🛣 Headlines About California Highways – February 2022

February. Short month. Lots of headlines. Before we get to it, folks, just a reminder to keep doing what you’re doing. Numbers are going down, and that’s a good thing. Of course, that’s not our only worry these days. Please send strength–however you send strength–to Ukraine. May the people be strong and safe; may the country stand against this unwarranted aggression.

With that, let’s get to the roads.

P.S. Expect the Highway Page updates in the next day or two.

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

  • Coronado Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project (District 11/FB). We’re releasing the Coronado Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project study for community review. A suicide barrier would be installed from the Bayshore Bikeway in the City of Coronado to Newton Avenue in the City of San Diego. The official comment period runs from January 31 to March 1st.
  • Calaveras County Bridge Replacement Project (District 10/FB). Do you want a public meeting on changes proposed for the Calaveras County Bridge Replacement Project on State Route 12 in Calaveras County? Public comment will be accepted from February 3 to March 4, 2022. For more information, click on the flyer or visit the Caltrans, District 10 website at dot.ca.gov/d10/projects.html.
  • Caltrans seeks feedback in highway projects between Butte, Sacramento (actionnewsnow.com). Caltrans is looking for feedback from the community on a proposed project that could improve Highway 70 and Highway 99 between Butte and Sacramento counties. During a survey feedback in September, Caltrans developed a list of 80 proposed highway improvement projects for the corridor. Included in that list are new freeway interchanges, expanding park and ride capacity, designated bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways, and more highway or turn lanes.
  • Rehab project completed ahead of schedule (Antelope Valley Press). With traffic cruising by on the already completed southbound lanes of State Route 14, Caltrans and local officials celebrated the completion of the Rosamond-Mojave Rehabilitation Project, months ahead of schedule. Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony was held on the still-closed northbound lanes of the highway. They are expected to be fully opened Feb. 10, which will return the highway to a four-lane, divided route between Rosamond and Mojave.
  •  San Jose ditches Charcot Extension Overpass near school (Mercury News). In a major victory for parents and teachers who fiercely fought the idea, a longtime plan to build a new overpass next to a primary school in North San Jose has been abandoned. The San Jose City Council voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to drop a proposal that’s been on the books for nearly three decades, marking a sharp reversal from the council’s stance in 2020 when they approved the project’s environmental impact report. The overpass would have extended North San Jose’s Charcot Avenue about .6 miles from Paragon Drive over I-880 to Oakland Road.
  • Express lanes to open in San Mateo County (San Mateo Daily Journal). The new tolled express lanes on Highway 101 are set to open Friday, Feb. 11, from the Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City but drivers will have to get a new FasTrak device to use them, according to officials. The Express Lanes will operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and all drivers must have a FasTrak Flex device to qualify for free or reduced tolls. Users of flex devices move a switch to show how many passengers they have on each trip. Those without the special device can be fined or penalized. Tolls will be adjusted depending on demand and traffic patterns.
  • Residents call for increased safety on major Petaluma roadway (Petaluma Argus Courier). Petaluma residents are calling for an increase in traffic safety as part of long-awaited plans to improve conditions along the busy North McDowell thoroughfare. In a virtual meeting last Wednesday, city officials and the Parisi Transportation Consulting group presented plans to reconstruct a section of North McDowell Boulevard in a multiple-phase project set to break ground later this year. David Parisi, founder of the consulting firm, said the project’s first phase would focus on pavement repairs, while the next phase could entail a “Complete Streets” approach.
  • Ryer Island ferry will be removed from service during scheduled maintenance (Local News Matters). A vital connection to one of the Delta’s inhabited islands will be out of service for several weeks beginning this month, Caltrans announced. The Real McCoy II ferry boat that serves as a link between Rio Vista and Ryer Island along State Route 84 in Solano County, will be out of operation beginning Feb. 7 so that required engine upgrades can be completed. The work is expected to be finished sometime by “late” March, according to Caltrans.

  • Suisun City agrees to contract with STA on Highway 12 Beautification Project (Fairfield Daily Republic). The city will contract with the Solano Transportation Authority for the design phase of the $4.7 million Highway 12 Beautification Project. Suisun will then team with STA to go out for bid on the construction phase. The City Council this week authorized the city manager to execute the agreement, paying STA $215,000 to complete the design work. That represents the local share of the overall project.
  • State details Highway 37 overhaul options (Mercury News). State officials have unveiled new details of a plan to upgrade and eventually rebuild one of the Bay Area’s most vulnerable and traffic-plagued commuter arteries: the Highway 37 corridor. By 2040, sea-level rise threatens to regularly inundate the 21-mile highway used by tens of thousands of commuters daily, according to Caltrans. After years of discussion, the state is beginning to study several options to rebuild or reroute the highway, including raising the existing road, rerouting it farther north and even building a new bridge across San Pablo Bay.
