🛣 Headlines About California Highways – April 2023

So, how’s about the weather? 🙂 We’re finally starting to dry out and we’ve even had a few warm days (although this week we’re back to cold and dreary). But the calming of the atmospheric river has allowed construction crews to fan out and start work… and that’s a good thing. As for me, I’ve started work on the next round of updates to the Highways Site, and theatre attendance has picked up (although I haven’t had the urge to start writing reviews return yet — they are a lot of work).

The podcast continues. As I noted last time, we’ve decided that the fight for interviews is slowing things down. If we can get them, we’ll generally release them as a bonus episode. That should shorten our episodes. I’m pleased to note that our sample episode just crossed the 100 listens boundary, but some of the other episodes need to catch up. So go to your favorite podcatcher application and search for our podcast. You can also listen through the Spotify page. Please explore our back catalog, as we wind down season one. I’ll probably take a month or two break between seasons (I need time to start on the next season’s episodes)

OK. You should be caught up now. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for April:


[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 1.10: Highway Numbering: County Signed Routes.In this episode, we complete our exploration of numbering of state highways by turning our attention to the County Signed Route system. This system, started in 1959, uses a blue pentagon with yellow numbers, and applies to significant routes at the county level. It is the last episode in a four part miniseries on highway numbers in California. In this episode we talk about the history of the County Signed Route system, how the routes are numbered, some significant county signed routes, and what is happening with the system today. There is no interview. We’re going to move the interview segments into separate bonus episodes, owing to the difficulty of obtaining and scheduling the interviews. There are two episodes left in the season: one exploring highway naming, and one exploring the organizations related to the state highways. (29:38)

Back episodes are available at the Podcast’s forever home, as well as on its Spotify for Podcasters home. The Spotify (nee Anchor.FM) link also has links to the podcast’s page on most major podcasting services.

Highway Headlines

  • Signage, striping, shuttles — study suggests solutions for Highway 49 at confluence (Mountain Democrat). A years-long study looking into a bevy of concerns regarding a stretch of Highway 49 between Cool and Auburn provides a list of potential fixes. Narrow roadways, tight turns, limited shoulders packed with parked cars, hikers and river-goers crossing the road to and fro and oversized trucks driving through tight turns all contribute to exacerbated drive times and raise the risk of possible traffic incidents on Highway 49. The El Dorado County Transportation Commission, in partnership with California State Parks, Caltrans, El Dorado County and the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, conducted a study after concerns were raised by local residents and authorities in early 2020.
  • State Route 127 Pavement Project to Start on Monday April 3 (Sierra Wave). Work is scheduled to begin Monday, April 3, on the State Route 127 Pavement Project at two locations on State Route 127 in eastern Inyo County: · From postmile 21, approximately 7 miles north of the town of Shoshone, to postmile 34.5, approximately 7 miles south of Death Valley Junction · From Death Valley Junction to the Nevada State Line to the north. This construction project will rehabilitate the pavement by grinding down the roadway and overlaying asphalt, which will restore the pavement to a good service condition and extend the service life of the highway. Existing traffic signs will be upgraded to current state standards and specifications.
  • Caltrans to address Verano/Highway 12 intersection at next Springs Municipal Advisory Council meeting (Sonoma Index-Tribune). After three pedestrian deaths in three years at the intersection of Highway 12 and Verano Avenue, Caltrans and Sonoma County Public Infrastructure will make reports about the dangerous roadway during the next Springs Municipal Advisory Council meeting on April 12. The public is welcome to attend, in person or online, or submit comments for consideration. Community members have long lamented that the high-traffic corner is dangerous and should be equipped with more safety features. Public officials have said it’s a challenging area for infrastructure, as Highway 12 is managed by the state while Verano Avenue is a county road.
  • Big changes are coming to San Pablo Avenue. Here’s what residents have to say (The Oaklandside). East Bay residents had their first opportunity Thursday to see new designs for the San Pablo Corridor Project, which is expected to reshape one of the region’s most important roads and its surrounding streets. At a community meeting held at the Berkeley Adult School, the Alameda County Transportation Commission revealed designs for intersections on San Pablo Avenue and for the network of bike boulevards in Berkeley and Oakland that will run on sidestreets parallel to San Pablo Avenue. Over 100 people participated, sticking colorful post-it notes with feedback on poster boards displaying road redesigns.
