🛣 Headlines About California Highways – November 2023

November. The month where you start to get sick of pumpkin spice, and wonder why they are playing December holiday music so frippen early. Or is it just me. But one more month, and 2023 2023 will be in the history books. Then comes the election year of 2024. Oh. Boy.

November saw us recording two more episodes of the podcast; of these, one has been released and one is waiting to be edited. I may edit it during the Annual Computer Security Conference (ACSAC) next week, or it may be delayed a bit more. The Route 1 scripts are written; Route 2 will be written between Christmas and New Years.  As always, you can keep up with the show at the podcast’s forever home at https://www.caroutebyroute.org , the show’s page on Spotify for Podcasters, or you can subscribe through your favorite podcaster or via the RSS feeds (CARxR, Spotify for Podcasters) . The following episodes have been posted this month:

  • California Highways: Route by Route logoCARxR 2.03: Route 1 – Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.  In Episode 2.03 of California Highways: Route by Route, we continue our exploration of Route 1 by exploring everything about the segment in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, from Solromar / Malibu at the edge of Ventura County to near Guadalupe in Santa Barbara County. We’ll go over the history of this segment of the route, the history of the route through various communities including Malibu, Oxnard, Ventura, Lompoc/Vandenberg and Orcutt. We’ll go over the freeway plans, discuss relinquishments, names, and some current plans. (Spotify Link)

Additionally, the Updates to California Highways for September and October are now posted to the California Highways site. I’ll be working on the next round of updates between Christmas and New Years. Lastly, for those that use iPod Classics, I’ve figured out (finally) how to mirror my iTunes Library to my Android phone. Might not be a big deal to you, but it is to me.

One last plug: For those in the cybersecurity field: Registration for the Annual Computer Security Conference open, but you only have two days. We start in Austin on Sunday.

Well, you should now be up to date. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for November:


[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

  • Napa Silverado Trail roundabout project moving forward (Napa Valley Register). Napa city officials have given staff the go-ahead on project approval and environmental evaluation for a roundabout project that will eventually replace a traffic-clogging five-way intersection east of downtown. The project to replace the current crossing with two roundabouts linking the Silverado Trail, Third Street, Coombsville Road and East Avenue won City Council approval in 2017, but has been slow to get off the ground. A partnership between the city and Caltrans, the project was slated for a 2022 groundbreaking and 2024 completion, but work was delayed in 2021. The city’s public works director, Julie Lucido, said at the time that funding took longer than the city and state expected, in part because the price increased from the original projection of $8.2 million to between $11 million and $20 million.
  • Past Visions of Los Angeles’ Transportation Future: 1940s (Metro’s Primary Resources). The last 100 years of transit and transportation planning in Los Angeles hold stories full of challenges and opportunities, successes and failures, and some surprises, little known “firsts,” and enduring urban legends. We are taking a look back — decade by decade — at key resources from our collection to contextualize the seminal traffic, transit, and transportation plans for the region in order to provide greater understanding of how we arrived where we are today. The economic uncertainty of the 1930s gave way to a decade marked by a Second World War and continued rapid growth of Los Angeles. Military bases and ports serving the Pacific Theater in WWII, along with a burgeoning aerospace industry, primed Los Angeles for further growth — and all the planning, construction, operations and consequences that come with it. Following the conceptualization of the “freeway” as a new type of parkway in 1933, the opening of the region’s first “freeway” (the Arroyo Seco Parkway) in 1939 set the stage for a decade of numerous, extensive studies and plans for a highway network serving the rapidly growing and densifying County. One early effort was the July, 1941 Report on the Feasibility of a Freeway Along the Channel of the Los Angeles River from the San Fernando Valley to the Los Angeles – Long Beach Harbors.
  • What the Golden Gate Is (Finally) Doing About Suicides (The New York Times (shared)). It was May 27, 1937, the opening day for a stunning new suspension bridge across a gap in the California coastline known as the Golden Gate. Before cars were allowed on the crossing, an estimated 200,000 people celebrated between the bridge’s four-foot-high rails, more than 200 feet above the water. Doris Madden, 11, was there with her parents. It was one of her favorite days of her childhood, a story she told until the end of her life. About 78 years later, in 2015, Madden’s 15-year-old grandson, Jesse Madden-Fong, was dropped off at his high school in San Francisco.
