railing and fencing that was damaged when trees fell across it during severe storms in 2017. Caltrans said overnight closures are planned as begins work. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, and Wednesday, Jan. 19, crews will close northbound Highway 1 from Rio Del Mar Boulevard to State Park Drive will be closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
  • Route 239 Scoping Project (Twitter/District 4). State Route 239 Project scoping comment period is open, December 17, 2021, through February 4, 2022. The comment form and project information are available at: https://sr239project.net
  • Caltrans Postpones Route 140 Construction Project (Sierra News Online). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has postponed crosswalk construction as part of the Mariposa Pedestrian Safety Project on State Route 140 from the south junction of Route 49 to Twelfth Street in historic downtown Mariposa. Construction of curbs and sidewalks at Route 140 and 11th and 12th streets is scheduled beginning Tuesday, Jan. 18, through Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, construction of high-visibility, stamped-concrete crosswalks at Route 140 and 7th and 8th streets, and a resulting 72-hour lane closure from 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, through 6 a.m. Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, has been postponed until further notice.
  • Napans Invited To Share Ideas On Future Of Highway 37 (Napa Valley, CA Patch). Napa County residents are invited to share ideas about the future of State Highway 37, a critical corridor that connects job markets and housing within Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties. Caltrans Bay Area is holding a virtual meeting Jan. 25 about the Planning and Environmental Linkages — PEL — Study, which is a collaborative planning effort to address the corridor-wide needs of the roadway.
  • Call to Action: Comment on Ashby/I-80 Widening (Streetsblog San Francisco). Time is running out to comment on the environmental review of Alameda County and Caltrans’s Ashby/I-80 Interchange ramp-widening project. From the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) web page on the project: …
  • Hawk Beacon – Route 165. (FB/District 10). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is preparing to begin a project that will improve pedestrian and traffic safety with the installation of an innovative HAWK (High intensity Activated crossWalK) beacon system on State Route 165/Lander Avenue at Echo Street in the city of Hilmar. This location is heavily used by those accessing Hilmar Unified School District, Elim Elementary School, and Hilmar High School, and also serves local residents. While the crosswalk on SR-165/Lander Avenue at Echo Street is under construction, detour signs will direct pedestrians to use the crosswalk at nearby Campbell Street.
  • Highway 37 could be fully underwater as soon as 2040 (SF Gate). California State Route 37, the major throughway that bridges the divide between Highway 101 and Interstate 80 and serves thousands of drivers daily in the North Bay, is in dire straits. A recent dispatch from the California Department of Transportation warns that nearly the entire route — spanning Novato to Vallejo — could be “permanently submerged” as soon as 2040 by increasing weather crises and rising sea levels caused by climate change.
  • Caltrans Predicts Highway 37 To Be Permanently Flooded by Mid-Century; Seeks Solutions For Vital Corridor (CBS San Francisco). With San Francisco Bay Area sea levels expected to rise two to five feet by the end of the century, it’s predicted that most of state Route 37 will likely become permanently inundated by the mid-century or as soon as 2040, according to the California Department of Transportation, thus cutting off a major regional transportation route. Route 37 follows the northern shore of San Pablo Bay, and a large portion of the 21-mile roadway is lower than the surrounding levees, causing it to be frequently flooded and closed during particularly rainy winter months.
  • Route 3 Transportation Concept Report (FB/District 2). State Route 3 Transportation Concept Report – Video
  • Nacimiento-Fergusson Road between Big Sur, Hwy 101 to be fixed (San Luis Obispo Tribune). A rugged — and often unreliable — road that links Big Sur’s Highway 1 with Highway 101 has $12.6 million of repairs in its future. U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) requested the Federal Highway Administration funding to fix the steep, narrow, rocky and often washed-out Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. According to Panetta’s press release Monday, “sections of the road located in the Los Padres National Forest were damaged by mudslides and flooding during a major storm in the winter of 2021. Many of those same sections of damaged road were located near or in burn scarred areas that were created by the Dolan Fire in 2020.”