  • Southbound I-5 lane closures could be in place for a while (The SCV Signal). Drivers heading back and forth through the Grapevine will now have to deal with another potential delay after what a Caltrans official Thursday described as a “historic amount of rainfall” created a landslide that collapsed the shoulder on the southbound lanes of Interstate 5. A stretch of the two right-most lanes on I-5, north of Templin Highway, will remain closed while the repairs are underway, according to Mike Comeaux, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation.

  • 15 miles of Highway 1 on the Big Sur Coast reopens as Caltrans crews continue roadwork (KEYT 3). Caltrans announced Wednesday that the northern closure point on Highway 1 on the Big Sur Coat moved from Deetjen’s Inn in Monterey County at PM 42.2 to Lime Creek at PM 32.2 reopening 15 miles of the highway. Caltrans Officials say the northern closure will continue to move south to the Big Creek Vista Point at PM 27 Thursday afternoon as crews continue to remove debris and stabilize slides south of Torre Canyon Bridge at PM 39.5. The southern closure point at Ragged Point Inn in SLO remains the same.
  • Community groups file lawsuit against proposed Highway 99 interchange (The Business Journal). South Fresno community groups in collaboration with Stanford Law Clinic today announced a lawsuit against a proposed interchange that they say will bring more industrial development and more pollution to the area. In order to improve what CalTrans says are freeway onramps that don’t meet current design standards, the agency will build two interchanges at North and American avenues along Highway 99, an area that has experienced massive amounts of industrial development in the past few years. The project would improve traffic operations and improve access for businesses in the surrounding area. The final environmental impact report on the $146 million project was released in January, stating that in the short-term, air quality would worsen without significant improvements to those highway onramps.
  • Residents seek protection from highway 99 expansion in Fresno (The Fresno Bee). Panfilo Cerrillo has lived in south central Fresno coming on seven decades and wonders how much longer he has left. “I’m soon to be 68, if I make it that far — if I can breathe that long,” Cerrillo said during a news conference last week outside the Friends of Calwa building on Jensen Avenue. “With all this development going on out there, it gets harder and harder every day,” he said. Cerrillo was one of several residents speaking out against a proposed expansion to Highway 99 that would reconstruct and expand a pair of interchanges at North and American avenues. The $140 million expansion was announced in February and quickly drew criticism from south Fresno residents, who fear it will lead to the build-out of more industrial zoned land, including a 3,000-acre industrial park near the community of Malaga.
  • Tulare Six-Lane and Paige Avenue Interchange Improvement Project (District 6/FB). Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for State Route 99 Tulare Six-Lane Widening and Paige Avenue Interchange Improvement Project (Project Page). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) proposes to widen State Route 99 in the City of Tulare from south of the Avenue 200 Overcrossing to the north of the Prosperity Avenue Overcrossing, between post miles 25.2 and 30.6 in Tulare County. One lane would be constructed in each direction in the existing freeway median to create a six-lane freeway. The Paige Avenue Interchange would be rebuilt into a tight diamond interchange. The existing on- and off-ramps would be removed and replaced with new ramps that would lead to and from a single multilane roundabout or two multilane roundabouts. An additional roundabout would be added on Paige Avenue at Blackstone Street and another at Laspina Street.
  • El Camino Real fixes set to begin in fall (Los Altos Town Crier). Caltrans, the state agency in charge of maintaining El Camino Real, set a tentative time frame for restoring bumpy and pothole-ridden Los Altos and Mountain View sections of State Route 82. Motorists can expect Caltrans to begin repaving and restoring the road in the fall and end around winter 2024, according to the Caltrans SR-82 website. El Camino Real, which runs from Interstate 280 in San Francisco down the Peninsula to Interstate 880 in San Jose, is dreaded by many motorists in the area because of the damaged pavement along many of the route’s miles.
