🛣 Headlines About California Highways – September 2022

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted. The end of September has been busy. Combine the end of the government fiscal year (meaning work is busy), with a large number of theatre reviews to write up, with working to get Episode 1.04 of the California Highways – Route by Route podcast (Anchor.FM Home, with links to most major podcatching services) edited, with having ear surgery to remove a cholesteotoma that had developed, with working on the updates to the highway pages …. and, whew! So the headlines are a few days late. My apologies.

As I noted, I’ve been doing a lot of work on the podcast. One of the hardest parts is scaring up interviews. For the upcoming episodes, I’m looking for someone who is willing to talk for 30 minutes or so on the following:

  • For 1.05: The Pat Brown era of highway construction in California, and the rationale behind, and impact of, the 1964 “Great Renumbering” on the traveling public.
  • For 1.06: The impact of CEQA on road construction in California — including the process both before and after CEQA — as well as the impact of the growing importance of regional transportation agencies on the State Highway System.

If you or someone you know would be interested in helping this project, please contact me. Thanks to Jonathan Gifford of George Mason University for being our interviewee for Episode 1.04. Episode 1.04 should be posted around October 15.

With respect to the main highway pages: I’ve started work on incorporating the August headlines. That will be interrupted for the November 2022 ballot analysis, which should take 5 posts to complete (national/state officers, local officers, judges, measures, and a summary) as well as weekly theatre). Once I’m past the election post, I’ll finish up August and start the September headlines. The goal will be to have those updates done by November. Podcast scripts are written through 1.10; all that remains is the naming and transportation organizations episode.

Enough of this shameless self-promotion. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for September:


[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.]

California Highways: Route by Route Podcast

  • California Highways: Route by Route logoCARxR Ep. 1.03: Building a State Highway System: The 1930s. In this episode, we’re continuing to explore the history of the State Highway System, focusing on the 1930s and the early 1940s. This is part of our first season of California Highways: Route by Route, where we are exploring the background needed for our route by route journal. In this episode, we’ll see the establishment of the legislative route system, the creation of state sign routes and the signage by the auto club, a major expansion of the state highway system, and continuing growth on the Federal side, laying the groundwork for the eventual interstates. This episode also features an interview with Morgan Yates, Archivist of the Auto Club of Southern California. During his interview, Morgan shared a picture of alternative state routing signs proposed by the ACSC (included here thanks to the auto club). You can write to Morgan at: Corporate Archivist; Automobile Club of Southern California; 2601 S. Figueroa St., MS H-118; Los Angeles, CA 90007.

Back episodes are available at the Podcast’s forever home, as well as on its anchor.fm home. The anchor.fm also has links to the podcast’s page on most major podcasting services.

Highway Headlines

  • California Senate Passes Safe Roads Bill, Putting Statewide Wildlife Connectivity Within Reach (Center for Biological Diversity). The California Senate passed the Safe Roads and Wildlife Protection Act on Monday in a 35-0 vote, paving the way for more wildlife crossings across the state’s roadway system. Assembly Bill 2344 now awaits approval from the governor after a concurrence vote in the Assembly, which it passed in May. “California lawmakers agree that it’s unacceptable for animals to be slaughtered on highways due to a lack of wildlife crossings,” said J.P. Rose, policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Urban Wildlands program. “Wildlife crossings work, and mountain lions, desert tortoises and kit foxes deserve safe passage over the barriers we’ve created.” A.B. 2344 would require Caltrans to identify barriers to wildlife movement and prioritize crossings when designing new roads or making road improvements. The proposed legislation prioritizes crossing projects, which can be overpasses, underpasses, culverts and other infrastructure improvements, to prevent deadly wildlife-vehicle collisions.
  • Rio Vista Bridge back open after malfunction leaves it stuck in up position (CBS Sacramento). Highway 12 was blocked in both directions over the Sacramento River in Rio Vista after the bridge malfunctioned on Tuesday. According to Caltrans District 10, the bridge became stuck in the up position. The Rio Visa Fire Department tweeted that the bridge suffered a mechanical issue and that drivers would need to seek an alternative route. A ship had to anchor just north of the bridge because it too couldn’t get by. Operators say it costs owners $20,000 for every day that a vessel sits idle.
  • Metro’s 60 Freeway Ramps Expansion Project in Hacienda Heights Is on Hold (Streetsblog Los Angeles). An on-/off-ramp project in Hacienda Heights meant to preface future widening of the 60 and 605 Freeways has been postponed by Metro since the early pandemic. Metro deemed the Hacienda Heights SR-60/7th Avenue project beneficial to drivers and not overly adversely impacting adjacent residents, but if and when the project and the freeway widening are set in motion again, construction could come very close to homes. So what’s holding it back?