  • Metro, Caltrans Announce I-5 Full Closure in Santa Clarita (SCVNews.com). The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the California Department of Transportation will fully close both northbound and southbound directions of Interstate 5 Golden State Freeway from the State Route 14 Antelope Valley Freeway to Calgrove Boulevard 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4 to 8 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 5, to demolish the Weldon Canyon Road bridge. Motorists should expect delays and consider taking alternate routes during these closure periods.
  • Projects Chosen for Climate Adaptation Funding (Streetsblog California). California Transportation Commission staff recommended fifteen projects to receive $309.2 million from the Local Transportation Climate Adaptation Program (LTCAP). The program was created in 2022 in response to concerns about the vulnerability of transportation to climate hazards including sea level rise, flooding, fire, and the like. The money comes from California – $148 million, allocated under S.B. 198 – and the federal PROTECT formula program established under IIJA. That program, Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT), provides another $252.4 million over five years.
  • Construction Confusion: Drivers encounter multiple projects on Sacramento freeways (Fox 40). If you had to use a movie title to describe Sacramento freeway construction, you might call it “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The Caltrans website lists three dozen current projects at various stages in District 3, which includes much of the Sacramento region. Many of the projects involve freeway widening and repaving. That describes what is happening on Interstate 80 over the Yolo Causeway between Davis and Sacramento: a $280 million project with a target finish date of December 2027. There is also a $39 million dollar widening project along Interstate 5 in Sacramento from Arena Boulevard to the Yolo County line, scheduled for a summer 2025 completion.

  • Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike path trial run ends (Marin I-J). Calls to reopen a third westbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge are ramping up as the four-year trial run of a bicycle and pedestrian path comes to an end this month. Before transportation officials can decide whether the path will prevail, they have to await the results of a pilot study final report, said John Goodwin, an official at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The commission is leading the project with Caltrans. “There are a number of things that have to be done, all of which point to no decision being made on the fate, if you will, of the bike-ped path until at least next summer,” Goodwin said. A project update will be presented to the Bay Area Toll Authority Oversight Committee at its meeting Wednesday.
  • Hwy. 178 through the canyon to be repaired, reopen late Spring 2024: Caltrans (KBAK). Highway 178 between Stark Creek Road and Lucas Creek is scheduled for repairs beginning Monday, Nov. 6, and is set to reopen in late Spring 2024, said Caltrans in a statement. Caltrans said one-way traffic will be held during the project.
  • Renewed push for all-lane freeway tolls in the Bay Area (Fox 2 KTVU). Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) officials believe that applying market principles of supply and demand to freeway driving could potentially result in tolls for all lanes, with the aim of reducing congestion and curbing carbon emissions. “This has not been a popular idea, and we’re not surprised by that,” said John Goodman, a spokesperson for the MTC. The commission has scheduled two 90-minute webinars to further explore this option and drum up support.
  • Bay Area transportation officials detail how proposed all-lane freeway tolling system would work (ABC7 San Francisco). A new look at plans to bring tolls to most Bay Area freeways was shown Tuesday. A two-year study was launched in 2022 to look into the possibility of paying to use freeways. “I hasten to add that this is a planning exercise,” said Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) spokesperson John Goodwin. “MTC doesn’t have the authority to establish tolls on freeways.”
  • Caltrans provides update on world’s largest wildlife crossing near Los Angeles (KTLA 5 Los Angeles). Steady progress is being made on the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Cross in Agoura Hills, according to a recent update provided by the California Department of Transportation. Last week, crews worked overnight to pour “hundreds of tons” of wet concrete for the foundation of the bridge wall next to the southbound lanes of Highway 101, Caltrans  said. Photos of the project shared by Caltrans show the area where concrete was poured as part of the integral bridge wall that will eventually suspend the largest wildlife crossing ever  constructed.