  • City launches study on Standiford interchange on Highway 99 (Modesto Bee). Modesto will spend about $7 million examining possible upgrades to the busy Standiford Avenue interchange on Highway 99. The City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday, April 4, for a contract with WMH Corp., an engineering firm based in San Jose. It will study traffic patterns, design options and environmental impacts over the next 39 months. Modesto has funding to cover this step, but it is still seeking money for detailed engineering and construction, city spokeswoman Diana Ruiz-Del Re said by email. The cost was roughly estimated at $108 million in 2020 by the Stanislaus Council of Governments, which oversees transportation funding in the county. The contract with WMH will help pin this down, along with the timeline and funding sources, Ruiz-Del Re said.
  • Toll lanes being added for 20 miles on Interstate 80 (Mercury News/Roadshow). Q: Every time we head to Sacramento and pass the work being done on Interstate 80 near Vacaville, I wonder what they’re doing. Lots of people travel in the fast lane, but it is right next to the temporary concrete barrier, so I worry about them.
  • Comment deadline for Caltrans truck climbing lane project is April 19 (Tehachapi News). A virtual public meeting about a project intended to ease congestion on 3.5 miles of eastbound Highway 58 between Bakersfield and Tehachapi took place on April 11. Caltrans spokesperson Christopher Andriessen said considerable comment has been received already, most of it in support of the project. The deadline for comments on environmental documents is April 19. Questions asked during the virtual public meeting were primarily concerned with access in the vicinity of Bealville and Bena roads. If the project moves forward as planned, construction would begin around October 2026.
  • SR-78 construction: Caltrans repairs on eastbound lanes expected to last three weeks in Oceanside (Fox 5 San Diego). Emergency repairs on the eastbound lanes of State Route 78 are officially underway and are expected to last about three weeks, Caltrans announced in a release on  Friday. Construction closures from College Boulevard to El Camino Real began last week after crews wrapped up about a month of work on the westbound side of the highway to replace metal culverts that collapsed amid the series of storms that swept through the area in March. Caltrans said that crews will be working to replace a total of nine corrugated steel pipes with high density plastic and concrete pipes under the eastbound lanes.
  • 10 San Diego Bridges Rated in “Poor” Condition By Federal Inspectors (NBC 7 San Diego). Most San Diegans aren’t thinking about safety when they drive, ride, or walk over one of the 136 bridges that the city is responsible for maintaining. Upon closer inspection, they may notice missing chunks of concrete in the deck, cracks in the support pillars, or even exposed rebar. However, that’s front and center in the minds of federal inspectors with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Those structural engineers take a hard look at every bridge in the country every two years. The report card for California and San Diego reflects what they’re seeing across the country; many of America’s aging bridges aren’t in good condition. In San Diego, 10 of those 136 bridges are rated to be in “poor” condition. Seventy-nine are in “fair” condition and 47 are in “good” condition. You can learn more about the 10 bridges classified as poor at the bottom of this article.
  • Toll roads with variable pricing officially open on Highway 101 (San Mateo Daily Journal). Elected officials and dignitaries celebrated the opening of 22 miles of express toll lanes — with variable pricing in both directions — on U.S. Highway 101 through San Mateo County on Saturday. The lanes are regulated from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays by dynamic pricing, meaning toll rates will be adjusted based on traffic use. The cost to access the lanes will be displayed on overhead electronic signs. The tolls are meant to encourage carpooling or transit use as well as to cut travel times and reduce highway congestion. The $581 million project was built in two phases. The first, from the San Mateo County/Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue, opened to traffic in February 2022. The second, from Whipple Ave to Interstate Highway 380 in South San Francisco, opened last month.
  • Caltrans said permanent fix for Verano/Highway 12 intersection will take 2 years (Sonoma Index Tribune). “Killer intersection” was the phrase repeated throughout the Springs Municipal Advisory Council meeting on April 12, as state and county officials discussed Highway 12 at Verano Avenue, where three fatal pedestrian accidents have occurred since 2020. “I am appalled that we’ve had multiple fatalities and life altering injuries occur at this intersection and yet, no meaningful changes have been made. I am saddened that my son and all of the children in our community cannot safely navigate their way to Maxwell Farms, where $13 million dollars in upgrades are currently underway. It occurs to me that by upgrading the park, we are enticing more members of our own community, our children and visitors from outside our community to navigate an intersection that we know is deadly. What are we doing?” Lisa Willett, who attended the meeting with her 11-year-old son, said in public comment.