  • State Route 138 widening project to begin in Phelan (Victor Valley Daily Press). The California Department of Transportation has announced a roadway widening project beginning Tuesday on State Route 138 in Phelan from the Los Angeles County line to west of Phelan Road. Caltrans officials said the $4.3 million contract was awarded to Granite Construction Company for crews to widen the roadway and provide a 14-foot median, wider shoulders and install center rumble strips. Construction will begin with surveying and pavement testing, with work conducted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays.
  • Work to fix Visalia’s worst interchange to begin next year (Sun Gazette). By the time the pandemic ends, work may have begun to treat the sickliest intersection in the city of Visalia. At its Jan. 18 meeting, the Visalia City Council got an update on work to address congestion at the Highway 198/Loves Lane interchange. In May 2021, CalTrans selected a plan to improve the interchange following several presentations to the council and the Visalia community. Under the proposed plan, both Buck Road and Mineral King Boulevard would dead-end at the interchange. Westbound traffic exiting Highway 198 would not stop until Lovers Lane, which would be widened to four lanes of through traffic with left and right turn lanes, and both the on and off ramps would be widened to two lanes.
  • (UPDATED) ‘Extremely Bad News’: Caltrans Sanctions County, Freezes New Project Funding Because of Overdue Audit Report (Lost Coast Outpost). Humboldt County Public Works Director Tom Mattson wrote just one sentence before forwarding a Caltrans email to all five county supervisors this morning: “This is extremely bad news.” The news was this: Because the county has yet to submit its overdue Single Audit Report for the 2019-20 fiscal year, the state transportation agency on Tuesday placed the county under a “Do Not Authorize” sanction. This means that no new transportation-related projects will be eligible for state and federal reimbursement through the agency until the report gets submitted.
  • Caltrans Researching Redesign Ideas for SR37, Ahead of Projected Climate Change Road Flooding (SFist). If you’ve driven on State Route 37, you likely know how regularly the Bay Area commuter throughway experiences major traffic backup. Now, the State of California plans to revamp the Highway 37 corridor through projects expected to cost over a quarter-billion dollars. 37 is the North Bay’s most heavily-trafficked highway in the east/west direction, leading not only to major and significant delays, but also occasional flooding during winter storms. People take the 21-mile route to work, but tourists from San Francisco also use it to get to wine country in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Four Transportation Back in December 2015, traffic authorities in three North Bay counties (Sonoma, Napa, and Solano) signed a Memorandum of Understanding aiming to address issues the highway will soon face, and now there are new plans to move forward.
  • 🎥 Look At This: The Reseda Freeway (KCAL9 and CBS2). (Video) Desmond Shaw talks about the proposed $85 million project that promised to build a freeway over the Santa Monica Mountains in the 1950s.
  • New express lanes on Highway 101 scheduled to make debut; FasTrak tags will be required (Local News Matters). New express lanes on U.S. Highway 101 from the Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City will officially open Friday, Feb. 11, officials with the San Mateo County Transit District announced. The express lanes will operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays. Express lanes are available for drivers enrolled in the FasTrak system. All customers must have a FasTrak Flex to qualify for free or reduced tolls in the express lanes, as it allows them to disclose how many passengers they are carrying, officials said. Those without valid FasTrak accounts will be in violation and are subject to fines and penalties.
  • Hwy 46 East expanding to four-lane expressway after decades of deadly crashes (KCBX FM). Highway 46 East in San Luis Obispo County near the Cholame Y is known for deadly crashes. Just this last Monday, a fatal collision occurred there when a driver crossed into oncoming traffic. Now, the highway is being expanded from two lanes to four between the Shandon Roadside Rest Area and the Jack Ranch Café in Cholame. Caltrans District 5 Public Information Officer Kevin Drabinski said this expansion is really about prioritizing safety. He said making the transition to a four-lane divided highway is inherently less risky for motorists.
  • Volunteers needed for LA Mobility Plan initiative, and a call to fix dangerous 2 Freeway/Glendale Blvd stub (BikinginLA). […] Streetsblog’s Joe Linton calls on Caltrans to fix the 2 Freeway stub, where a bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run on Glendale Blvd last month. Linton writes that the freeway was part of the infamous Beverly Hills Freeway, which was cancelled in the 1960s when residents of the “wealthier and whiter neighborhoods” it was supposed to go through rose up against it. Unlike the less wealthy and white neighborhoods that were obliterated to build some of LA’s other freeways. Today unfinished freeway merges with heavily travelled, high-speed Glendale Blvd, with its heavily travelled, high-speed slip lanes dangerously dumping freeway traffic onto the boulevard.