  • Metro FY23 Budget: Those Freeways Metro Plans to Widen (Streetsblog Los Angeles). Metro is spending more and more money widening freeways. Last year, Metro increased its annual freeway expansion budget by a whopping eighty percent. This year, the agency has proposed another 33.5 percent increase, on top of last year’s. At a time when equity, housing, and climate crises are bearing down on Angelenos, Metro is planning to worsen these crises by doubling down on freeway widening – growing its annual Highway Program budget from $264 million (in FY21) to a proposed $634 million in the year ahead (FY23).
  • Cosumnes bridge project along SR-99 wraps up two years early (ABC 10). The Cosumnes bridge replacement project on State Route 99 is complete. It started in fall 2019 and construction finished two years ahead of schedule, despite supply chain  issues. The $208.3 million project received nearly $106 million from Senate Bill 1, and more than $102 million came from the State Highway and Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP). State and local governments worked together to replace the Cosumnes River bridge and Overflow bridge with two new ones. They also replaced the McConnell overhead and made improvements to the Dillard Road overcrossing.

  • State approves SANDAG transportation plan with road user charge (The Coast News). The California Air Resources Board approved SANDAG’s controversial $172 billion Regional Transportation Plan on Aug. 26, with the contentious road user charge in place as an integral funding mechanism. Officials with SANDAG, the only metropolitan planning agency in the state with a local road-user charge, were thrilled the plan won the state air quality agency’s approval.
  • The freeway that never was: Four-lane highway would have transformed St. Helena, Napa Valley (Napa Valley Register). St. Helena’s beloved elm tunnel would be in the middle of a four-lane highway. Mills Lane could have had an interchange in the middle of vineyards. Local streets would dead-end. A highway bridge would take over the Paulson farm on Pope Street. Virgil Galleron would lose his water supply. Visitors might not stop in town. Wide swaths of vineyard would be condemned and torn out. Charles Krug Winery’s vineyard would be cut in two. Three highways might have bisected our narrow valley. These would have been the consequences had a four-lane highway been built up the Napa Valley, bypassing St. Helena to the east of Main Street. That is exactly what was proposed in October 1958.
  • US Highway 101/State Route 135 Bridge Project Continues Next Week With Bridge Demolition (Santa Barbara Independent). A project to reconstruct the bridges on US Highway 101 at the Interchange with State Route 135 in Los Alamos will continue with the demolition of the northbound bridge beginning Tuesday, September 13th. This roadwork will result in a 24-hour closure of State Route 135 between Bell/Main Street to San Antonio Boulevard beginning Tuesday, September 13th at 7 am until Wednesday, September 14th at 7 am. A temporary shuttle service will transport passengers near the Los Alamos Rancho Mobile Home Park and the Los Alamos Senior Center. US 101 will remain open in both directions. Access to the southbound US 101 on and off-ramps will remain open and the northbound on and off-ramps at State Route 135 will remain open for travelers to the Skyview Hotel and Peppertree Lane.
  • Highway 99 bridge project finishes work 2 years early (Galt Herald). The Cosumnes Bridge Replacement Project on Highway 99 is fully open for motorists more than two years early, Caltrans announced Sept. 1 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “In October 2019, Caltrans celebrated the groundbreaking of this project with many of you here today,” Caltrans Director Tony Tavares told a group of local officials, Caltrans employees and contractors at the Eschinger Road exit, just south of Elk Grove. “And at that time, we committed and we promised to you that we would finish this multimillion-dollar project by November 2024. “Well, I checked my calendar this morning. It’s Sept. 1, 2022 … more than two years ahead of schedule.”
  • SR74 Caltrans work between beach cities and Lake Elsinore continues (Valley News). Most of Caltrans’ highway work is moving toward the desert communities and San Bernardino as the summer is coming to an end. However, work continues in the Lake Elsinore area as State Route 74 to the Orange County border continues. The Riverside County Transportation Commission did announce that in partnership with Caltrans, it is building the Interstate 15 and Highway Express Lanes Connector that will provide a new connection from the eastbound 91 Express Lanes that many Southwestern Riverside motorists use going into Los Angeles and Orange County. It will connect from Highway 91 express lanes to the future northbound I-15 express lanes and to the westbound 91 express lanes. Caltrans notes State Route 74 Lane Widening, near Lake Elsinore, may bring weeknight full closures from Monday, Sept. 12 through, Sept. 16. The work continues on DR71 from Lake Elsinore to the Orange County border to Monte Vista Street just west of Lake Elsinore.