  • San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Officially Opened With Ceremony — but Critics Say Traffic and Pollution Will Be Worse (KQED). The San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project officially opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday. The 22 miles of express lanes that extend along Highway 101 from the San Mateo/Santa Clara county line to Interstate 380 in South San Francisco are intended to reduce traffic congestion and encourage carpooling and transit use along one of the busiest thoroughfares on the San Francisco Peninsula. “The express lanes opening in San Mateo County has been years in the making [and] it’s finally come to fruition,” said U.S. Rep. Kevin Mullin of San Mateo, who represents District 15. “It’s good for the economy, it’s good for the environment, and it’s a win for all of the stakeholders who’ve been involved for years now in pulling this project together.”
  • Fresno CA Highway 99 exits will close as part of construction (The Fresno Bee). A three-mile stretch of Highway 99 through west-central Fresno will undergo a major facelift starting next year, and the price tag for the work is estimated at about $400 million. The Fresno City Council, at its meeting Thursday, will consider revisions to an agreement with the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, that will encompass the freeway work between Clinton Avenue and El Dorado Street, just south of the Highway 180 interchange. The extensive work calls for reconstructing the highway’s concrete pavement and rebuilding several bridges, as well as closing two sets of on- and off-ramps at Belmont and McKinley avenues and improving the Olive Avenue interchange with the freeway. Caltrans also plans to acquire additional right-of-way property to allow for widening the freeway from its current configuration of three lanes in each direction to four.
  • Old U.S. 99 symbol from 1960s revealed when part of 5 Freeway falls (Los Angeles Times). Drivers could catch a glimpse of an old U.S Route 99 shield on Tuesday after part of a 5 Freeway sign fell down. The sign, located above the eastbound 134 Freeway at Victory Boulevard, usually instructs drivers to stay in the right lane for the 5 Freeway and the left lane for State Route 134. But part of the sign fell off, revealing a U.S. 99 sign.
  • Hwy 1 along Big Sur coastline remains closed after three months of closure (KSBY). Since January 4, portions of Highway 1 have been closed from San Luis Obispo County up to Monterey County. And more than three months later, Highway 1 from Ragged Point to the Big Creek Vista area remains closed. The 30 miles of roadway took a big enough hit during the storm for three landslides to force the closure. A big reason CalTrans is not unable to proceed with the fill operation right now is due to the amount of water lying beneath the surface from the ongoing rain.
  • Update: new estimate for reopening Hwy 1 at Gilbert’s Slide (KSBY). The new estimate for reopening Highway 1 at Gilbert’s Slide is now July 14, according to a press release sent by Caltrans on Wednesday. Caltrans officials say while crews have made progress with the excavation of the repair site, the presence of subsurface water is causing delays in the ability to begin to introduce fill into the site. However, Highway 1 remains open through Morro Bay, Cambria, San Simeon, and the Ragged Point Inn, with all coastal San Luis Obispo County businesses open.
  • Multimodal project on Highway One breaks ground (KSBW). Another project broke ground on Highway 1 on Santa Cruz County, meant to help the flow of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The $100 million multimodal corridor project has three phases, with the first phase focusing on pedestrian bridges and bus-on-shoulder lanes. “Phase one is from 41st avenue to Soquel Drive. It’s a multimodal project that includes a bus-on-shoulder improvements as well as an auxiliary lane to connect Soquel to 41st avenue,” Guy Preston, executive director of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC), said. “It also includes a bike and pedestrian bridge over Chanticleer Avenue.”
  • Caltrans holding Monday public hearing concerning Highway 37 (Vallejo Times-Herald). The California Transportation Commission will host a public information hearing for the State Route 37 Sears Point to Mare Island Improvement Project Tolling Facility Application on Monday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.. The meeting will be held at the JFK Library in Vallejo JFK Library’s Joseph Room, located at 505 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, CA 94590. The hearing room will open to the public starting at 5 p.m. with project information available. State and local agencies announced a partnership in February to create a more climate-resilient Highway 37, looking to eventually address sea-level rise and protect marshland habitat and reduce transportation inequities.