  • Toll lanes on 101 to open Friday: Roadshow (Mercury News/Mr. Roadshow). Q: The new express lanes are opening on Highway 101 on Friday. As someone who has driven electric cars for over 10 years, almost always with my wife, I have enjoyed being able to use the carpool lane. But now signs imply that the express lane will be free only for cars with three or more people. Say it ain’t so! As senior citizens who always drive together in an EV, don’t we deserve a free lane with less traffic?
  • Dangerous Stretch of Route to Central Coast Gets $136M for Expressway Conversion (GVWire). A dangerous stretch of Highway 46 heavily traveled by motorists between the Valley and the Central Coast will become a four-lane expressway, Caltrans officials announced. The California Transportation Commission has allocated $136 million to upgrade Highway 46 from west of the Shandon rest area to east of the Jack Ranch Cafe in San Luis Obispo County. That is a distance of about nine miles. Once known as “Blood Alley,” the route between Kettleman City and Paso Robles has seen significant upgrades through the years. Construction could start on the four-lane expressway as early as this spring, Caltrans officials said.
  • Golden Gate Bridge to get new (road) stripes (The Bay Link Blog). Drivers on the Golden Gate Bridge should expect traffic delays for lane restriping between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8 and Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, according to the bridge district. Work is scheduled to occur after the morning commute to minimize impacts to traffic. The span will remain open to vehicles in both directions, but drivers should expect to slow down around work zones and may experience delays while lane restriping is in progress.
  • Caltrans to Activate New Pedestrian Signals on State Route 12 Thursday, February 17th (City of Sonoma). Caltrans will turn on newly-installed pedestrian beacons on State Route 12 (SR-12), also known as West Napa Street, in the City of Sonoma. The two beacons, located at 3rd Street and between 7th Street and Riverside Drive are scheduled for activation on Thursday, February 17, 2022. The beacons are part of a project to pave and make pedestrian upgrades to the 3.8-mile section of SR-12 that runs through the City of Sonoma and the Fetter Hot Springs/Agua Caliente area. Improvements include 25 new curb ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and new traffic and pedestrian signals.
  • Light rail to the airport. A Folsom-Elk Grove freeway. What a Sacramento sales tax would fund (Sacramento Bee). With commutes in the Sacramento region worsening, a collection of business and labor groups began collecting signatures on Wednesday to place a sales tax increase on the November 2022 ballot in Sacramento County. The measure would increase local sales taxes by one half of a percent over 40 years, raising an estimated $8.5 billion for roads, bridges and the county’s mass transit system. Business and labor groups are behind the measure. Michael Quigley, the executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, said it was “time to reverse the trend of our decaying transportation infrastructure.”
  • Interstate 80 Lane Closures Scheduled for Railroad Structure Demolition Work in Auburn (YubaNet). Caltrans is notifying motorists of alternating lane and ramp closures on Interstate 80 (I-80) in Auburn for demolition work on a Union Pacific Railroad structure that crosses over the freeway. The work is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12 and Sunday, Feb. 13 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Union Pacific will be performing safety repairs to the rail bridge structure that is used for vital commercial goods transport between northern/central California and Reno, Salt Lake City and the Pacific Northwest. Alternating I-80 lane closures are required due to the potential for falling debris during the overhead railroad work.
  • Bridge Suicide Deterrent Project Draft Initial Study Available for Public Review (Coronado Times). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Suicide Deterrent project public review period for the Initial Study with Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) is from Monday, January 31, 2022, to Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Learn how to submit your comments here. The project proposes to install a physical suicide deterrent on the bridge to reduce suicides and suicide attempts as soon as is practicable while also reducing closures of the bridge due to these events. The project also proposes to install minor improvements to the Transportation Management System elements at the Glorietta Toll Plaza, the Bridge, and the Interstate 5/State Route 75 Interchange.
  • A new carpool lane in 5 Freeway widening project to open Friday (Whittier Daily News). Another milestone — the opening of a new carpool lane — is expected to be reached on Friday, Feb. 11 in the $1.8 billion, 6.7-mile 5 Freeway widening project between the Orange County border and the 605 Freeway that has been more than 30 years in the making. The carpool lane to be opened will go from Alondra Boulevard to the 605 Freeway, said Marc Bischoff, Caltrans spokesman. Looking northbound on the 5 freeway at the new northbound HOV (high occupancy vehicle or carpool) lane between Rosecrans Ave. and Norwalk Blvd. on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. It’s scheduled to open on Friday. from Alondra Blvd. to the 605 Freeway. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Before the carpool lane opens, Caltrans will close the northbound two left lanes from Alondra to the 605 Freeway from 11 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10 until 5 a.m. Friday, Feb. 11 to stripe the new northbound carpool lane. Still to be opened will be the carpool lane on the northbound side from the Orange County border to Alondra and the entire other side.