  • 10 Freeway in downtown L.A. shut down indefinitely after fire (Los Angeles Times). A mile-long section of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles that was damaged in a devastating fire over the weekend will remain closed indefinitely until repairs can be made, posing major traffic challenges for the region, officials said Sunday. Caltrans expects to complete its investigation into the origin of the fire about 6 a.m. Monday and that will allow structural engineers to do a more in-depth assessment of the damage to the freeway’s columns and bridge deck, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a joint news conference with Mayor Karen Bass. Until this is done, it is unclear how long repairs will take and the freeway will be closed. About 300,000 vehicles pass through the freeway corridor daily.
  • 10 Freeway closed in downtown L.A.: What to know, detour routes (Los Angeles Times). Los Angeles faces a traffic challenge of the highest order as a crucial stretch of the 10 Freeway remained closed through downtown L.A., with an estimated three- to five-week  closure. Officials said more than 300,000 vehicles travel through the freeway corridor daily, and drivers face a series of detours to make their commute. The freeway overpass was badly damaged by an intense fire early Saturday at two storage yards.
  • Caltrans to close multiple lanes on PCH for paving and traffic signal work (The Malibu Times). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is planning overnight closures on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) near the intersection at Corral Canyon Road during the week of November 13. The closures will allow crews to safely conduct traffic signal work. The single lane closures will take place from Monday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Nov. 17, beginning as soon as 8 p.m. and ending by 6 a.m. Motorists should anticipate potential delays and be alert for crews at work. Schedules are subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Please visit the Caltrans Quickmap for the latest road conditions and closures.
  • Why that closed Bay Bridge toll lane will never reopen (SF Gate). There’s a phantom tollbooth on the Bay Bridge, and Caltrans has no intention of reopening it. Lane 14 has been closed to drivers for years, forcing Bay Area commuters to careen around the plugged roadway. Sometimes their ire grows as they bottleneck to pay their $7 toll. “Why can’t they open this lane?” wrote a Reddit user on Nov. 3. “Whenever there is traffic everybody ends up needing to merge around this one stupid closed lane. This thing has been out of commission for YEARS! I’m not exaggerating. Literally YEARS!”
  • US399 Proposed Freeway Routing (Art Moore/FB). 70 Years Ago Today. December 23, 1952. Bakersfield Californian.
  • Repairs for 10 Freeway after L.A. fire will take three to five weeks (Los Angeles Times). A section of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles that was damaged by a massive fire over the weekend will not need to be demolished, officials announced Tuesday, but repairs could take weeks, complicating commutes through one of the country’s busiest freeway corridors. “This is not a demo operation. This is a repair operation,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday morning at the site of the fire, which started under the overpass at Alameda Street early Saturday.
  • Bay Area Proposal Would Toll All Freeway Lanes Near Transit (Planetizen News). The San Francisco Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission has issued a proposal that would charge a per-mile toll for driving on “any major freeway that runs parallel to public transit,” reports Ian Cull for NBC Bay Area. The agency says the proposal could be one way to reduce congestion and help reach the state’s climate goals. “In one example shared by the MTC, a one-way commute from San Carlos to San Jose would cost about $6 if tolls were put in place by 2035. But transit experts also estimate it would shave about 10 minutes off the commute due to fewer drives[sic] being on the road.”
  • November 8: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History (Metro’s Primary Resources). 1956: Angeles Crest Highway across the San Gabriel Mountains is dedicated and open to public use.
  • Caltrans crews unable to get Highway 1 open through Big Sur (SF Gate). Earlier this week, as storm clouds began to gather off the coast and conversations in cafes started to feature the words “atmospheric river” once more, one large section of California coastline remained not quite recovered from last year’s historic storm season. Big Sur, which refers to a giant unincorporated swath of the Central Coast that spans over 70 miles on California’s State Route 1, between Malpaso Creek to the north and San Carpoforo Creek Beach to the south, was on the receiving end of storm damage that included power outages, structural damage, fallen trees, overflowing creeks and river beds and — most notably — the closure of the only arterial road in and out. A key stretch of that part of Highway 1, known as Paul’s Slide, starts at Lime Creek just south of Esalen Institute in Monterey County and ends at Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County. It was shut down on Jan. 8.