  • Ridge Route Preservation Organization – January / February 2022 Newsletter (Ridge Route Preservation Organization). On December 18, 2021, we went on an inspection trip over the Ridge Route to assess what the latest storms have done to the roadway. What was saw was very mixed but encouraging overall. Small rockslides were common from Serpentine Drive all the way to Sandberg. Some were a bit larger and will require tools to remove. We did remove many smaller rocks along the way and cleared the roadway to the best of our ability. Our next CUTRR event is still in the works but will involve clearing a few drains between Kelly’s and Reservoir Summit and rock removal at Serpentine Drive.
  • Ħ Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads – From the Archives – 1960 (Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads). The view is looking east from the Taylor St ramps on I-8, then signed as US 80, in 1960. A lot has changed in San Diego’s Mission Valley in the 62 years since this photo was taken. At the time, Mission Valley was sparsely developed with mostly open lands and dairy farms filling the valley. This would soon change as shopping malls, apartment buildings, gas stations, and hotels replaced those farmlands.
  • $$ World’s Largest Wildlife Crossing Is Now Under Way in L.A. (Curbed). Last October, a gray wolf with a purple radio collar was spotted wandering in the mountains about 50 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles. OR-93 — named that because he had traveled from a pack near Mount Hood, Oregon — was the first gray wolf to roam into Southern California in a century; the last one observed in the region had been trapped in 1922. But after weeks of excitement from wolf-watchers, OR-93 was found dead by the I-5 freeway. According to the scientists who tracked his movements, OR-93 had crossed dozens of roads and even several highways during his 1,000-mile journey. This made his death all the more devastating: Had he made it to the other side of this final freeway, he would have almost certainly survived, and most likely thrived, says Beth Pratt, California regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation. Directly across the freeway from where he was killed is the largest contiguous private property in California, a 270,000-acre nature preserve. “It’s our fault,” she says. “We failed him. I wish we had a crossing in place for him.”
  • South San Francisco opposing expansion on Highway 101 (San Mateo Daily Journal). South San Francisco councilmembers this week expressed a desire not to see a lane added to a 9 mile stretch of Highway 101 that partially runs through the city, citing increased pollution from vehicles that could affect nearby neighborhoods. A proposed project would add managed lanes to the span, currently four lanes wide from the Interstate 380 interchange to the San Francisco/San Mateo county line. The task could be carried out by either converting an existing lane or by widening the freeway to accommodate a new lane.
  • California getting $850 Million for bridge repair as part of infrastructure bill (The Bay Link Blog). The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a bridge repair program Friday that will deliver almost $850 million to California to fix spans in poor condition. The funding comes from the new infrastructure bill President Joe Biden signed in November. California will receive $849.4 million this fiscal year – more than double the amount of any other state – and an estimated total of $4.2 billion over five years, to address highway bridge needs, according to Caltrans. Caltrans and local transportation agencies will target the funds to improve the nearly 1,500 bridges rated in “poor” condition in the state.
  • Public Invited To Hear Plans For Saving State Route 37 From Sea Level Rise (SF Gate). With San Francisco Bay Area sea levels expected to rise two to five feet by the end of the century, it’s predicted that most of state Route 37 will likely become permanently inundated by the mid-century or as soon as 2040, according to the California Department of Transportation, thus cutting off a major regional transportation route. Route 37 follows the northern shore of San Pablo Bay, and a large portion of the 21-mile roadway is lower than the surrounding levees, causing it to be frequently flooded and closed during particularly rainy winter months.
  • The World’s Largest Wildlife Crossing Could Have A Spring Groundbreaking (LAist). The Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing has been impressive since its inception. The most famous moniker for the span which would provide safe passage for wildlife over the 101 freeway in Agoura Hills is a mighty one; the “largest urban wildlife crossing in the world,” per the National Wildlife Federation. Of course, a bracketed phrase has also always been necessary before “Largest” — “[proposed].” But now, to quote Almost Famous, everything is happening, so it seems.