  • Part of US 101 express lane to open in San Mateo County Friday (KTVU 2). Starting Friday, part of US 101 along the Peninsula will have an express lane, similar to those on Interstates 680 and 880. The new express lane will eventually be 22 miles long, running from Palo Alto up to South San Francisco. On Friday the first phase is opening, going from the San Mateo County/Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City.
  • Lane dividers on 241 toll road at 91 freeway aim to stop line-cutting (Orange County Register). A construction project that begins Thursday, Feb. 10, is intended to deter drivers going from the 241 toll road to the eastbound 91 freeway from jumping the queue at the last minute when traffic is backed up. During the afternoon rush, cars on the northbound 241 often back up on the ramp to the 91 heading east toward Corona – and some of them try to skip the line by staying in faster-moving lanes that connect to the westbound 91 and then cutting over before the lanes split. It’s annoying, it’s rude, and it can cause collisions, so over the next six days, the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which operate the 241 toll road, will install about 800 “channelizers,” vertical posts made of plastic polyurethane, that officials hope will “improve traffic flow and promote good driving habits by preventing queue-jumpers,” a news release said.
  • Capitola City Council some of the first to weigh in on Highway 1 design (Santa Cruz Sentinel). Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission staff and contractors received the initial response to design for a segment of the Highway 1 Auxiliary Lanes and Bus-on-Shoulder Project during the Capitola City Council meeting Thursday evening. RTC is hoping this response will be supplemented by submissions to a survey that has been distributed via QR code. Through Feb. 25, interested parties can watch a video about the aesthetic feature options for the segment of Highway 1 that runs from Bay Avenue/Porter Street to State Park Drive and note which designs they prefer.
  • Capitola’s Long-Awaited Pedestrian Pathway Changes Course | Good Times Santa Cruz (GoodTimes). A pedestrian pathway that would connect Capitola’s Upper Beach and Village Parking Lot and Monterey Avenue that has been in the works for nearly six years is changing course. In 2016, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) awarded Capitola $250,000 to create a pathway between the parking lot and Monterey Avenue, to establish a path for pedestrians away from cars. Capitola also allotted $50,000 from its General Fund to the project.
  • Q&A: Highway 101 toll lanes opened Friday – but how much you’ll pay is a mystery (Times-Standard). San Francisco Bay Area motorists are seeing 12 miles of new toll lanes on Highway 101 from Mountain View to Redwood City that started Friday. But even the most seasoned commuters may be left scratching their heads as their FasTrak transponder racks up confusing charges each month. Figuring out how much you will pay on the latest stretch of toll lanes that join the 118-mile express lane network in the Bay Area is complicated — not even the people who planned the system know the answer just yet. Costs are guided by a dizzying mix of uncapped prices that can change every five minutes, multiple toll zones, and discounts for carpoolers and clean-air vehicles.
  • Garamendi bill unlocks funding for Travis AFB access roads (Daily Republic). Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, has introduced legislation that would designate roadways leading to the gates of Travis Air Force Base as “defense access roads.” The areas at Travis would be Air Base Parkway (main Visitor Center/Hospital Gate), Canon and Vanden roads (North Gate) and Petersen Road (South/Commercial Truck Gate).
  • San Mateo Express Lanes set to open Friday (The Bay Link Blog). New Express Lanes will open Friday in San Mateo County between the San Mateo/Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue. A goal of the lanes is to enable travel speeds of 45 mph or greater, resulting in reduced and more reliable travel times. The operational hours will be 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. The entire San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project is 22 miles in both directions on U.S. 101 from the San Mateo County/Santa Clara County Line to I-380 in South San Francisco.
  • Caltrans rehabilitates stretch of Highway 1 in Orange County with SB 1 funds (Orange County Breeze). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) broke ground last Fall on the Pacific Coast Highway Sidewalk ADA Improvement Project in Orange County. The $11.3 million project includes $7.2 million from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. This construction project will bring the cities of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, which are visited by many people from across California, the U.S. and the world, up to date with ADA Compliant curb ramps and much needed pavement repair. “Highway 1 is a main street in the cities of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, and this important project will improve accessibility for residents and visitors, no matter how they travel,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Through SB 1, Caltrans is fixing our aging infrastructure and improving travel here in Orange County and throughout California.”
  • Confused by the new lane signage on U.S. Highway 101? Here’s what you need to know (Palo Alto Online). The highway toll lanes that have been popping up in other parts of the Bay Area, notably Interstate Highway 880, debuted on the Peninsula on Feb. 11 after years of construction. Now, drivers are faced with a dizzying array of signs and lane markings on U.S. Highway 101 between state Route 237 in Mountain View and Whipple Avenue in Redwood City. Part of the Bay Area Express Lanes program, the newly designated toll lanes are the latest way that transportation agencies are trying to manage traffic congestion.