  • Draft EIR for I-80 project at Dixon east to Highway 50 available (Solano Daily Republic). The draft environmental review documents for the Interstate 80 widening project between Dixon and the Highway 50/I-80 split are available for public comment. The draft environmental documents are available for review through the State’s CEQA Clearinghouse at https://ceqanet.opr.ca.gov/2021060117/4. The documents also will be posted on the Caltrans “Yolo80 Improvements” webpage, https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-3/d3-projects/d3-i80-corridor-improvements. Yolo Transportation District (YoloTD) will post a link as well at www.yolotd.org. Hard copies will be available at the Caltrans District 3 Headquarters, 703 B St., in Marysville, the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library, 315 E 14th St., in Davis, the Arthur F Turner Community Library, 1212 Merkley Ave., in West Sacramento, and the Yolo Transportation District, 350 Industrial Way, in Woodland. The project proposes to widen the 16-mile stretch of the interstate in both directions, the state Department of Transportation reported.
  • Isleton Bridge turns 100 (The Bay Link Blog). Caltrans celebrated the 100th birthday of the Isleton Bridge on State Route 160, which crosses the Sacramento River near Isleton, about four miles northeast of Rio Vista in the  Delta. On Oct. 27, 1923, the Isleton Chamber of Commerce held a dedication ceremony to open the 624-foot, two-lane bridge serving the surrounding communities. “For 100 years, the Isleton Bridge has been the little bridge that could, reliably serving the small family cars as well as the enormous semi-trucks taking agricultural products to market,” said Leah Budu, Caltrans District 4’s deputy district director of maintenance, at a ceremony last month. The Isleton Bridge is a double-leafed draw bridge with steel roadway sections that draw up and away from each other to allow ships to pass. This bridge type may also be referred to as bascule, from the French balance scale, because the bridge uses counterweights to aid in the opening and closing of the moveable sections.
  • Caltrans completes $77 million Highway 1 reroute along Sonoma Coast (Press Democrat). With the roar of the surf in the background and rain falling steadily on the clear-sided tent that enclosed them, dozens of public officials and Caltrans personnel gathered this week to formally celebrate the newly realigned and elevated Highway 1. The $77.3 million project, two decades in the making, is designed to survive a century of geologic change on the central Sonoma Coast. Motorists have been using the new roadway since March, but a ribbon cutting Tuesday marked the conclusion of construction on the new highway and the 850-foot-long span over Scotty Creek, as well as two access roads. Just a few finishing touches lie ahead after less than 2 ½ years of construction. The final cost was substantially beyond what had been predicted when scoping for the project got underway, in large part because of the environmental and design complexity, as well as labor costs involved in completing different construction tasks within seasonal windows, mitigation measures and right of way acquisitions. Project approval and environmental documents came to more than $8.7 million, for instance. Plans, specifications and estimates totaled about $7.5 million. Rights of way were $8.7 million and environmental mitigations were about $9.6 million, while construction was about $42.8 million. Almost a third of the project, more than $23 million, was funded by federal dollars.
  • “We had a plan and then things kept moving”: battered yet enduring, Highway 1 remains closed (Los Angeles Times). When a series of atmospheric rivers flowed into California last January, the Big Sur coastline was quickly swamped, and Highway 1, a lone life raft connecting San Simeon in the south and the Monterey Peninsula to the north, was overcome. Long vulnerable to the whims of nature, the iconic serpentine is especially susceptible to landslides, debris flows and terrain ever bowing to the weight of water, no more so than a lonely and lovely stretch of road just south of the New Camaldoli Hermitage and the nearly forgotten outpost, Lucia, and just north of redwood-forested Limekiln State Park and the Ragged Point headlands. Here at Paul’s Slide, fencing and K-rails were no match for last winter’s deluge that piled stones, mud and debris over the pavement, forcing Caltrans to stop traffic and once again create two of the most picturesque cul-de-sacs in California, if not the country.
  • 10 freeway to reopen early in time for Monday morning commute (Los Angeles Times). A crucial stretch of the 10 Freeway south of downtown Los Angeles reopened Sunday night, earlier than previously expected and weeks ahead of original projections. Traffic started flowing on the freeway at around 7 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. The mile-long section of freeway between Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue had been closed for more than a week, since a massive pallet fire broke out below it Nov. 11. About 300,000 vehicles use the freeway corridor daily.