  • Caltrans to begin roadway project on Highway 140 in Mariposa (Merced Sun-Star). Crews are expected to begin work on a roadway rehabilitation project in Mariposa County next week, according to the California Department of Transportation. The pavement rehabilitation project will take place along a section of Highway 140 from the Mariposa/Merced County line to about one mile east of Trower Road in Mariposa County, according to a Caltrans news release. During the rehabilitation project, roughly 24 lane miles of road will be ground and overlayed with rubberized asphalt and concrete which Caltrans says will improve ride quality and prevent future costly repairs along the route.
  • Caltrans To Close Access From Northbound SR-29 To Soscol Ferry Road (Napa Valley Patch). Beginning Thursday, Sept. 15, motorists will no longer be allowed to make a left turn from northbound State Highway 29 to Soscol Ferry Road in Napa County. To access Soscol Ferry Road from northbound SR-29, motorists will instead need to take Airport Boulevard to Devlin Road to Soscol Ferry Road. “The permanent closure will allow construction crews to start building a temporary roadway in the center median, which will be used for southbound SR-29 traffic for the next construction phase in November 2022,” said Pedro Quintana, a spokesperson for Caltrans District 4.
  • Solano to seek state transportation funds for Rockville crossing (Solano Daily Republic). A planned bicycle and pedestrian crossing between the two Rockville area parks – Fairfield’s Rockville Hills Regional Park and the Solano Land Trust’s Patwino Worrtla Kodoi Dihi Open Space Park – has been discussed for some time. The lingering questions are: Is it safe? Who should be paying? The Solano County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave more than a little time to both questions and approved the submission of an application seeking $125,000 in Transportation Development Act funds, through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
  • Caltrans to Begin Work on Westbound SR-118 Reseda Blvd Off-ramp (SCV News). The California Department of Transportation announces work on the westbound State Route 118 Reseda Blvd off-ramp in the Los Angeles community of Northridge is set to begin on the first week of October 2022. Caltrans received a permit from the city of Los Angeles to begin repairs on the ramp and on Rinaldi Street. The ramp had been closed since April for motorist safety due to a sinkhole. To repair the ramp, crews will conduct shoring work to replace a damaged metal drainage pipe with a new, 286-foot concrete reinforced pipe underneath the off-ramp. Additionally, Rinaldi Street will have the eastbound lane closed in front of the Reseda off-ramp to repair a connection to the city’s drain. Crews will also reconstruct embankments and landscaped areas, replace the irrigation system, and reconstruct the off-ramp. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022.
  • Construction resumes at Caltrans projects in San Benito County (San Benito Free-Lance). The construction of a new four-lane expressway adjacent to Highway 156 in San Benito County continues this week, with work taking place behind K-rail barriers south of the highway’s current alignment. Crews in the next two weeks will proceed with roadway excavation for underground construction, and demolition of the old guardrail, says a press release from the California Department of Transportation. Tree stump removal, clearing and grubbing will also continue behind the K-rail barriers. Crews will also install sections of wildlife fencing as part of the project’s environmental stewardship efforts, says the Caltrans press release. The expressway construction starts at The Alameda and continues in an eastbound direction. Caltrans anticipates that only occasional traffic control will be necessary during the first several months of the project.
  • Transportation ‘boondoggles’ cost billions, study says (Orange County Register). These vanquished “boondoggles” appear in the “victory” column: The death of the proposed extension of the 241 “toll road to nowhere” through San Clemente, which could have cost billions. The cancellation of a $6 billion plan to expand the 710 freeway between Long Beach and East Los Angeles, which rattled around for more than 20 years. Abandonment of a plan to drill twin tunnels to link I-210 and I-710 — which could have exceeded $5 billion — in an attempt to reduce San Gabriel Valley transportation woes; and the demise of the “High Desert Freeway,” an $8 billion, 63-mile project that aimed to connect L.A. County’s Palmdale and Lancaster with San Bernardino County’s Victorville, Apple Valley and Adelanto.
  • White House delivers $150 million for new Otay Mesa East Port of Entry (ABC 27). The White House on Thursday announced that it is awarding $1.5 billion in grants for 26 transportation projects nationwide, including the planned Otay Mesa East Port of Entry in south San Diego, which is getting $150 million during this first round of funding. The money is part of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program, or INFRA, which is being funded by President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Over the next five years, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide approximately $8 billion for the INFRA projects. According to the Department of Transportation, the money is to be used for “highway, multimodal freight and rail projects that will make the nation’s transportation systems safer and more resilient, eliminate supply chain bottlenecks, and improve critical freight movements.”