  • Bay Area transit officials exploring plan to charge all drivers to use certain highways (ABC7 San Francisco). Bay Area transit officials are exploring a plan to charge drivers to use certain Bay Area freeways in an effort to reduce congestion and drive down greenhouse emissions. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission discussed the plan during a meeting on Thursday. “It’s how can we move more people in fewer cars,” explained MTC spokesperson John Goodwin. Despite more people adopting telecommuting during the pandemic, the agency projects that the population and congestion in the Bay Area will continue to increase in the coming years.
  • $$ Burlingame’s Old Bayshore Highway to be redesigned (San Mateo Daily Journal). Old Bayshore Highway in Burlingame is set for a transformation, with the 1.3-mile stretch of road just south of the airport slated for a reduction in vehicle lanes with wider sidewalks and added bike lanes, in addition to more trees and improved access to the adjacent Bay Trail. The City Council last week reviewed the plans, which are still in the early phases of design work. The redesign comes as the Bayshore area, sandwiched between Highway 101 and the Bay, is planned to transition from hotels and low-density commercial uses to a hub for life science and technology campuses in coming years.
  • This Golden Gate Bridge myth has endured for decades (SFGate). There’s a tall tale about how the Golden Gate Bridge is painted, and the rumor has stretched far past the icon’s 4,200-foot span. Local lore told of paint crews beginning at one end of the bridge to gradually paint to the other, and once complete, starting all over again in an almost Sisyphus-like undertaking. Fred Mixon, paint superintendent for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, has heard this one before.
  • Caltrans to Install Gateway Monuments and Wayfinding Signs with a Regionally Significant Theme on Highway 140 in Mariposa County – One of Ten District 10 Clean California Projects to Beautify and Revitalize Public Spaces Throughout the District (Sierra Sun Times). As part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s landmark $1.1 billion Clean California initiative, Caltrans is awarding $312 million for 126 beautification projects along the state highway system – including ten projects in District 10. Designed to foster cultural connections and civic pride, the projects are expected to generate 3,600 jobs as part of the multiyear initiative led by Caltrans to remove trash and beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets, and roads while creating thousands of jobs for Californians. 98 percent of the projects will benefit historically underserved or excluded communities.
  • California Coastal Commission Meeting Wednesday February 9 2022 (South OC Beaches). The California Coastal Commission February 2022 Meeting is Virtual During the COVID-19 Pandemic. California Coastal Commission Meeting February Meeting is Wednesday February 9 2022 thru Friday February 11 2022. The Public is Encouraged to participate.
  • 9 miles of carpool lanes on I-5 open for North County drivers (KGTV 10 News). A new stretch of carpool lanes in San Diego’s North County could make commuting a bit easier for drivers. On Tuesday, nine miles of new HOV lanes opened on northbound Interstate 5 between Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach and Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad. Officials said the new lanes aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the highway, provide more travel options, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and alleviate congestion.
  • 🎥 New carpool lanes opening in North County – YouTube (KGTV 10 News). (Video) Nine miles of new northbound I-5 carpool lanes between Solana Beach and Carlsbad are now open.
  • Judge signals support for closed Great Highway, JFK Drive (The San Francisco Examiner). A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled last week The City acted lawfully when it closed down three major roadways on the west side for pedestrians and bicyclists during the COVID-19 pandemic. The closures of the Great Highway, John F. Kennedy Drive and Martin Luther King Drive began at the start of the pandemic and aimed to encourage walking and bicycling by creating a network of car-free streets throughout amidst a stay-at-home order.
  • Orland to receive funds as part of Clean California initiative (Glenn County Transcript). The California Department of Transportation announced Monday that Orland will be receiving funds as part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s $1.1 billion Clean California initiative. Caltrans said it is awarding $312 million for 126 beautification projects along the state highway system, which includes work in Butte, Glenn, Sacramento, and Yuba counties. In Orland, money from Caltrans will help fund the Orland Interchange Beautification Project. This $2.7 million project, which is set to begin construction in July and be completed by December, will improve and upgrade the I-5 and State Route 32 interchange.
  • Express lanes will cost drivers masses of money — and the state will collect millions from us | An Alternative View (Palo Alto Online). (Opinion) The traffic wizards and geniuses in our state have been at it again – this time in a big way that will affect highway motorists for years to come. Gone is the concept that our roads are for all, day and night. On its way out is the notion that major highways should be freeways – because it seems the mental maneuvers of Caltrans is to create toll roads and get us to use public transit. But will it “reduce congestion all along U.S. 101 corridor,” as Caltrans claims?? Ha! We will see.