  • Caltrans Expands $250 Incentive to Adopt-A-Highway Volunteers Throughout the State (Redheaded Blackbelt). Caltrans announced today it is expanding the Clean California incentive program statewide and offering up to $250 per month to Adopt-A-Highway volunteers who pick up litter along state highways. The expansion comes after a successful pilot in the Sacramento and San Diego regions that added 230 new highway adoptions in just three months. “Clean California is all about restoring pride in public spaces and making a difference in our communities,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This incentive is designed to encourage and reward people for volunteering to pick up highway litter and beautify California’s roadways.”
  • Caltrans to replace rock canopy in Highway 70 tunnel, expect delays next week (Action News Now). Caltrans said drivers should expect delays at the Elephant Butte Tunnel on Highway 70 this coming Monday through Wednesday. There will be traffic control in the area of the tunnel as crews repair and replace the rock canopy. Caltrans expects delays to be about 15 minutes. This is not the only site of construction along Highway 70 between Jarbo Gap and the Greenville Wye, Caltrans says. People should expect 30 to 60 minute delays Mondays through Saturdays, with minimal delays anticipated for Sundays.
  • Busy California highway upgrade is underway (World Highways). Construction work is well underway for the I-405 highway upgrade in California’s Orange County. The project is being managed by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) in partnership with The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The work is being carried out along a 25.6km stretch of the highway and is intended to boost capacity. Costing US$1.9 billion, the work should be complete by the third quarter of 2023. Carrying around 300,000 vehicles/day, the I-405 route has to cope with heavy traffic loads and can suffer from heavy congestion at peak periods. This is one of the busiest roads in Southern California. The widening work is being carried out between State Route 73 (SR-73) and Interstate 605 (I-605).
  • Pasadena Makes Progress on Getting Local Control Over State Route 710 Stub (Streetsblog Los Angeles). City of Pasadena and Caltrans are currently in negotiations to transfer ownership of the 710 Freeway stub over to the city. According to a recent city report, city staff have moved past studies that analyzed the feasibility of turning the SR-710 stub into a local street network and is moving toward developing a relinquishment agreement with Caltrans. This is following the cancellation of the highway tunnel project that would have connected the north 710 where it currently ends at Alhambra/El Sereno/South Pasadena through Pasadena to the 210 Freeway.
  • Cave dugouts found along Stockton’s crosstown freeway (KXTV ABC 10). As tens of thousands of cars cross the concrete pavement of Stockton’s crosstown freeway each day, an issue below the surface and on the muddy slopes of the freeway is causing concerns for Caltrans. Photos show dirt and mud dug out from at least one hillside supporting state route four, Stockton’s crosstown freeway. “Caltrans is aware of the encampments and excavation by individuals into the hillside at this location,” said Caltrans spokesperson Warren Alford in a statement.
  • Palmdale Boulevard upgrades planned (Antelope Valley Press). Residents are invited to review and provide input for a Caltrans project to install pedestrian improvements and bike lanes along Palmdale Boulevard/State Route 138 from the Antelope Valley Freeway to Avenue T. A virtual meeting to discuss the project is scheduled for 6 p.m., on Wednesday. The meeting will be available online at https://signin.webex.com/join Meeting number: 24995984531 and event password 2022.
  • Don’t get caught in Truckee’s Mousehole traffic trap (SF Gate). On winter weekend mornings, when fresh snowfall aligns with a ski day for thousands of people, traffic is predictably awful in Truckee. As early as 7 a.m., cars are lined up bumper-to-bumper, with gridlock spreading onto every main artery through downtown Truckee and backing up for miles on Interstate 80. The pinch point is a short and narrow tunnel on Highway 89 that was built in 1928. Truckee locals call it the Mousehole.