  • Highway 1 widening project to begin in Nipomo (KSBY 6). A project to widen an intersection of Highway 1 in Nipomo begins on Monday. Caltrans will be widening the intersection of Highway 1 and Winterhaven Way. Construction will take place Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-3 pm. Travelers should prepare for one-way traffic control during construction.
  • Oct. 3: Caltrans Long-term Closure of WB I-210 Roxford Street On/Off Ramps (SCV News). The California Department of Transportation has announced a long-term closure of westbound Interstate 210 Roxford Street on and off-ramps in Sylmar for paving work. Residents and local businesses located near the freeway may experience noise, vibrations and dust associated with construction activities. Crews will be closing the Roxford Street on and off-ramps beginning Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. on westbound I-210 for up to 45 days. The following ramps are scheduled to reopen: Polk Street on and off-ramps beginning Friday, Sept. 16. Yarnell Street on-ramp is open. The off-ramp is anticipated to reopen on Friday, Sept. 30.
  • Atkinson Moves Mountains On California Highway Project (Construction Equipment Guide). Motorists understand that it can be aggravating — and even dangerous — being trapped behind a line of tractor trailers going in the same direction. Caltrans and crews from Atkinson Construction are removing some of the aggravation and adding safety to a stretch of State Route 46 in central California. Called the Highway 46 Corridor Project, State Route 46 between Paso Robles and Cholame is a critical east-west road that connects the Central Coast and Central Valley. This road is one of the few east-west routes linking I-5 to U.S. Highway 101. This route serves both interregional and interstate traffic. It also is used by commuters of Paso Robles, Cholame, Shandon and Whitley Gardens. The project is part of a grand plan begun more than a decade ago. The first three sections covered 18 mi. and have already been completed. Construction on the current section of the Highway 46 Corridor is 5 mi. and will be expected to run from early this year to 2024. The final two phases are the Wye phase and the Antelope grade. The Wye phase is planned for start of construction in March 2023 and Antelope Grade is in the design phase.
  • Caltrans circles intersection in Tulare (Sun-Gazette). Residents of Tulare are being thrown for a loop after the California Department Transportation (Caltrans) announced a one-way traffic control for construction of a temporary roundabout. Worse yet, they should expect delays. One-way traffic operations, where drivers share a single lane on the road, began on Sept. 17 on Morrison Street and operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Caltrans announced the one-way traffic control north of State Route 137, or east Tulare Avenue, in Tulare on Sept. 16. The roundabout will be temporary until there is a permanent installation of a new traffic light. According to Mario Anaya, city planner for Tulare, the temporary roundabout will improve current operations of the intersection until the traffic signal is installed.
  • Construction of wildlife crossing over 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills underway (KTLA 5). Construction on the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing kicked off Tuesday, with officials giving the media a tour of the area to highlight the progress. “So many people have supported this for so long. It’s happening,” said Beth Pratt, with the National Wildlife Federation. Since the project’s groundbreaking ceremony in April, crews had been working to relocate utilities in anticipation of major construction.
  • Carlotta Shoulder Widening Project (Caltrans D1 on FB). Please join us on September 28 for a virtual and in-person public meeting regarding some proposed improvements along Route 36 in Humboldt County from Hydesville to Carlotta. The Carlotta Shoulder Widening Project would, well, widen shoulders, but also build a full-span bridge at Ward Creek, provide new and updated guardrail, extend a westbound passing lane, and improve curves.
  • Hwy. 37 could be under water by 2050. Here’s how Caltrans plans to keep traffic flowing (Sonoma Index-Tribune). Caltrans, in order to keep traffic flowing decades from now, intends to build an elevated road along Highway 37 to combat rising water levels, which are expected to eventually inundate the North Bay arterial. The proposed project essentially stretches across the existing route along San Pablo Bay and through Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties. It preserves travel patterns, allows landward marsh migration and is resilient to sea level rises, officials said in explaining its benefits.
  • Ceres residents expected to benefit from 132 project (Ceres Courier). Ceres residents who routinely use Highway 132 through Modesto to access Bay Area workplaces will be benefitting from the completion of phase 1 of the State Route 132 West Project. The city of Modesto celebrated the milestone with a Thursday ribbon cutting at the new Rosemore Avenue bridge. Work began in December 2019 on the $100 million 3.5-mile expressway alignment to relieve traffic congestion along 132. The project has been in the planning phase for over 60 years.