  • The 2022-23 Budget: Transportation Infrastructure Package (State of California). Governor Proposes $4.9 Billion General Fund for Various Transportation Purposes. The Governor’s budget includes a total of $4.9 billion in General Fund for a package of proposals to support various transportation infrastructure projects, including transit and rail, grade separation, active transportation, climate adaptation, and highway conversion. The proposed package includes (1) $3.4 billion that was agreed to in the 2021‑22 budget package, but was reverted to the General Fund because subsequent legislation was not enacted as required, and (2) $1.5 billion that would be allocated between programs from last year’s package and a new set of proposed programs.
  • Otay Mesa East Port of Entry: New border crossing aims to alleviate environmental, economic issues (Fox 5 San Diego). The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project on State Route 11 is one step closer to completion, with a billion dollars already spent on what will become one of the most innovative border crossings in the U.S. “It’s going to include a border wait time system for the entire California-Mexico border, where people are going to be able to see what the border wait times are at all the ports of entry, and then decide if they want to pay the toll to cross at this port of entry that is going to guarantee a wait time of 20 minutes,” Caltrans District 11 Director Gustavo Dallarda said.
  • Caltrans, SANDAG open 9 new miles of carpool & HOV lanes on I-5 (CBS 8 San Diego). Caltrans San Diego and SANDAG celebrated Tuesday the opening of nine new miles of carpool/High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-5 between Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach and Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad. Caltrans said the work is being completed as part of the SANDAG and Caltrans Build NCC project — a comprehensive set of transportation, environmental, and coastal access projects. “This is part of an ongoing $875 million effort that includes widening the freeway for additional HOV lanes, but also includes double tracking bike paths, walking trails, and lagoon restorations,” said District 11 Caltrans Director Gustavo Dallarda.
  • Bill Text – AB-2344 Wildlife connectivity: transportation projects. (State of California). Under existing law, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has jurisdiction over the conservation, protection, and management of fish, wildlife, native plants, and habitat necessary for biologically sustainable populations of those species. Existing law authorizes DFW to approve compensatory mitigation credits for wildlife connectivity actions taken under specified programs. Existing law vests the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with full possession and control of the state highway system. Existing law requires Caltrans to complete assessments of potential barriers to anadromous fish prior to commencing any project using state or federal transportation funds and requires projects to be constructed without presenting barriers to fish passage. This bill would require DFW to investigate, study, and identify those areas in the state that are essential to wildlife movement and habitat connectivity and that are threatened by specified factors. The bill would require DFW, in coordination with Caltrans, to establish a wildlife connectivity action plan on or before January 1, 2024, and to update the plan at least once every 5 years thereafter. The bill would require the plan to include, among other things, maps that identify the locations of certain areas, including connectivity areas and natural landscape areas, as defined.
  • State Sen. Bill Dodd revives Highway 37 toll road plan (Press Democrat). State Sen. Bill Dodd is reviving his pre-pandemic proposal to turn Highway 37 into a toll road in order to raise funds that would be used to protect the vital North Bay artery from encroaching San Pablo Bay waters. On Tuesday, the Napa Democrat announced he will reintroduce Senate Bill 1050. Originally proposed in Jan. 2020, it was withdrawn following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic two months later. If state lawmakers approve Dodd’s proposal, it would mean drivers will have to pay to travel between Sears Point and Mare Island.
  • Two Bills Introduced for Highway 37, Includes Toll (KSRO FM). State Senator Bill Dodd of Napa is introducing legislation to fix Highway 37. Senator Dodd says the two bills will aim to ease traffic congestion and protect the roadway from future sea-level rise. The first bill would create a toll between the Sonoma Raceway and Mare Island. Dodd says that would establish a dedicated funding stream for critical improvements that could also be used to leverage state and federal dollars. The second bill would direct the use of nearly two-billion-dollars in federal infrastructure dollars for climate-adaptive transit projects. This would include Highway 37 which serves as a vital connector between Interstate-80 in Vallejo and Highway 101 in Novato.
  • Clean California Projects Coming to L.A. County (SCVNews). As part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s landmark $1.1 billion Clean California initiative, Caltrans is awarding $312 million for 126 beautification projects along the state highway system – including 17 beautification and safety-related projects in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Designed to foster cultural connections and civic pride, the projects are expected to generate 3,600 jobs as part of the multiyear initiative led by Caltrans to remove trash and beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets, and roads while creating thousands of jobs for Californians. 98 percent of the projects will benefit historically underserved or excluded communities.
  • San Pablo Avenue’s massive redesign is entering a new phase (Oaklandside). For the approximately 120,000 people who walk, bike, or motor up and down it every day, San Pablo Avenue is a vital East Bay transit corridor. The street runs through seven cities,  including Oakland and Berkeley, and its proximity to Interstate 880, I-580 and I-80 make it a common alternative traffic route. From its well-known bars to its popular veggie eateries, busy shopping centers, and community movie theaters, the roadway is an eclectic cultural hub that people love and rely on. Its heavy use, though, comes with a price.