  • Highway 99 exit closing will alter route to Fresno Chaffee Zoo (The Fresno Bee). It’s going to be a couple of years, but Caltrans plans to permanently close the Belmont Avenue on- and off-ramps for Highway 99 as part of a major rehabilitation project for the freeway in east-central Fresno. But closing the Belmont ramps will also close one of the major routes for highway travelers — as well as residents who live west of the freeway — to access Fresno’s popular Roeding Park and one of the city’s most notable attractions, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. A schedule presented to the Fresno City Council this week indicates that the Belmont Avenue ramps to and from Highway 99, as well as the McKinley Avenue ramps about a mile to the north, will be closed in February 2026. In its place, the Olive Avenue interchange will be upgraded for improved traffic flow — and become the likely default route for traffic from Highway 99 to reach the park and the zoo.
  • Caltrans Breaks Ground on State Route 99 Cottonwood Creek Bridge Project in Madera County, Largely Funded by Unprecedented Federal Investment (Gold Rush Cam). Caltrans broke ground yesterday on a project to replace three aging bridges on State Route (SR) 99 in Madera County. The $36.8 million project was made possible by $26 million in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 and $10 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. During the event, Caltrans unveiled new “Rebuilding CA” highway signs that will be installed for future infrastructure projects funded by the IIJA and state investments. “With unprecedented infrastructure investments at the state and federal level – along with the necessary policy alignment – California is making once-in-a-generation upgrades to our transportation system up and down our state,” said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin. “These new signs, starting with this important project in Madera County, will serve as reminders that we’re Rebuilding California for a safer, cleaner, more equitable and more prosperous future for all Californians.”
  • Public meeting to be held on proposed Highway 37 toll (CBS San Francisco). The California Transportation Commission will hold a public information hearing Monday in Vallejo regarding a proposed tolling proposal application on state Highway 37, according to Caltrans. The meeting will include an introduction by Lee Ann Eager, chair of the commission, an overview of the tolling approval process, a summary of the project and time for public  comment. Creating a toll on the stretch of Highway 37 between Sears Point and Mare Island in Sonoma and Solano counties is being discussed by multiple agencies who banded together in partnership in February to come up with short- and long-term plans for the roadway, which has been plagued with flooding and congestion for years.
  • Public hearings planned for final phase of Highway 1 multimodal project (Santa Cruz Sentinel). The public review and comment window is now open for a newly released environmental impact report detailing the last phase of a multimodal transportation project along Highway 1. The project, overseen by the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission and Caltrans, involves establishing a combination of auxiliary lanes and bus-on-shoulder facilities from Freedom Boulevard to State Park Drive, along with construction of Segment 12 of the Coastal Rail Trail. The rail trail segment includes 1.2 miles of a bicycle and pedestrian trail along the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line complete with four overcrossings.
  • Fresno Highway 99 overhaul project approved. Not everyone is happy about exit closures (MSN/Fresno Bee). A $400 million project to rebuild several miles of Highway 99 with new concrete north of downtown received a green light from the Fresno City Council on Thursday, paving the way for other changes that drivers will face over the next several years. The extensive project, for which construction will begin in late 2024, calls for rehabilitating the pavement for the freeway’s six lanes between Clinton Avenue and El Dorado Street, south of the Highway 180 interchange, as well as providing space for additional lanes to handle more traffic. But that’s not all. Four bridges — including three surface streets and one railroad – that span above the highway are due to be replaced, three others will be widened, and one will be removed.
  • Cottonwood Creek Bridge Replacement (Caltrans). The project would replace the two existing mainline bridges over Cottonwood Creek on State Route 99 in Madera County and one on the northbound off-ramp to Avenue 12/Road 29 from State Route 99. The Build Alternative offers two bridge construction type options.