  • City plans sendup for West Texas Street offramp project (Daily Republic). The city is inviting the public to the West Texas Street offramp ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Fairfield Transportation Center, 2000 Cadenasso Drive. The ceremony will take place outdoors with Covid-19 protocols in place, including social distancing and masks. The event will also be broadcast live on the city’s Facebook page. The work was completed as part of the city’s West Texas Gateway and Fairfield Transportation Center Slip-Ramp Improvement Project. The Transportation Center slip ramp improvements were made at the eastbound Interstate 80 offramp and West Texas Street and include reconfiguring the intersection to improve pedestrian, bicycle and transit access and safety around the transportation center, to include West Texas Street and the Linear Trail.
  • Highway 37 widening has options, Caltrans wants feedback (Press Democrat). Caltrans will present a series of options for widening a stretch of Highway 37 that runs along San Pablo Bay in Sonoma and Napa counties.. The Sears Point to Mare Island Improvement Project, which covers a 10.4-mile stretch, will be discussed during a public Zoom meeting 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Information is available online. It’s among several items that could come up during the meeting on a Caltrans study about ways to improve Highway 37 where congestion, flooding and rising sea levels put the arterial at risk.
  • Millions In Toll Fees Collected By CA Agency, Not Fixing Roads (Jalopnik). Over 15 million vehicles passed through just 10 miles of toll lanes, bringing in $48.9 million in toll revenue in 2021. Those are stats for Southern California’s state route 91 toll lanes, which have brought in nearly a billion dollars since their inception in 2003. But as Fox 11 L.A. investigated, much of that money hasn’t gone to maintaining those same roads. The roads were first purchased by OCTA in 2003 for $200 million from a private company that had been operating them. The roads have helped millions of commuters since then, but it’s been a cash grab for the agency.
  • State Route 18 To Reopen Tonight After Being Washed Out On Christmas Eve (CBS Los Angeles). Caltrans says a stretch of State Route 18 that was washed out during heavy rainstorms during the holidays will reopen Friday night. A portion of State Route 18 was shut down on Christmas Eve after being washed out by heavy rain.  Caltrans had embarked on a $4.2 million emergency project to repair the mountain highway, which had been washed out after a series of storms dumped several inches of rain and snow on Southern California during the holidays.
  • Infrastructure money could unclog ‘nightmare interchange’ in North County (The San Diego Union-Tribune). A notoriously congested interchange between state Route 78 and Interstate 5 in North County could be upgraded with federal infrastructure money, Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Capistrano, said Monday. At a presentation in Oceanside with County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, Levin said the planned improvements would increase traffic flow, reduce vehicle emissions and improve public safety.
  • $$ Infrastructure law aims to reconnect Black and Latino neighborhoods (USA Today). Kendra London grew up in the historically Black Fifth Ward neighborhood in Houston, raised by her grandmother and the elders of their community. London thought she would one day become one of them, sitting on the porch and watching over her “village.” But a multibillion highway project to expand Interstate 45 could displace Black residents in the Fifth Ward – a situation London calls “very painful and legalized theft.”
  • Kiewit Keeps $61M California Project On Track (CEG). Started in October 2020, the $61 million I-80/I-680/SR 12 Interchange Project: Package 2A will be delivered in December 2022 as crews from Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. are making considerable progress on the project that will reduce congestion and improve safety at a critical interchange in Solano, Calif. Overseen by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Interstate 80, Interstate 680 and State Route 12 Interchange Project: 2A will improve and widen the eastbound SR 12 (EB SR 12) to EB I-80 connector on the I-80 corridor, as well as improve the connectivity between regionally significant destinations.
  • Highway 37 threatened by rising sea level, alternate routes presented (Press Democrat). A series of routes were presented Tuesday as potential alternatives to Highway 37 where rising sea levels threaten the 21-mile corridor running through Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties. Caltrans is conducting a comprehensive study that may identify alternate routes and modes of transportation, like buses and light rails, for those traveling along San Pablo Bay where marshlands dot the landscape. Routes cover 120 miles and would essentially link Highway 101 in Marin County to Interstate 80 in Solano County via existing highways and private roads, though options include a bridge parallel to Highway 37.