  • Old Priest Grade Closing For Cleanup (My Mother Lode). A heads up to travelers, the Tuolumne County Public Works Department reports that Old Priest Grade will be closed on Saturday morning. It is part of a cleanup event planned to clear trash following the busy summer season. The road closure will run from 9:30am – 11am. New Priest Grade will be the alternate route.
  • Proposed American Canyon annexation has Highway 29 connection (Napa Valley Register). American Canyon is looking at annexing land that could someday help shape traffic patterns on adjacent, busy Highway 29 — and, if city officials are correct, for the better. The 83 acres — about half the size of Napa’s Alston Park — is east of the highway at Paoli Loop Road, near the northern border of the city. This land is inside the city’s voter-approved growth boundary. Plans call for adding the land to the city and allowing industry and businesses there, as well as keeping existing, rural Watson Lane homes.
  • Caltrans favors elevating Highway 37 to address flood risks (Marin Independent Journal). In an effort to protect Highway 37 from rising sea levels, a new state study calls for elevating the route onto a causeway within the next two decades. Presenting its findings this month, Caltrans said its preferred solution is to build a 30-foot-high, four-lane causeway along the current alignment of the highway, a 21-mile corridor connecting Highway 101 in Marin County to Interstate 80 in Vallejo. The plan would include a pedestrian and bicycle path and might include an extension of SMART train service between Novato and Suisun City. The announcement was celebrated by project proponents who say the causeway is the only way to adapt the highway to the threats from rising water and improve wetland habitats in San Pablo Bay.
  • Multi-million dollar bridge repair project starts along I-5 next week (KRCR ABC 7). A $7.3 million dollar Caltrans project is beginning next week to improve Northstate bridges. 13 bridges in Shasta and Tehama Counties will be receiving maintenance starting Monday, October 3. The bridges receiving maintenance include: …
  • ĦUS 66 History (Jim Ross on FB). Recent posts by Tom Fearer prompted me to re-examine evidence that US 66 in California originally terminated in San Fernando, north of Los Angeles, and was then revised in 1931 by extending the route on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena to Eagle Rock Ave., and from there via Fletcher Ave. to a connection with US 101 at Sunset Blvd., bypassing downtown Los Angeles. My take on it is that the evidence is intriguing, but is incomplete and somewhat circumstantial, and it involves jurisdictional lines crossed (without consent or explanation). It also requires one to ignore documentation supporting the commonly accepted early route into downtown L.A.
  • U.S Highway 50 Camino Safety Project (Caltrans D3 on Twitter). The roundabout and undercrossing on the U.S Highway 50 Camino Safety Project opened to traffic today. The highway is reduced to one lane in each direction for ongoing construction work.
  • Butterfly Lane Pedestrian Undercrossing (Caltrans D5 on Twitter). The Butterfly Lane Pedestrian Undercrossing in #Montecito is open following a major improvement project. Some of the upgrades include a new walkway, handrails, fencing, gates, and landscaping.
  • Council Committee To Parse Out 710 Stub Legislation Tuesday (Pasadena Now). The Pasadena City Council’s Legislative Policy Committee on Tuesday will discuss the priorities and procedures of Senate Bill 959, a bill that will address the issue of surplus homes in the 710 stub property previously owned by Caltrans. “All current Caltrans tenants should have the ability to purchase the homes they have been renting for decades and my legislative efforts in the SR 710 corridor reflects that value,” Portantino said in a statement after the bill passed. “With SB 959, Pasadena can rightfully gain back control and ownership of many properties.” Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo said the bill is a “meaningful and crucial” piece of legislation for the City and for current tenants in the property.
  • 101 will close this weekend to demolish the Encino Avenue bridge, and neighbors are thrilled –  (Daily News). About five years ago, a group of Encino residents got wind that a pedestrian bridge on Encino Avenue over the 101 Freeway was to be demolished and then rebuilt. They weren’t opposed to the demolition, but they were opposed to the estimated $20 million to rebuild a bridge barely anyone used, and they felt the money could be better spent repairing Encino’s infrastructure, streets and sidewalks. So, they organized and got federal, state, county and city government representatives involved to helping them win their case. “It looks as though we accomplished what we wanted … and the $18 million can be saved and used for a more worthy project,” said Encino resident Marshall Barth, 84, who has lived on Encino Avenue south of the freeway two decades. “One of the reasons I have lived so long is that I swore I would not leave this Earth until that bridge was down. Every once in a while, you can fight City Hall.”
  • Ħ Ridge Route Preservation Organization – September-October 2022 Newsletter (Ridge Route Preservation Organization). It has been a while since our last update. I’ve been busy with a move and house remodeling, which has taken me away from things. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot to report. We are still working with the USFS to get the roadway open and develop a management plan for the roadway.