  • Freeways, Redlining & Racism (UCLA Inst. of Transportation Studies). One of the world’s most famous sports venues is located in Southern California. Opened in 1922, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena has hosted Olympic matches, FIFA World Cup finals, Super Bowl games, and sold-out concerts. It is the long-time home of the UCLA Bruins football team. The iconic stadium is the centerpiece of one of college football’s most noteworthy games, representing a sunny reprieve from the gloomy winter weather across the rest of the country. To most, the Rose Bowl is an example of idyllic Southern California. But for thousands of Black Pasadena residents during the mid-20th century, the venerated stadium was something else entirely. The protection of the stadium and its natural surroundings became part of the City of Pasadena and state freeway planners’ justification to upend Black neighborhoods.
  • Berkeley traffic: Gilman Street set for long closure near Interstate 80 (Berkeleyside). Update, May 1: A seven-week closure of the Gilman Street approach to Interstate 80 will start at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The closure, between Fourth and Second streets, is scheduled to last through June 21. Drivers will be able to access businesses on the closed portion of Gilman, as well as those on Fourth and Second streets, such as the Berkeley Transfer Station and Recycling Center. Original story, April 21: Drivers who use Gilman Street to get to Interstate 80 might want to take another route for the next couple of months, as construction crews remake one of Berkeley’s most notorious intersections. Gilman Street will be closed between Fourth Street and Second Street in West Berkeley from 11:30 p.m. Sunday through 6 p.m. Wednesday, Caltrans officials warned.
  • Marin assemblyman’s bill calls for third westbound lane on Richmond bridge (Marin I-J). Marin’s representative in the state Assembly has authored a bill calling for transportation agencies to consider reopening a third westbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge during the weekday morning commute. The bill introduced by Damon Connolly, a Democrat from San Rafael, also requests that the California Department of Transportation and the Bay Area Toll Authority evaluate adding an eastbound moveable barrier so that a bicycle and pedestrian lane can be maintained at all times. The proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 1464, passed with unanimous, bipartisan support out of the Assembly Transportation Committee with 15 votes on Monday. It is now in the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee.
  • State Route 108 North County Corridor (Caltrans). The North County Corridor Project (Tully Road to SR-120) is a high-priority project for Stanislaus County, its communities and the growing urbanized cities of Modesto, Oakdale, and Riverbank. The purpose of the project is to ultimately build a west-east roadway that would improve regional network circulation, relieve existing traffic congestion, reduce traffic delay, accommodate future traffic, benefit commerce and enhance safety. The purpose of this project phase is to identify a roadway alignment for a west-east facility from SR-108 (McHenry Avenue) north of the City of Modesto to SR-120 approximately six miles east of the City of Oakdale. This new roadway would be approximately 18 miles in length from a location on SR-219 (Kiernan Avenue) to a location on State Route 120 approximately six miles east of the City of Oakdale. The project may be an entirely new roadway or incorporated into the existing roadway network and would serve as a bypass for the cities of Riverbank, Oakdale and Modesto. The North County Corridor Transportation Expressway Authority anticipates that the ultimate facility would be planned as a multi-lane, access-controlled expressway/freeway, with interchanges, at-grade intersections, grade-separated railroad crossings, irrigation district crossings, frontage roads, and local street alignments.
  • New toll could be coming to State Route 37, angering some North Bay commuters (ABC7 San Francisco). The California Transportation Commission held a public hearing Monday night about a proposal that would start charging tolls on State Route 37. “State Route 37 is a mega-project. It’s one of the busiest and biggest things we have going on in the Bay Area right now,” said Bart Ney of Caltrans Bay Area. If approved, the toll would go into effect for a 10 mile stretch of 37, from Mare Island in Solano County to Sears Point in Sonoma County. Officials say the roadway has multiple challenges.
  • Caltrans Emergency Repairs Planned for Highways in Eastern Kern, Mono, and Inyo Counties (Sierra Wave: Eastern Sierra News). Highways in eastern Kern, Mono, and Inyo counties were severely damaged by recent atmospheric river storms during California’s historic winter. Caltrans District 9 is coordinating with Caltrans headquarters in Sacramento to secure funding for the emergency repair work. Impacted highways targeted for repairs include: …
  • Study: Recycled-plastic pavement withstands heavy trucks, extreme weather (Tahoe Daily Tribune). Asphalt pavement formulated with recycled plastic has successfully survived heavy truck traffic and the atmospheric rivers of the winter of 2022-23 after a section of California State Route 99 flooded in January, officials announced Tuesday. “It’s a testament to the new technology,” said Elie Hajj, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno and associate director of their Superpave Center. “We are conducting extensive performance and environmental testing to get to this asphalt mixture.”
