🛣 Headlines About California Highways – June 2022 Supplemental

Have you ever wondered how I assemble these posts. I scan the headlines, sure, but then I bookmark them in my browser. Sometimes that is on my home machine, sometime at work.  I use a tool called Eversync to keep the bookmarks in the two browsers synchronized. Well, when I signed into work today, I discovered a whole bunch of links hadn’t been synchronized. They don’t appear to be from May or June (although a few are from July). So let’s do a catchup post of what the synchronizer missed.


[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

  • It took decades, but the 5 Freeway from La Mirada to Santa Fe Springs now has 10 lanes (Whittier Daily News). More than 30 years in the making, the 5 Freeway now has 10 lanes — up from six — from the Orange County border to the 605 Freeway. Caltrans on Thursday, June 30, opened a carpool and a regular lane northbound from the Orange county line in La Mirada to Alondra Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs. This is the final segment of the $1.9 billion widening project that began late in 2011 with the Carmenita Road interchange. Discussions actually date back to 1989 when Caltrans originally proposed widening to 12 or 14 lanes that then would have taken three Santa Fe Springs council members’ homes as well as a then-proposed auto row. Neither ever happened.
  • Newsom announces freeway camera funding (KRON4). Amid a spate of freeway shootings, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced funding for a pilot program to strategically install some 200 closed-circuit television cameras on the state’s freeways, including at locations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, according to a press release. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of our highways throughout California and to holding individuals accountable for brazen acts of violence perpetrated on our freeways,” Newsom stated. “Advanced CCTV cameras will serve to improve traffic safety and act as a tool to assist CHP with incredibly complex and in-depth investigations. We’re doubling down on our public safety investments and partnerships with law enforcement officials up and down the state to ensure Californians feel safe in their communities.”
  • California invests $700 million in transportation infrastructure (Action News). Hundreds of millions of dollars has been approved for infrastructure improvements to roads and bridges in Northern California and throughout the state. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated $700 million for the work. More than a third of that, $272 million, comes from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Projects approved in [Butte, Lassen, Trinity, Shasta, etc.] include:
  • Kiewit Tackles Draining, Grading Issues On I-80 in California (Construction Equipment Guide). Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. started work on the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Solano Transportation Authority’s (STA) $93.7 million Interstate 80, Interstate 680 and State Route 12 Interchange Project 2A in August 2020 — an initiative that is improving and widening the eastbound SR 12 to EB I-80 connector in the I-80 corridor, as well as improving the connectivity between regionally significant destinations.
  • California Consulting Releases Municipal Grants for May 2022 (California City News). Within each topic section, grants are listed in order by deadline and those which are due continuously. If you are interested in any of the listed opportunities, please contact your Project Manager for more information or to begin your application today!

  • Package of 2022 Senate Bills authored by Senator Hueso advance to Assembly floor (Senator Ben Hueso). A total of 17 bills authored by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) are headed to the Assembly floor. The bills will proceed through the appropriate voting process in the Assembly with possible amendments; if amended they will return to the Senate for a reconciliation vote, before going to the Governor’s desk for signature before Sept. 1, 2022. “We continue to work to pass laws that will have a positive impact on our environment, housing, energy, and more,” said Senator Ben Hueso. “My staff and I will continue to work with other lawmakers to ensure these laws reach the Governor’s desk to continue to improve our district.” List of bills passed into Assembly: SB 985 – Otay Mesa East Toll Facility Act Summary: The bill would authorize the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to carry out construction projects for the State Highway Route 11 corridor, including highway improvements and international border crossing facilities, and to set up and collect tolls to enter or use the highway corridor. It would also allow SANDAG to enter into agreements with Mexican government entities and local government entities to carry out their operations and collect tolls.
  • I-5 project planned to address growing traffic problems (SCV Signal). Traffic is expected to get worse. The Interstate 5 North County Enhancements Project, according to project representatives, looks to address the problem. During an online briefing Tuesday presented by the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. and the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, project officials outlined freeway enhancements in a five-year plan and where the entire project stands today. “As you know, I-5 is not just important to the Santa Clarita Valley, it’s an important arterial for the entire western United States,” said John Musella, president and chief strategist of the SCV Chamber. “They often refer to I-5 as BC to BC — British Columbia to Baja, California. And we are an important and strategic part of that as a gateway to and from Los Angeles, as well as our residents here in Santa Clarita commuting to and from Los Angeles.”