  • 101 Freeway in Encino to close overnight Saturday for walking bridge demolition (Los Angeles Times). A one-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway in Encino will close for 12 hours starting Saturday night while crews work to demolish a pedestrian overpass deemed too close to the highway. The California Department of Transportation said it will close all lanes from 10 p.m. Saturday until 10 a.m. Sunday from White Oak Avenue and Balboa Boulevard. Crews will be working to take down the pedestrian bridge at Encino Avenue that was built in 1959 over the 101. Caltrans officials said the bridge no longer met necessary “vertical clearance.”
  • EV charging stations are coming to American interstates (Los Angeles Times). Attention, potential car buyers: New electric vehicle charging stations are on their way to highway locations near you. All 50 states received final approval Tuesday to begin construction on a nationwide network of EV charging stations that places one roughly every 50 miles along interstate highways, part of the Biden administration’s plan to spur widespread adoption of zero-emission cars. The Transportation Department said it had approved EV charger plans from a final set of 17 states, triggering the release of $1.5 billion in federal funds to all jurisdictions nationwide — $5 billion over five years — to install or upgrade chargers along 75,000 miles of highway from coast to coast, with a goal of 500,000 EV chargers nationwide. Plans for the other 33 states and the District of Columbia were approved earlier this month.
  • Ħ FreightWaves Classics/ Infrastructure: Groundbreaking held for I-805 in San Diego (FreightWaves Classics). On September 25, 1967 (55 years ago yesterday), a groundbreaking ceremony was held at El Cajon Boulevard and Boundary Street in San Diego for Interstate 805 (I-805). Planning for the highway dated to 1956, the same year the Interstate Highway System (IHS) was first funded and construction began. At that time, San Diego County had around 600,000 residents. By 1970, the county’s population had grown to nearly 1.4 million. Today, its population is approximately 3.3 million. Interstate 805 was originally known as the Inland Freeway, and was built to provide an alternate route to Interstate 5 through San Diego. It runs roughly through the center of the Greater San Diego region. I-805 was constructed in phases and the original construction was completed in 1975. Since then, the route has become a heavily used north-south highway and has been widened several times. The highway runs for approximately 29 miles between San Diego’s San Ysidro district (which is just north of the U.S.-Mexico border) and near the beach city of Del Mar. I-805 includes the towering Jack Schrade Bridge over Mission Valley, which carries the highway over Interstate 8 and connects to that highway.
  • Possible Rutherford roundabout in Napa Valley nixed (Napa Valley Register). The intersection of Highway 29 and Rutherford Road is no longer being mentioned as a potential place for a quickie roundabout project to start construction in 2023 or 2024. Another proposed roundabout at Highway 29 and Oakville Cross Road remains a possibility. But the Rutherford site, also on Napa Valley’s wine country thoroughfare, has dropped from contention. “A roundabout did not fit in that intersection,” said county Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza, who is also chairperson of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. At least, it doesn’t fit without taking land from the adjoining Rutherford Grill. Pedroza and Napa Valley Transportation Authority Executive Director Kate Miller said the restaurant owners don’t want that to happen. Miller said the amount of land involved is “really, really small.” But the owner, Hillstone Restaurant Group, doesn’t want a roundabout at the crossing.
  • Solano Express Lanes Project seeks to reduce congestion on I-80 (ABC 10). You might have noticed construction on I-80 in Solano County between Sacramento and the Bay Area. It’s all part of a project Caltrans and the Solano County Transportation Authority are working on to create 18 miles of express lanes on the east and west sides of I-80 in the Vacaville-Fairfield corridor. According to Caltrans, traffic in the area will increase 1/3 by 2040. One of the busiest spots within the corridor is Air Base Parkway, and about 215,000 vehicles travel through there every day. According to Caltrans District 4 spokesperson Pedro Quintana, the express lanes will help alleviate congestion on I-80 often seen during commutes in Solano County. This stretch of Interstate 80 hasn’t seen any road widening since the 1970s.
  • Dividers on Cal City roadway considered (Antelope Valley Press). Councilmember Kelly Kulikoff would like to see dividers down the two-lane California City Boulevard, the main route from Highway 14 into Cal City, and a road that is often the scene of collisions and near-collisions. He brought the topic to the City Council at its meeting, on Tuesday, for discussion, but the legalities, feasibility and cost of the project remains unknown. Kulikoff proposed installing flexible delineator posts between the west- and eastbound lanes, as well as creating passing lanes at some points on stretch between the highway and the center of town.