  • Caltrans breaks ground on Hwy 46/41 interchange project (KSBY). Caltrans broke ground Tuesday on a project to construct a new interchange at the Highway 46/41 “Y” in northern San Luis Obispo County. The project will also widen nearly four miles of Highway 46 to four lanes from west of Davis Road to west of Antelope Road. Caltrans representatives were joined by local government and transportation leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking in a ceremony just off the highway in Cholame.
  • L.A. Street Names – Los Angeles Street Names – their origins, their histories, their meanings (L.A. Street Names). Welcome to L.A. Street Names, the origin stories of street names across Los Angeles County, from the shortest cul-de-sacs to the longest boulevards. Mysteries solved, myths debunked, scandals exposed, history revealed. This is an ongoing project with more than 1,500 streets – and growing. See FAQ for more information.
  • Caltrans prepares for roundabout work on Highway 49 (Gold Country Media). Caltrans roadwork may soon resume for a roundabout at the gateway to the American River Canyon as utility contract work at the intersection of Lincoln Way and Borland Avenue intersection began this week. Caltrans reports that PG&E contractors were on site this week and the city of Auburn warned residents of traffic impacts starting Friday due to PG&E power pole work for the construction site. The work is in preparation for Caltrans’ $9.9 million roadway project that aims to improve a quarter-mile segment of SR-49 near Lincoln Way and Borland Avenue. The project will align two reversing curves to improve sight distance and safety by reducing the sharpness of each curve. The work will include replacing the Lincoln Way/Borland Avenue intersection with a traffic circle.
  • Reenvision 273 (District 2/FB). The Shasta Regional Transportation Agency and Caltrans District 2 are working on a plan to enhance safety, accessibility, connectivity, and mobility on State Route 273 for all users, whether they drive, bike, walk, roll, or take transit. Re-envision the corridor with us by sharing your thoughts and ideas!
  • New upgrade aims to reduce congestion, add flyover ramp on Highway 46 in SLO County (KMPH). The next phase of the Highway 46 corridor upgrade is underway. According to Caltrans, this new phase includes a flyover ramp at the intersection of Highway 46 and Highway 41 in northern San Luis Obispo County.  Caltrans says this upgrade will help widen four miles of Highway 46 from Davis Road to west of Antelope Road. They also mentioned the purpose of this project is to improve traffic safety, minimize crashes and reduce peak-hour congestion. This project is also part of the project that has widened Highway 46 in Paso Robles.
  • Proposed Highway 37 toll plan met with skepticism (Solano Daily Republic). Commuters and residents of this bayfront city believe the decision to convert Highway 37 into a toll road to pay for circulation, flooding and other improvements has already been made – and they are the ones who will pay the price. About 50 people on Monday attended a public hearing by the California Transportation Commission in the Joseph Room of the John F. Kennedy Library in Vallejo. More people followed the meeting on Zoom, but a count was not available.
  • State Route 99/Turner Road Interchange Improvement Project (City of Lodi/FB). Beginning Monday, May 1, the 99 Southbound off-ramp to Turner Road and access from Turner Road to Cherokee will be closed to all traffic through early October for construction. This project will greatly improve the local circulation through the SR 99/ Turner Road interchange by converting the off-ramp roadway section between Pioneer Drive and Turner Road to allow two-way traffic and new access for bicyclists and pedestrians. The project will also lengthen the acceleration lane from Pioneer Drive to southbound State Route 99 which will help with merging onto the freeway. Landscaping and hardscaping improvements are also planned throughout the project limits to enhance this northern gateway into the City of Lodi.