  • Southern California Freeway Expansion Plans Scrapped (Planetizen News). The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted this week to end a $6 billion plans to expand the 710 Freeway, a key cargo corridor that connects to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. An article by Rachel Uranga details the political context for the vote, where environmental justice concerns essentially won out over concerns about traffic congestion for cargo trucks traveling to and from the ports. According to Uranga, the decision exemplifies recent momentum for alternatives to the disparate impacts of the car-centric planning status quo in the state of California. As states and regions around the nation ponder freeway expansions in low-income communities and communities of color, here is at least one example of different direction for transportation planning.
  • SR 99E to close south of Los Molinos for 7 weeks starting June 1 (Red Bluff Daily News). Caltrans has rescheduled the Champlin Slough Bridge Replacement project to begin May 31, with full closure of State Route 99E for seven weeks beginning Wednesday, June 1. The project will completely replace the existing bridge structure just south of Los Molinos on State Route 99E in Tehama County. It includes new guard railing, and the addition of numerous safety features. One-way traffic control will start May 31 and the full closure will start the evening of June 1. Caltrans will detour traffic at South Avenue to northbound Interstate 5 to Red Bluff. Southbound traffic will travel from Red Bluff via I-5 to South Avenue.
  • Proposed Highway 37 Toll Clears Key Hurdle (Novato, CA Patch). A proposed Highway 37 toll has cleared a key hurdle. Senate Bill 1050 would create a Highway 37 toll between Sears Point and Mare Island. SB 1050 is among two measures California lawmakers advanced that aim to fund a key traffic connection route imperiled by rising sea levels that’s already prone to flooding.
  • Sacramento hosts California’s shortest State Route (FOX40). When construction began on June 20, 1934, the city of Sacramento had no idea that Tower Bridge would become California’s shortest state route at just under .14 miles. In 2010, the California Legislature reinstated state Route 275 as the length of Tower Bridge from the east end of the bridge to the west end. According to Caltrans, California state Route 153 in Coloma was designated as the shortest state route in California at .5 miles. Since 1911, the M Street Bridge had served the rail needs and motoring needs of Sacramento, but the increased traffic loads required a new bridge to be built.
  • Expect Malibu Road Closures For Trancas Bridge Project (Malibu, CA Patch). Road closures start Wednesday in Malibu for the California Department of Transportation’s Trancas Bridge Replacement Project. Roadway restriping and k-rail replacement will close one lane in each direction Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday on the state Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway, near Trancas Canyon Road. The shoulder will also be closed.
  • Napa County still an option for Highway 37 route (Napa Valley Register). Relocating Highway 37 to Napa County to spare the roadway from predicted sea level rise remains an option, though how viable a one has yet to be determined. Highway 37 stretches for 21 miles through Solano, Sonoma and Marin counties to link Vallejo and Novato. A University of California, Davis report concluded much of the road could be underwater by 2088. Last week, the State Route 37 Policy Committee heard the latest set of options for a potential, major project that is only in the planning stages, with no construction dates yet being mentioned. Making it a reality would require billions of dollars.
  • San Diego traffic: Wrong-way driving features added to several highway ramps (FOX 5). The “Last U.S. Exit” on Interstate 5 and Interstate 805 before drivers enter Mexico is back open for now. California Department of Transportation closed those exit ramps to add wrong-way driving safety measures. The agency is putting the new features on highway ramps to alert drivers more than once that they are not going the right way. This will mean more signs, signs with lights and lane markers. “Always be cognizant of the signs around you, that’s always a big thing,” said Salvador Castro, a Public Information Officer with California Highway Patrol. Caltrans launched a $9 million campaign to install wrong-way driving safety features at 74 state highway ramps. They have completed work on routes 5,8,15,52,54,67,78,94,125,163,805 and 905.
  • All lanes of 25/156 roundabout project open starting June 10 (BenitoLink). Caltrans announced all lanes at the intersection of highways 25 and 156 will be open June 10 through June 19 . It added an update will be provided next week detailing the reactivation of lane closures which are expected to return the week of June 20. According to previous Caltrans news releases, the purpose of this roundabout project is to reduce the severity of collisions and fatalities at this intersection.
  • Why do so many California freeways end in 5 or 80? (KTLA). Why does Interstate 880, intersect with 680 and 280? These are the types of questions California drivers are left to ponder, often while sitting in a congested lane on those  highways. But if you’ve never come up with the answer as to why the 405 and 805 were set down so darn close to I-5, the answer might be simpler than remembering how many passengers you need for the carpool lane. Caltrans directed us to Chapter 20 of the Highway Design Manual. There you’ll learn that our major north to south traffic arteries on the Interstate Highway system are given odd numbers. Our east-west routes typically have even numbers. All of those other – typically shorter – three-digit highways are named because of their links to the primary routes.