  • Caltrans Plans I-5 Expansion in Shasta County (Streetsblog California). The Fix 5 Cascade Gateway is one of a series of projects that are “restoring Interstate 5 through parts of Redding and Shasta County,” according to Caltrans’ District 2 website. The main way this project will “restore” I-5 is by widening it by a lane for a few miles north of the city of Redding. “This will allow more room to merge traffic at the on and off ramps while helping to reduce merging conflicts at multiple state routes that intersect in this area,” says the website. It uses the term “auxiliary lanes” to describe the additional lane between interchanges and says it “will provide a much smoother flow of traffic in the area over Hilltop Drive, a busy retail area in Redding.”
  • U.S. 101 at Rincon: the road not taken (coastalview.com). In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Carpinterians fought with the state about the future of Rincon Point. As is often the case in California, this fight about the future took the form of a fight about roads – specifically, U.S. 101. The coastal road at Rincon Point had evolved considerably. Motorists at first drove on the beach, tides permitting. The renowned wooden causeway opened in 1912, replaced in the mid-1920s by a paved two-lane road behind a concrete seawall, which in turn gave way in the late 1940s to a four-lane divided highway behind a riprap wall. By the late 1950s, the state wanted to increase the highway’s capacity to six lanes. The Division of Highways (now Caltrans) proposed to cut through two hills and reroute the road through Rincon Canyon. According to state engineers, the new road would be straighter and therefore safer. The rate of accidents on the current route was about twice the average for California highways. The new route would also be around two-tenths of a mile shorter, which would save fuel. And it could be constructed with minimal interruption of traffic.
  • Officials Gathered to Celebrate the Completion of the Pudding Creek Bridge Project (Redheaded Blackbelt). Caltrans joined state and local officials on Thursday to celebrate the completion of the Pudding Creek Bridge project, which will improve accessibility and safety for commuters, pedestrians and bikers. The $8.5 million Mendocino County project included $1.3 million from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
  • ‘All I wanted to do was live’: Suicide safety net for Golden Gate Bridge nears completion (KSL.com). On Sept. 25, 2000, Kevin Hines climbed over the rail of the Golden Gate Bridge. White fog hung below the gray skies that day. He recalled looking down at the rough, green waters below moments before he did the unthinkable: He jumped. “My hands left the rail and I had an instantaneous regret for my actions,” Hines told CNN. Hines fell 220 feet at a speed of 75 miles per hour — “equivalent to a pedestrian being struck by a car that is traveling that fast,” according to the Bridge Rail Foundation, a nonprofit working to prevent suicides on the bridge.
  • Caltrans reopens Hwy 46 days ahead of schedule (bakersfield.com). Highway 46, which has been closed in Kern County for nearly two months, reopened Sunday, days ahead of schedule, according to The California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans. According to a news release, the state highway was closed in October as part of a planned road widening project near Lost Hills. Crews with Caltrans and Granite Construction completed work ahead of schedule. “We’re pleased to see an end to this full closure and the roadway open ahead of holiday travel,” said Caltrans District 6 Director Diana Gomez. “I would also like to extend our gratitude to the community for their patience, and our project partners for their diligence in bringing this operation to completion ahead of schedule.”
  • Brightline West’s Modified Alignment Approval Brings High-Speed Rail Project Closer to Reality (VVNG). The dream of a high-speed train running through Victor Valley is one step closer to fruition as the Surface Transportation Board (STB) has granted authorization for a modified alignment of the Brightline West high-speed rail project. This ambitious $12.5 billion project aims to connect Southern California and Las Vegas, providing a faster and more efficient travel option for commuters and tourists alike. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently approved the request by DesertXpress Enterprises, LLC to reopen and authorize the construction and operation of a modified alignment for the Brightline West project. The modifications aim to enhance the rail line’s suitability for high-speed passenger rail service between Victorville, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Google Maps leads Californians off I-15 and into the desert (SF Gate). When a group of Californians went to enjoy the recent Formula 1 race in Las Vegas, they weren’t expecting to go off-roading on the way back. Shelby Easler, her brother Austin and their significant others were headed back to Los Angeles on Nov. 19 when they used Google Maps. Instead of taking the Interstate 15 — the major highway connecting Southern California to Sin City — the app suggested they take an alternate route to avoid the dust storm that caused major Sunday traffic delays. “We ironically thought it would be a safer option, and it did say it would be 50 minutes faster,” she told SFGATE over Instagram DMs. “It was our first time driving to/from Vegas, so we didn’t know that you can really only take the I-15 back and forth.”