  • SR-65, California’s disjointed north-south highway (Fox 40 News). Those looking to head north or south through California have two main highways to choose from, Interstate 5 or California State Route 99, but there could have been a third. As I-5 serves the west side of the Central Valley and CA-99 serves the heart of the Central Valley, California State Route 65 was destined to serve those communities along the east side of the Central Valley and the foothills. The 300-mile freeway was envisioned to traverse 300 miles along the eastern central valley from Bakersfield to Olivehurst. What we have today is 95 completed miles of a disjointed highway that varies between a four-lane highway down to a two-lane country road.
  • Caltrans Aging SR-78 Culverts and Road Rehabilitation Project Begins (Times of San Diego). Caltrans has begun the rehabilitation of aging culverts at on- and off-ramps as well as some surface streets throughout State Route 78 (SR-78). Crews have identified 35 culverts for rehabilitation between Interstate 5 (I-5) and Interstate 15 (I-15). Drainage repairs will include Cured-In Place Pipe liner and pipe invert paving to eliminate the need for open excavation and to reduce public impacts. In areas where excavation is needed for pipe replacement, night work will be implemented from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • California State Route 55. California State Route 55 is an eighteen-mile State Highway located within Orange County. California State Route 55 begins at California State Route 91 at Santa Ana Canyon and ends at the Newport Beach Channel Bridge immediately south of California State Route 1 at Newport Beach. California State Route 55 south from California State Route 91 to 19th Street in Costa Mesa is carried by the Costa Mesa Freeway. The remaining surface balance of California State Route 55 south to the Newport Beach Channel Bridge is aligned on Newport Boulevard.
  • Former California State Route 240. California State Route 240 was a short-lived State Highway designation applied during 1964 to the planned San Gabriel River Freeway south of California State Route 22 towards Seal Beach. A small portion of California State Route 240 was opened to traffic during 1966 in the form of connecting ramps between the San Gabriel River Freeway and California State Route 22. California State Route 240 was folded into the larger definition of Route 605 when the chargeable Interstate 605 corridor was shifted during 1968.
  • The history of California State Route 49, 8 and 88 in Jackson. Jackson is one of the major California Gold Rush cities located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills and is the Amador County Seat. As the Sign State Route program began during 1934 the city of Jackson served as the branching point for California State Route 49 and California State Route 8. By 1940 California State Route 8 was truncated to Mokelumne Hill and California State Route 88 was extended through Jackson towards Carson Pass. California State Route 49 and California State Route 88 prior to being moved to a bypass alignment during 1948 were multiplexed on Main Street in downtown Jackson. Depicted as the blog cover is California State Route 49 and California State Route 88 on Main Street in Jackson during 1945.
  • Former California State Route 141. California State Route 141 was a short State Highway located in Vallejo which was created out of a spur of what had been Legislative Route Number 74 during the 1964 State Highway Renumbering. California State Route 141 was aligned on Maine Street, Benicia Road and Lemon Street from California State Route 29/Sonoma Street to Interstate 780. California State Route 141 was planned to be constructed as the Waterfront Freeway through Vallejo. California State Route 141 was deleted during 1988 when the city of Vallejo took over construction of Curtola Parkway. Despite California State Route 141 being deleted it’s planned freeway corridor exists today as the surface roads Curtola Parkway and Mare Island Way.
  • The reemergence of US Route 99 at the Ventura Freeway/Golden State Freeway interchange. During April 2023 a portion of the sign gantry on the eastbound Ventura Freeway (California State Route 134) approaching the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5) fell. The fallen portion of the sign gantry revealed a once covered US Route 99 shield. The uncovered US Route 99 sign (blog cover courtesy Ian Ligget) is a 1956-63 era freeway specification US Route shield. This blog will explore in brief how the Golden State Freeway was developed as US Route 99 and US Route 6 before becoming solely Interstate 5.
  • Millerton Road. Millerton Road is an approximately twelve-mile Fresno County highway located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Millerton Road begins at the intersection Friant Road/North Fork Road in Friant and ends at California State Route 168/Morgan Canyon Road near Prather. The eastern six miles of Millerton Road is a single lane which follows Little Dry Creek. Millerton Road is named after the original Fresno County seat of Millerton and was constructed to connect the community to the Tollhouse Road during the 19th Century.

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