  • Public comment sought on Highway 41 Reef City restoration project (Hanford Sentinel). A stretch of State Route 41 between Kings County and Kern County is on track for restoration, and the California Department of Transportation in partnership with the California Transportation Commission, is seeking public comment through July 11. “The purpose of this project is to preserve and rehabilitate the existing pavement, extend the life of the roadway, and minimize future maintenance costs,” according to agency officials. The project will occur near Reef City, from the Kern County line to 0.8 miles west of the I-5/State Route 41 separation within Kings County.
  • The first federal monument to Lincoln is in California. You may have visited and never noticed (KGET 17). With hundreds of miles of major roadways and highways crisscrossing the Sacramento region it can be hard to imagine a time before them, but there was. It was not until the 1960s and 1970s that many of the state capital’s major interstates and highways were completed and ready for drivers. One of the earliest coast-to-coast highways that made its way through the Sacramento region was the Lincoln Highway, which opened on Oct. 31, 1913 to connect New York and San Francisco. This nearly 3,400-mile stretch of road was the nation’s first federal memorial to President Abraham Lincoln. The iconic Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. did not open until May 30, 1922, according to Caltrans.
  • New 45-Day Multiple Ramp Closures Coming to I-210 (SCVNews). The California Department of Transportation announced Thursday long-term closures of multiple westbound Interstate 210 on and off-ramps in Lake View Terrace and Sylmar for paving work. Residents and local businesses located near the freeway may experience noise, vibrations and dust associated with construction activities.
  • Dennis Machida Memorial Greenway dedicated (Tahoe Daily Tribune). After 20 years of work, the Dennis T. Machida Memorial Greenway is complete. Machida was a champion for protecting and improving natural and recreational resources at Lake Tahoe. He was instrumental in establishing the California Tahoe Conservancy and other state conservancies. He was an innovator and a groundbreaking Asian American leader in environmental conservation.
  • With completion of $8M marina project, Berkeley’s infamous bumpy street is no more (BerkeleySide). The western end of University Avenue will no longer live up to its reputation as one of Berkeley’s “worst” streets as of Thursday morning, when the city of Berkeley announced the completion of its $8 million Berkeley Marina Roadway Improvements Project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “The Berkeley Marina is one of the city’s finest treasures, but unfortunately, Berkeley residents have long considered this road one of our city’s worst features,” said Vice Mayor Kate Harrison during the ceremony. “A year ago, the pavement undulated like the nearby tides and tested the suspension of every single car, bicyclist and walker that came this way.”
  • Stalled Highway 98 Project Blamed for Lost Sales (Calexico Chronicle). Sales are down significantly at the Asadero Neighborhood restaurant. But this time it’s not because of pandemic-related restrictions. Nor are inflation or supply chain issues to blame. Rather, the drop in customers is reportedly due to the Highway 98 widening project that is taking place right outside Asadero’s front door, and which has been stalled for the past few months. “Sales are down about 70 to 80 percent,” said Asadero owner Liz Zepeda. “The worst part is not knowing how long the project will be paused because a (construction) contractor can’t be found.” About two months ago the project’s contractor, Irvine-based Spectrum Construction Group Inc., abandoned the state Department of Transportation-funded project to make improvements on a stretch of State Route 98 between Ollie and V.V. Williams avenues.
  • Caltrans continues work on 70; no estimated time to reopen (Plumas News). Highway 70 has been closed to through traffic in the Feather River Canyon since strong thunderstorms on Sunday, June 12 caused multiple slides and debris flows in Dixie Fire burn scar areas. Caltrans reports that there were five slides/debris flow areas between just west of the Rock Creek Dam and Belden. Two of these locations, near the outlets of Opapee Creek and Murphy Creek, have sustained significant damage to the highway and surrounding areas, including complete loss of shoulder and roadway undermining (erosion under the roadway) in areas, along with drainage and guardrail damage. These storms also caused smaller areas of debris flows and slides on State Route 36 in Tehama County near Childs Meadow and on State Route 89 in Tehama County, north of the junction with State Route 36 (both of which are also in Dixie Fire burn scar areas). These areas of roadway are currently open but will likely require roadside ditch cleanups and drainage work.
  • Meridian Drawbridge to open Thursday (Appeal Democrat). Motorists can expect delays on State Route 20 near Meridian on Thursday due to a scheduled intermittent closure of the Meridian Bridge on the Sutter-Colusa County line. According to a release issued by Caltrans District 3, the bridge is scheduled to be closed intermittently between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. as Caltrans crews open the swing bridge to conduct their annual routine inspection of the historic steel structure over the Sacramento River, which is anticipated to cause delays of up to 20 minutes during each of the two planned openings. “Motorists are advised to find alternate routes during the temporary highway closure, which is subject to change due to unexpected weather or other events,” read the release. “Electronic roadside message boards will be used to post the latest information.”