  • Double-decker highways are back. But they’re not going to solve traffic jams (CNN). Frederica Wilson, the US Congresswoman representing much of Miami, says she must leave home by 6:30 a.m. to beat traffic on South Florida’s highways. “If I wait 10 more minutes, it’s too late,” Wilson, a Democrat first elected to Congress in 2010, said. “Then it becomes a literal parking lot.” She doesn’t like traffic, and she hears from voters who say the same thing. Wilson told CNN Business that she’s “absolutely overjoyed” that a double-decker highway is being built on a major east-west route to relieve congestion. It should be done by fall 2024. She’s also excited that President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill will give states billions of dollars to potentially build other highway projects.
  • Buttigieg vows help as U.S. car crash deaths keep spiking (Los Angeles Times). Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is vowing to help stem rising traffic fatalities, releasing a broad-based strategy on Thursday aimed at reducing speed, redesigning roads and boosting car safety features such as automatic emergency braking. In an interview ahead of his announcement, Buttigieg said that new federal data being released next week will show another increase in traffic fatalities through the third quarter of 2021. Those numbers are expected to point to another sizable increase in deaths compared with the same period in 2020, adding to a half-year traffic death toll of 20,160 that already was the highest half-year figure since 2006.
  • Rincon Trail Project approved despite soaring community push back (Coastal View). The Carpinteria Planning Commission passed the Rincon Trail Project at its Jan. 18 meeting, choosing from four proposals an option that was not favored by the soaring community – who showed up strong to the public hearing to voice concern for the future of their launching point on the bluffs, “Little Diamondhead.” A group of paragliding and hang-gliding enthusiasts spoke during public comment, asking that the commissioners to consider the project Alternative 4, which would reroute the path in a way that would leave their fly-zone unaffected. The unique spot, they said, was a gathering place and home base for the soaring community and deserved to stay as is.
  • Caltrans: Complete Streets Are Coming, But Not With Much Urgency (Streetsblog California). This week’s meeting of the California Transportation Commission featured several discussions about how – and when – Caltrans will incorporate climate and complete streets goals  into its projects in accordance with recent state policy directives and guidance including the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI), a new policy directive on Complete Streets, and Caltrans equity policies. To sum up: The “how” is a work in progress, and the “when” is not very soon.
  • Plumas to benefit from state road funds (Plumas News). The California Transportation Commission this week allocated $589 million for projects to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for $302 million – more than half of the funding. And Plumas County is one of the recipients – with work slated for Graeagle-Johnsville Road. “This investment follows our ‘fix-it-first’ commitment to repair California’s aging infrastructure, while at the same time increasing transit and active transportation options,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “These projects will make our transportation system safer and more convenient for all users and create thousands of good paying jobs in the process.”
  • Highway 46 widening project gets $136 million in SB1 funding (San Luis Obispo Tribune). The push to widen Highway 46 in northern San Luis Obispo County received a major piece of funding this week. Caltrans announced Friday it has allocated $589 million for road projects throughout the state, including $136 million to the long-awaited Highway 46 project. The funding is partially through Senate Bill 1 (SB1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, according to a Caltrans news release.
  • $136 million in state funding allotted to expand Hwy 46 (KSBY). Millions of dollars have been set aside to expand Hwy 46 in north San Luis Obispo County, Caltrans officials announced Friday. The California Transportation Commission allocated $589 million for state projects that will repair and improve transportation infrastructure. $136 million of those funds is headed to San Luis Obispo County.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • Former US Route 99 through Heber and Calexico to the Mexican Border (GN). As originally defined US Route 99 terminated at US Route 80 in El Centro of Imperial County, California. US Route 99 was extended to the Mexican Border in Calexico by way of what was supposed to be temporary alignment through Heber during June of 1932. US Route 99 would remain aligned to the Mexican Border in Calexico until being truncated to Los Angeles during June 1963. Above US Route 99 can be seen terminating at the Mexican Border at the end of Heffernan Avenue in 1933. Below US Route 99 can be seen following 4th Street south of US Route 80/Main Street in El Centro, Corfman Road, Heber Road through Heber, Imperial Avenue into downtown Calexico, 3rd Street and Heffernan Avenue in Calexico to the Mexican Border on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Imperial County.