  • Opponents of Rainier crossing step up efforts to stymie Petaluma project (Argus Courier). As Highway 101 climbs to span what would be Petaluma’s third time-saving route across town, vocal opponents of the long-promised, multi-million dollar east-west connector are once again stepping up efforts to halt the project they say will cost too much and make too little impact. The push in recent weeks, coming more than 60 years after the crosstown connector at Rainier Avenue was first envisioned in north Petaluma, traces a similar path to that forged more than 20 years ago, when the Petaluma City Council passed a resolution removing the crossing from city plans and priorities. That’s no coincidence. David Keller, the man who has spent the past several weeks offering up a “template” for killing the project to City Council members and staffers ahead of the city’s latest General Plan update, was on the City Council in 1999 when Rainier was first stricken from the city’s transportation planning efforts.
  • Even freeways that don’t get built leave a scar. How one Bay Area city is healing (Los Angeles Times). Eight lanes of freeway would be slicing through what’s now Debbie Frederick’s house if everything had gone to plan. Instead, the retired nurse practitioner gazes through her home’s picture windows on clear afternoons to take in a vast sweep of the San Francisco Bay. With binoculars, she can spot a spire of the Golden Gate Bridge 30 miles away. She had rented this three-bedroom stucco house in the East Bay city of Hayward for nearly a quarter century when, just over a decade ago, her absentee landlord, the state of California, finally gave up on plans to build the proposed 238 Freeway. The state began selling off hundreds of properties, and, in 2013, Frederick bought the house for $250,000.
  • These freeway pavement markings help drivers and more could be coming, Caltrans says (Press Enterprise). Q: Don Leiffer Jr. of Highland asked about the road logos painted on the pavement on the southbound 215 Freeway headed to the westbound 10 Freeway. “This was a real visual surprise and help. The lanes are many in this area, and it is very helpful just to see the logo of the freeway you are heading for marked ‘loudly’ on the surface,” Leiffer said. He asked if this is part of a new sign program or something else. “We think it’s a great idea. Can we expect to see this around the SoCal grid?” he added.
  • Construction begins on $12 million mountain lion crossing on Highway 17 in Santa Cruz Mountains (Mercury News). For years, a sweeping, treacherous curve on Highway 17 through the Santa Cruz Mountains has posed risks for motorists zooming between Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz beaches. But it’s been deadly for another group of travelers: Mountain lions, deer and other wildlife, which have been killed in surprisingly high numbers there while trying to cross the  highway. In a unique effort being watched by biologists around the state, crews on Wednesday began construction on a $12 million project to build an underpass for mountain lions and other wildlife under the four lanes of Highway 17 at Laurel Curve.
  • Ramona Planning Group to consider improvements to state Route 67 (SD Union Tribune/Ramona Sentinel). Two agencies teaming up on fund applications for improvements to state Route 67 will update the Ramona Community Planning Group on Thursday, March 3. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Ramona Community Library, 1275 Main St. Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) have been working together the past year to create the San Vicente Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan (CMCP). The plan addresses safety and congestion as it reviews different modes of transportation on SR-67 including bicycles, equestrian and pedestrian uses and vehicles.
  • Dodd legislation proposes Highway 37 toll to help fund ‘critical improvements’  (Local News Matters). State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, has introduced two bills designed to ease congestion on state Highway 37 — which runs between Vallejo and Novato and traverses Solano, Sonoma, and Marin counties — and to protect it from sea level rise. Dodd proposes adding a toll to pay for “critical improvements” and would like to tap into nearly $2 billion in federal infrastructure funding as well, his office announced last week. “Congestion and seasonal flooding are already unbearable for commuters and it will only get worse with the highway projected to be underwater in 20 years,” he said in a statement.
  • PUDDING CREEK BRIDGE WIDENING & RAIL UPGRADE (FB/District 1). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently allocated approximately $11.7 million for the Pudding Creek Bridge Widening and Rail Upgrade Project located on State Route 1 in Fort Bragg, in Mendocino County. The purpose of the project is to improve safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The project includes …
  • Demolition to begin in May for old Gerald Desmond Bridge at Port of Long Beach (Los Angeles Times). Officials with the Port of Long Beach announced Friday that demolition on the old Gerald Desmond Bridge is set to begin in May. The old bridge opened in 1968 and is named after a former Long Beach city attorney who helped secure funding to build the 5,134-foot-long span, officials said. It was decommissioned in October 2020 when its replacement, also called the Gerald Desmond Bridge, opened.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • The 1926-1934 Los Angeles-Redlands Corridor of former US Route 99 (GN). When the US Route System was created during November 1926 the plotted alignment of US Route 99 barely skirted the City of Los Angeles. US Route 99 originally followed what was Legislative Route Number 9 via a multiplex of US Route 66 from Pasadena to San Bernardino. From San Bernardino US Route 99 branched from US Route 66 following Legislative Route Number 26 towards Redlands. The corridor of US Route 99 was realigned onto a multiplex of US Route 60 and US Route 70 beginning in downtown Los Angeles towards Redlands starting in 1935. Pictured above is a sketch map of the proposed realignment of US Route 99 off Legislative Route Number 9 onto Legislative Route Number 26 in the Los Angeles-Redlands corridor submitted to the American Association of State Highway Officials during September 1934.