  • How are exits numbered in California? (Fox 5 San Diego). The determining factor for freeway exit numbering in the state of California may surprise you. Drivers are aware that each freeway exit is numbered, but is there a system behind each designation? The short answer is “yes.” As explained by the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, there are several reasons why transportation officials decided to start numbering freeway exits back in 2002.
  • California’s coastal highway spoiled with road issues (SF Gate). Highway 1 is currently impacted by several single-lane roads, including in Big Sur and throughout several Bay Area counties. State Route 1, fondly known as Pacific Coast Highway, is riddled with single-lane roads due to construction or repairs following the significant wet winter last year. Starting from the south, Highway 1 from Limekiln State Park to Lucia in Monterey County remains closed due to rockslides, according to Caltrans. The state park also remains closed until further notice, according to a California parks news release, as Big Sur is unsure when it will recover from storm damages.
  • New Truck Lanes Opened at Calexico Border With Mexico (Transport Topics). California and federal officials gathered Nov. 15 in Calexico to open a U.S. General Services Administration bridge expansion project to ease congestion for 453,000 commercial trucks crossing the U.S.-Mexico border there annually. “Through this effort, the Imperial Valley will continue to grow and deliver economic opportunity to the region, state and nation as a whole,” said Amanda Sweeney, deputy regional commissioner of public buildings service for GSA’s Pacific Rim region. “GSA is proud to have worked with them on delivering this innovative project to the region.”
  • Grand opening held for Veterans Boulevard overpass in northwest Fresno (ABC30 Fresno). The city of Fresno held an official grand opening ceremony for the Veterans Boulevard overpass Monday morning. Councilmember Mike Karbassi, who oversees the area where the overpass is located, says it is the largest public works project in the history of the city. As drivers prepare to hit the road for a busy travel week, it’ll be a little easier to get around Northwest Fresno. Highway 99 and the railroad tracks have long split apart neighborhoods in the area and made it hard to get in and out.
  • The Many Speed Bumps on the Road to PCH Safety: Politics, Incompetence, Ego and Lots of CalTrans Red Tape (Malibu Daily News). City, county and state officials, representatives from local law enforcement, Cal Trans and stakeholders, met on November 14th at Malibu City Hall for the Emergency PCH Task Force Meeting to discuss the implementation of immediate emergency safety strategies on PCH after the October 17th crash that killed four Pepperdine students. While the meeting started with positive, forward momentum, the result of the meeting was a cautionary message of the many roadblocks in the pursuit of PCH safety driven by incompetence and ego-driven political maneuvering. The meeting follows an emergency ordinance designed to expedite safety on PCH, passed at Malibu City Council on November 13th.
  • Pudding Creek Bridge reopening celebration marks third major bridge upgrade of the century on the coast (Mendocino Voice). On a blindingly sunny Nov. 16 morning, Caltrans Corridor Manager Jaime Matteoli praised the Pudding Creek Bridge reconstruction project during a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, saying the project had come in on time and within the original construction budget of $8.5 million. “And more importantly, everybody went home safe, due to no injuries happening during the project,” Matteoli said. The triumphant moment stands out amid past and present controversies with coastal activists. Caltrans says that two bridges of the eleven on the coast are critically in need of replacement, while four others need new wider decks and rail replacement.
  • Caltrans opens new one-way traffic route along Highway 84 landslide near Woodside (Almanac Online). Caltrans has reconfigured the stretch of a severely damaged portion of Highway 84 near Woodside that has been reduced to one-way traffic since late July, according to a Nov. 27 Caltrans newsletter. The roadway was completely shut down from March to July after a storm caused a 250-foot landslide. The week of Nov. 20, Caltrans switched one-way traffic to the newly paved uphill side of Highway 84 to allow crews to continue repairs to the lower slope.