  • California State Route 125 (GN). California State Route 125 is a 22.30 mile freeway in the San Diego Metro Area. California State Route 125 begins at California State Route 52 in Santee and terminates at California State Route 905/California State Route 11 in Otay Mesa of the City of San Diego. California State Route 125 between California State Route 52 south to California State Route 54 is part of the Ramona Freeway corridor. California State Route 125 south of California State Route 54 is a tolled segment known as the South Bay Expressway.
  • California State Route 133 (GN). California State Route 133 is a 13.635 mile State Highway contained within Orange County. California State Route 133 begins at California State Route 1 in Laguna Beach and follows Laguna Canyon Road north to Interstate 405. From Interstate 405 north to Interstate 5 the alignment of California State Route 133 becomes a limited access facility known as the Laguna Freeway. North of Interstate 5 the alignment of California State Route 133 is carried by the Eastern Toll Road to California State Route 241. Featured as the blog cover is Laguna Canyon Road (then Legislative Route Number 185, now California State Route 133) as it was depicted in the September/October 1952 California Highways & Public Works.
  • Interstate 80 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (GN). Interstate 80 east of the City of Sacramento ascends into the Sierra Nevada Mountains towards the Nevada State Line. Interstate 80 climbs to the 7,240 foot high Donner Summit and gradually descends into Nevada following the course of the Truckee River Canyon. Interstate 80 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains builds upon the historic corridors of; the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road, First Transcontinental Railroad, the Lincoln Highway, Victory Highway and US Route 40.
  • Cummings Skyway (GN). Cummings Skyway is a locally maintained highway in the Crockett Hills of Contra Costa County, California. Cummings Skyway begins at former US Route 40 at San Pablo Avenue and traverses the Diablo Range southeast to the John Muir Parkway segment of California State Route 4 in Franklin Canyon. Cummings Skyway primarily serves as cutoff route between Interstate 80 and California State Route 4.
  • Former US Route 40, the North Lincoln Highway and Victory Highway in Newcastsle (SIC) (GN). Newcastle is a community located in Placer County, California in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Foothils. Newcastle was founded as a siding of the Central Pacific Railroad and throughout its history been part of numerous historic highway corridors. Newcastle was once on the alignments of; the Northern Branch of the Lincoln Highway, Victory Highway and US Route 40. Pictured above as the blog cover photo is the 1910 Newcastle Subway.
  • US 99 Routings (FB/Gribblenation). The original corridor of US Route 99 between Los Angeles and San Bernardino has always been something that has interested me. To that end I’ve started looking through the AASHTO database for answers regarding the early alignment shifts of US Route 99 in the Los Angeles-San Bernardino corridor.
  • California State Route 261 (GN). California State Route 261 is a 6.2-mile tolled limited access freeway located in Orange County. California State Route 261 begins at Walnut Avenue in the City of Irvine and follows a northward course to California State Route 241. California State Route 261 is part of the Eastern Transportation Corridor.
  • California State Route 241 (GN). California State Route 241 is a tolled 24.534-mile-long limited access freeway located entirely in Orange County. California State Route 241 begins at California State Route 91 in Anaheim and terminates at Oso Parkway/Los Patrones Parkway in Las Flores. California State Route 241 is part of the Foothill Transportation Corridor and Eastern Transportation Corridor. California State Route 241 has an unbuilt segment which would connect it south from Las Flores to Interstate 5 in San Diego County.
  • Arroyo Seco Parkway Update (FB/Gribblenation). We made an update to existing blog on the Arroyo Seco Parkway and the history of the western terminus points of US Route 66 around the Los Angeles Area. We are aware US Route 66 is often a contentious topic but the emergence of the AASHTO Database demands the corridor be reexamined from a historical standpoint. I should caution, it would be wise to always follow the descriptions of US Routes as prescribed by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO, now AASHTO). The AASHO from the outset of the US Route System during November 1926 has always been responsible for governing and approving changes to all US Routes.
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