  • Interstate 105 (GN). Interstate 105 is an 18.82-mile freeway located in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Interstate 105 begins at California State Route 1 in El Segundo and terminates to the east at Interstate 605 in Norwalk. Interstate 105 is developed over the conceptual corridor of the Century Freeway which was originally part of California State Route 42. Interstate 105 was completed by 1994 and is one of the last major urban Interstates to have been developed.
  • California State Route 67 (GN). California State Route 67 is a 24.38-mile State Highway located entirely in San Diego County. California State Route 67 begins at Interstate 8 in El Cajon and terminates at California State Route 78 to the north in Ramona. California State Route 67 begins as the San Vicente Freeway in El Cajon which becomes a surface highway upon crossing the San Diego River in Lakeside. From Lakeside California State Route 67 skirts west of the San Vicente Reservoir and consolidates in with the Julian Road approaching Ramona. Featured as the blog cover photo is existing Legislative Route Number 198 on the Julian Road passing through San Vicente Dam when it’s new alignment (which would become California State Route 67) was being constructed during 1942-43
  • Former California State Route 39 through Knott’s Berry Farm via Grand Avenue (GN). As originally defined California State Route 39 entered the community of Buena Park via Legislative Route Number 62 on La Mirada Avenue and transitioned southward on Legislative Route Number 171 via Grand Avenue. California State Route 39 southbound passed through the grounds of Knott’s Berry Farm via Grand Avenue towards California State Route 18 at Lincoln Avenue. During the early 1940s California State Route 39 was moved to a bypass of Knott’s Berry Farm via what is now Beach Boulevard. Above what was originally California State Route 39 on Grand Avenue at the Knott’s Berry Farm entrance arch can be seen. Below California State Route 39 can be seen following Grand Avenue past Knott’s Berry Farm on the 1938 Division of Highways Map City Insert.
  • Former US Route 40 in Colfax (GN). Colfax is a city located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Placer County, California which was on the alignment of US Route 40. Early US Route 40 within Colfax inherited the alignments of the North Lincoln Highway and Victory Highway upon the US Route System being created during November 1926. Eastbound US Route 40 crossed through Colfax via Auburn Street, Grass Valley Street and Main Street. Above early US Route 40 can be seen crossing the First Transcontinental Railroad via Grass Valley Street as seen in the May 1939 California Highways & Public Works. Below a map of early US Route 40 in Colfax can be seen as displayed in the May 1939 California Highways & Public Works.
  • Los Alamitos Traffic Circle; current California State Route 1/former US Route 101 Alternate and US Route 91 (GN). Los Alamitos Traffic Circle is located in the city of Long Beach and presently a component of California State Route 1. Los Alamitos Traffic Circle was originally completed during 1934 and was originally designated as California State Route 3. Los Alamitos Traffic Circle would part of become US Route 101 Alternate in 1935 and later became part of US Route 91 in 1947. California State Route 1 was designated as through Los Alamitos Circle during the 1964 State Highway Renumbering. Pictured as the blog cover photo is Los Alamitos Traffic Circle in 1942 when it was part of US Route 101 Alternate.
  • Golden State Highways (GN). Over the years Gribblenation has compiled hundreds of articles relating to highways in California along with copious amount of scenery the State has to offer. One thing that I’ve frequently received feedback on over the years is that it can be difficult to track down specific articles. The Golden State Highways and California Travel Directory aims to change this by making a go-to page for anything we feature related to California.
  • California State Route 22 the Orange Crush of the Garden Grove Freeway (GN). California State Route 22 is an urban State Highway located in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. California State Route 22 begins at California State Route 1 in Long Beach via 7th Street. California State Route 22 eastbound becomes a freeway near the city limit of Long Beach and begins a multiplex on Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway in Orange County. California State Route 22 eastbound departs Interstate 405 onto the Garden Grove Freeway towards a terminus at California State Route 55 in Orange. California State Route 22 contains the notable Orange Crush Interchange which junctions Interstate 5/Santa Ana Freeway and California State Route 57/Orange Freeway. Featured as the blog cover photo is the Orange Crush Interchange shortly after it was completed as depicted in the November/December 1964 California Highways & Public Works.
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