  • The 10 Freeway, Explained: The Early ‘Flying Route’ That Changed LA Driving (LAist). Freeways aren’t that cool — but the 10 gets kind of close because of its curious past. It’s been in the news after the pallet fire and speedy recovery (although it’s still undergoing repairs), but now, let’s look at some of its pivotal growth spurts. A brief history of the 10 Freeway. While it wasn’t always called the 10, the route has been around for a long time. In the early 20th century, Los Angeles was experiencing rapid growth. More and more people were buying cars, and there was a hodgepodge of different types of roads, ranging from dirt roads to flashier paved routes where you could drive faster than on other streets.
  • CA Highway 1 Moved 400 Feet, Marks 1st Sea-Level Rise Caltrans Project (Petaluma, CA Patch). Caltrans Bay Area held a ribbon cutting Nov. 14 to celebrate the completion of the state Highway 1 Gleason Beach Roadway Realignment Project — the first project built by Caltrans with the primary purpose of addressing the effects of sea level rise Caltrans began construction in August 2021 on the $77.3 million project that moved the highway 400 feet inland, away from rapidly eroding coastal bluffs that threatened to undermine the former highway.
  • MTC funded work on I-80 Solano Express Lanes continues (The Bay Link Blog). Construction is continuing on Interstate 80 Express Lanes in Solano County, with MTC providing almost half the money for the project that will help the flow of traffic along 18 miles of the freeway. The work — which started in May 2022 — is building 10 miles of new Express Lanes in the median of I-80 between Airbase Parkway in Fairfield and Leisure Town Road in Vacaville, just east of the I-505 Interchange. Later, workers will convert 8 miles of bi-directional carpool lanes into express lanes between Red Top Road and Airbase Parkway in Fairfield. The three-year project will combat growing traffic congestion in the Fairfield-Vacaville corridor. At Air Base Parkway, the busiest location, about 215,000 vehicles pass through daily.
  • Benefield: How some well-known Santa Rosa streets got their names (Press Democrat). Who was DeTurk? Or Corby? Or Boyce? And why are Santa Rosa streets named after them? A recent Santa Rosa Historical Society webinar had the answers. Driving the streets of Santa Rosa, the origins of some street names are pretty clear. Washington, Adams and Lincoln streets are pretty easy to suss out. As are 1st, 2nd and 3rd (all running east-west) and A, B and D (all running north-south). But do you ever wonder why our downtown grid jumps from B to D streets, skipping C altogether? Or do you ponder who Corby Avenue was named after? Or why DeTurk Avenue is DeTurk Avenue (and why it’s nowhere near the DeTurk Round Barn?) Well, the Historical Society of Santa Rosa scratched that itch for some of us in a recent webinar, taking us into the WABAC machine to explain the who’s who and what’s what behind some of Santa Rosa’s streets.
  • How Sonoma County spent $40 million on road repairs in 2023 (Press Democrat). Rushing to beat winter rains, road crews are working to complete repairs on roughly 51 miles of roads under Sonoma County jurisdiction in 2023. The repairs total a little over $40 million. The county is responsible for a sprawling 1,368 miles of roads in unincorporated areas — one of the largest systems across the Bay Area. Local roads ― typically residential roads that see less traffic compared to main or arterial roads ― make up the bulk of the network, according to the county’s road division website. Every year the county uses funds allocated to its pavement preservation program to cover the cost of repaving projects. However, the work has grown in recent years as the county chips away at repairing roads damaged in the 2017 wildfires. “That’s an additional load that’s nearly doubled the roads that we paved both in 2022 and 2023,” said Janice Thompson, the county’s deputy director of transportation and public works. The county spent $12 million this year to repair 26 of fire damaged roads including Stony Point Road, Old Redwood Highway, Mark West Springs Road and Ida Clayton Road, Thompson said. Fire damage repairs are funded through the county’s settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
  • Ridge Route Preservation Organization – RRPO Updates (RRPO). Some good news for the road. It looks like we will be getting approval for our pothole repair project from the USFS in the very near future. As winter is approaching, we intend to do this project when weather permits, likely early next year. We are also working with the USFS on gate repair and landslide mitigation. The latter, regarding the landslide on the south end of the roadway, will take a while but we will prevail as we have in the past. More updates will be posted soon, so make sure to subscribe to our site if you haven’t already. We need your support to keep these projects going!