  • 101 Freeway reopens ahead of schedule after overnight bridge demolition in Encino (ABC7 Los Angeles). A stretch of the 101 Freeway has reopened ahead of schedule following an overnight closure in both directions to accommodate the demolition of a pedestrian bridge in Encino, Caltrans announced. The demolition was completed earlier than planned and the freeway reopened at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, according to Caltrans officials. The closure began at 10 p.m. Saturday and was scheduled to end at 10 a.m. Sunday. The closure stretched from White Oak Avenue to Balboa Boulevard, and also included a half-dozen onramps in the area.
  • Governor Signs Bill to Integrate Wildlife Corridors into Highway Plans (Public News Service). Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Friday to require Caltrans to integrate wildlife corridors into its plans as roads are built around the state. Collisions between drivers and wildlife are rampant – with 44,000 reported between 2016 and 2020, and likely many more that go unreported, causing injuries, deaths and property damage. Mari Galloway, California Program Manager for Wildlands Network in Sacramento, said animals need to be able to migrate freely. “Especially mountain lions in Southern California, their inability to move is causing genetic abnormalities and potential local extinctions,” said Galloway. “But also in eastern California, we have mule deer corridors, which are being severed by some of the major highways through there.”
  • Peaceful Oak Road onramp to Highway 108 now complete, total project cost $12.9M (Union Democrat). A new onramp from Peaceful Oak Road to eastbound Highway 108 opened last Friday, Sept. 23, completing the Peaceful Oak Road interchange at a cost of $12.9 million, a Caltrans District 10 spokesperson said Wednesday. The contract to upgrade the interchange, widen the 108 overpass bridge, add a westbound offramp and an eastbound onramp, put a stormwater tunnel under the asphalt, and build a flood control basin below the interchange, was awarded to Sierra Mountain Construction of Sonora in July 2020. Before construction to upgrade the interchange began in April 2021, there was already a westbound onramp and an eastbound offramp.
  • Caltrans to start improvements on Tehama County bridges Monday (Red Bluff Daily News). As part of a $7.3 million project, Caltrans will begin work Monday to improve the condition of 13 bridges in Shasta and Tehama counties. These improvements will be on the Moran Road Overcrossing, Willow Creek Bridge, Sacramento River Bridge, Jellys Ferry Overcrossing, Nine Mile Hill Overcrossing on Interstate 5 and South Fork Dibble Creek Bridge on State Route 36W. Some of the work on these bridges and overcrossings include replacing joint seals at abutments, patching breaks in the existing polyester concrete overlay, treating the bridge deck with methacrylate and placing polyester overlay on the bridge decks.
  • Mid-County Parkway – Placentia Interchange (RCTC on FB). Reminder: Lanes will be closed on northbound and southbound I-215 in @cityofperris near Placentia Ave., Oct 3-7, nightly, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Crews will be restriping lanes.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • Go home Hollister you’re drunk (the saga of the Ladd Lane striping debacle). Ladd Lane is an approximately 0.75-mile-long city street located in Hollister of San Benito County, California. Ladd Lane until recently was an unremarkable four lane city street located amid several newer neighborhoods. Ladd Lane would become famous during July 2022 when it was the subject of an apparently botched restriping and resurfacing project. The bizarre striping patterns of Ladd Lane were picked up by several news agencies and it came to be known as the “Wonky Street.” Ladd Lane facing northward from Talbot Drive can be seen towards apparently botched traffic lines in the blog cover photo.
  • Interstate 210 the Foothill Freeway. The combined Interstate 210/California State Route 210 corridor of the Foothill Freeway is approximately 85.31-miles. The Interstate 210/California State Route 210 corridor begins at Interstate 5 at the northern outskirts of Los Angeles and travels east to Interstate 10 in Redlands of San Bernardino County. Interstate 210 is presently signed on the 44.9-mile segment of the Foothill Freeway between Interstate 5 and California State Route 57. California State Route 210 makes up the remaining 40.41 miles of the Foothill Freeway east to Interstate 10. Interstate 210 is still classified by the Federal Highway Administration as existing on what is now signed as California State Route 57 from San Dimas south to Interstate 10. The focus of this blog will mostly be on the history of Interstate 210 segment of the Foothill Freeway.
  • The Arroyo Seco Parkway and early terminus points of US Route 66 in Los Angeles (Update). The Arroyo Seco Parkway is an 8.16-mile section of freeway which traverses from the FourLevel Interchange in downtown Los Angeles northward to Pasadena. The Arroyo Seco Parkway is currently designated as part of California State Route 110 but is more widely known as being a classic component of US Route 66. While US Route 66 used the entirety of the Arroyo Seco Parkway the freeway also carried US Route 6, US Route 99 and California State Route 11 at different points throughout its long history. The Arroyo Seco Parkway is one of the oldest freeways in the United States. Featured as the blog cover is Figueroa Street at Solano Avenue in 1940 before the Figueroa Street Tunnels were converted to northbound service on the Arroyo Seco Parkway.