  • Father, daughter adopt Highway 1 stretch in Malibu (The Malibu Times). Peter Ireland and his daughter Melissa are regularly seen picking up tossed or windblown litter and debris near their AAH sign just one-third of a mile south of Neptune’s Net and Leo Carrillo State Beach. Since 2017, this dynamic father-daughter duo has helped by picking up litter from a stretch of PCH/State Route 1 North of Mulholland Highway near their home in Malibu as part of the Caltrans’ Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program. “Keeping the highway and beaches clean are an extension of what we do as a local nonprofit, environmental organization,” Melissa Ireland said in a statement. “We believe keeping the area litter-free is important for the safety and enjoyment of residents and visitors to Malibu.”
  • Lane, Security Paving Perform $929M Job On I-10 in California (Construction Equipment Guide). Phase 1 of the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s (SBCTA) $929.2 million Interstate 10 Corridor Project began in September 2018 and is expected to be completed in early 2024. The work is being conducted by a joint-venture that brings together the Lane Construction Corporation and Security Paving Company Inc. SBCTA’s Interstate 10 Corridor Project is comprised of three phases of improvements to benefit the movement of both people and goods that is important to both San Bernardino County residents and to the local and national economy.
  • People are still driving off Highway 1 near Devil’s Slide: ‘It could happen to anyone’ (SF Chronicle). On a misty night in the late 1980s, Dan Moss was driving north on Highway 1 along the cliffs at Devil’s Slide near Pacifica when a deer crossed in front of his car. He swerved to avoid the animal, and his car began to skid toward the side of the highway. Then, in a second, he was over the edge. Moss dropped 50 feet down a nearly 200-foot cliff toward the water, totaling the vehicle before he climbed back up the jagged rock face and sought help. He was lucky. He survived with just two broken ribs and a scar on his head.
  • Freeway interchange costs keep rising with delays (Ceres Courier). City officials hope that construction work will begin by 2025 on the new Mitchell/Service Highway 99 interchange, which is still in the design and planning stages. The city has been planning a new Service/Mitchell/99 interchange since 1997 and the longer the design and red tape takes the higher the costs of construction, now estimated to cost $150 million to $180 million due to inflation. “When it first started I thought I heard it was like $90 million and now it’s doubled, $180 million,” said Associate Engineer Sam Royal with the city of Ceres.
  • California Allocates More Than $3 Billion for Transportation Infrastructure – Including $18 Million in Fresno County, Caltrans Reports (Sierra Sun Times). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $3 billion today to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state, including $1.3 billion in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to support local projects and to protect local roads and bridges from extreme weather and natural disasters. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for more than $930 million of the total funding. “The CTC’s decision to invest in our state highways while protecting city and county infrastructure will help make California’s roadways safer and more resilient one shovel, one project and one community at a time,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. Projects approved this week [for Kern and Fresno Counties] include:
  • CTC Allocates More Than $3 Billion for ‘Transportation Infrastructure’ (Redheaded Blackbelt). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $3 billion [recently] to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state, including $1.3 billion in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to support local projects and to protect local roads and bridges from extreme weather and natural disasters. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for more than $930 million of the total funding. “The CTC’s decision to invest in our state highways while protecting city and county infrastructure will help make California’s roadways safer and more resilient one shovel, one project and one community at a time,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. Projects approved [last] week [in Humboldt, Lake, Del Norte, and Mendocino Counties] include:

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • Paper Highways: Proposed US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas, Nevada (GN). During February 1956 the State of Nevada in concurrence with the States of California and Arizona submitted a request to the American Association of State Highway Officials to establish US Route 66 Alternate to Las Vegas. The proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have originated from mainline US Route 66 in Kingman Arizona and followed a multiplex of US Routes 93-466 to Las Vegas, Nevada. From Las Vegas, Nevada the proposed US Route 66 Alternate would have multiplexed US Routes 91-466 back to mainline US Route 66 in Barstow, California. The request to establish US Route 66 Alternate was denied during June 1956 due to it being completely multiplexed with other US Routes. This blog will examine the timeline of the US Route 66 Alternate proposal to Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Paper Highways: Unbuilt California State Route 228 (GN). California State Route 228 was a planned highway which was defined during the 1964 State Highway Renumbering as a bypass of Brawley. California State Route 228 was planned as a two-mile north/south State Highway which would have followed Malan Canal and Sandal Canal west of Brawley. California State Route 228 was deleted in 1998 with no actual mileage ever having been constructed. Above California State Route 228 can be seen on the 1964 Division of Highways Map with a determined adopted routing.

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