  • 2019: A Longtime California Bridge Gets a Bike and Pedestrian Path (Transportation History). In the San Francisco Bay Area, a dedication ceremony – complete with a ribbon-cutting — was held less than two weeks before Thanksgiving for a bicycle and pedestrian path that had recently been added to the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge (officially named the John F. McCarthy Memorial Bridge in honor of a longtime California state senator). This 5.5-mile (8.9-kilometer)-long bridge, which opened in 1956, carries Interstate 580 across San Francisco Bay and serves as a link between the cities of San Rafael on the west bank and Richmond on the east side. In 2015, the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) approved the plan to install a protected bicycle and pedestrian path on the westbound shoulder of the bridge’s upper deck.
  • 1973: When AASHO Became AASHTO (Transportation History). Nearly 59 years after being established, the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) achieved another major milestone when the organization officially renamed itself the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). This change, which reflected a broadened mission that would encompass different modes of transportation, specifically took place when the association’s Policy Committee approved the new name at the AASHO Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. “The new AASHTO organization will foster development, operation and maintenance of a nationwide transportation system,” noted the association’s American Highway & Transportation Monthly magazine in reporting on the change. “Members will consider ways of improving methods in advance planning, research, design, construction, maintenance and operation of a total national transportation system.”

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • Former California State Route 274. California State Route 274 was a six-mile State Highway which was located in the city of San Diego along Balboa Avenue. California State Route 274 was first defined during 1965 and the initial segment from Interstate 5 to Interstate 805 would be complete by 1971. California State Route 274 would be extended to California State Route 163 by the mid-1970s and eventually to Interstate by the late 1980s. California State Route 274 was deleted by the legislature during 1999 but signage remained in place during much of the first decade of the 2000s. California State Route 274 can be seen along Balboa Avenue on the blog cover as it was displayed on the 1990 Caltrans Map.
  • California State Route 71. California State Route 71 is a 16-mile state highway which exists in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. California State Route 71 begins at California State Route 57 in Pomona. From California State Route 57 the routing of California State Route 71 is generally comprised the Chino Valley Freeway south to California State Route 91. California State Route 71 is one of the original Sign State Route designations from 1934. California State Route 71 once spanned from US Route 66 in Claremont south to US Route 80 in San Diego. Portions of California State Route 71 would in time become components of US Route 395, Interstate 15, California State Route 215, California State Route 79 and California State Route 371. Featured as the blog cover is California State Route 71 passing through Temescal Canyon during 1941.
  • Former California State Route 215. California State Route 215 was a short-lived state highway which existed in the Los Angeles Metropolitain area after the 1964 State Highway Renumbering. California State Route 215 was aligned from US Route 60 at 5th Street in Pomona north to US Route 66 near Claremont via Garey Avenue. California State Route 215 came to be after California State Route 71 was bisected in Pomona due to relinquishment of a portion of Garey Avenue due to the opening of a portion of the Corona Freeway (now Chino Valley Freeway) during 1958. California State Route 215 was deleted by the Legislature during 1965.
  • Tulare/Fresno County Route J19. County Route J19 is a 25.65-mile Letter County Highway located in Tulare County and Fresno County. County Route J19 begins at California State Route 198 in Visalia and terminates at California State Route 63 at Orange Cove. County Route J19 currently follows Plaza Drive, Road 80, Alta Avenue through Dinuba, Manning Avenue and Hill Valley Road. Prior to 1965 Legislative Chapter 1372, County Route J19 terminates at California State Route 180 north of Orange Cove via Hills Valley Road. Legislative Chapter 1372 deleted California State Route 226 and extended California State Route 63 to California State Route 180.
  • Former California State Route 226. California State Route 226 is a former State Highway which was aligned between Orosi and Orange Cove. California State Route 226 was commissioned during 1964 from what had been the northern extent of Legislative Route Number 132. 1965 Legislative Chapter 1372 deleted California State Route 226 and transferred the entire routing to a realigned California State Route 63.

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