  • Former US Route 99 in Westmorland. Westmorland is a city located in Imperial Valley in the Sonoran Desert of Imperial County, California. Westmorland presently is occupied by the corridors of California State Route 78 and California State Route 86 but was once on the corridor of US Route 99. US Route 99 was aligned on Main Street within Westmorland from 1926 until it was truncated to downtown Los Angeles in 1963. This blog will explore the history of US Route 99 in Westmorland. Above as the blog cover US Route 99 can be seen passing through Westmorland during 1936 in a Pomona Public Library photo. Below US Route 99 can be observed on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Imperial County passing through Westmorland.
  • Paper Highways: California State Route 285. In this edition of Paper Highways, we examine the history unbuilt California State Route 285. California State Route 285 was defined by way of 1970 Legislative Chapter 1473 between Portola to the Grizzly Reservoir. What was to become California State Route 285 was never constructed to State Highway standards and was deleted by 1998 Assembly Bill 2132, Chapter 877. Above as the blog cover planned California State Route 285 can be seen on the 1975 Caltrans Map.
  • Former US Route 101 on Alta Street in Gonzales. Gonzales is a city located in Salinas Valley of Monterey County, California. Modern US Route 101 is aligned around Gonzales via a freeway bypass which swings east of downtown. The original alignment of US Route 101 in Gozales was aligned directly through the community on Alta Street. Above the cover photo of this blog is a view on former US Route 101 in Gonzales on Alta Street. Below Gonzales can be seen along US Route 101 on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Monterey County.
  • California State Route 284. California State Route 284 is an eight-mile State Highway located entirely in Plumas County. California State Route 284 begins at California State Route 70 in Chilcoot and terminates at Frenchman Reservoir. California State Route 284 is one of many pre-existing roads which were annexed into the State Highway System by way of 1970 Legislative Chapter 1473. Above as the blog cover photo is a southward view on California State Route 284 (taken by Josh Schmid) as it descends from Frenchman Reservoir on Frenchman Lake Road.
  • Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway (in the making since 1947). On September 15, 2022, the Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway opened in the city of Modesto from California State Route 99 west to North Dakota Avenue. Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway was built upon a corridor which was tentatively to designated to become the branching point for Interstate 5W in the 1947 concept of the Interstate Highway System. The present California State Route 132 West Expressway corridor was adopted by the California Highway Commission on June 20, 1956. Despite almost being rescinded during the 1970s the concept of the California State Route 132 West Expressway corridor lingered on for over half a century and became likely the oldest undeveloped right-of-way owned by California Transportation Commission. Pictured above is the planned California State Route 132 freeway west of US Route 99 in Modesto as featured in the May/June 1962 California Highways & Public Works.
  • Stanislaus-Calaveras County Route J14. County Route J14 is a 47.91-mile highway located within Stanislaus County and Calaveras County. Presently County Route J14 is aligned between California State Route 99 in Turlock to California State Route 26 near Jenny Lind. County Route J14 traverses some of the more obscure areas of northern San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada Foothills. A portion of California State Route 165 from Turlock to Los Banos was once part of the original scope of County Route J14.
  • Aptos Creek Road to the Loma Prieta ghost town site. Aptos Creek Road is a roadway in Santa Cruz County, California which connects the community of Aptos north to The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks. Aptos Creek Road north of Aptos is largely unpaved and is where the town site of Loma Prieta can be located. Loma Prieta was a sawmill community which operated from 1883-1923 and reached a peak population of approximately three hundred. Loma Prieta included a railroad which is now occupied by Aptos Creek Road along with a spur to Bridge Creek which now the Loma Prieta Grade Trail. The site of the Loma Prieta Mill and company town burned in 1942.
  • Former California State Route 49 on Main Street and Gold Strike Lane in San Andreas. San Andreas is one of classic communities of the western Sierra Nevada Mountains and is the present Calaveras County seat. San Andreas is traversed by California State Route 49 which is known as the Golden Chain Highway. Modern California State Route 49 currently passes through San Andreas via a bypass of downtown on Charles Street. Prior to the current bypass alignment being constructed California State Route 49 passed through San Andreas via Main Street and Gold Strike Road. The difference between the modern alignment California State Route 49 and the original can be seen on this map illustration below.

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