🛣 Headlines About California Highways – March 2024

And with that quarter I just dropped in the slot machine of life at the Tropicana (soon to be ז״ל‎, which is sad news for us Vegas historians), 2024 is down its first quarter. It’s been eventful, hasn’t it (and I’m not even talking politics, which its own form of crash and burn). But the first quarter of 2024 is now water under the bridge, so to speak. Well, something’s under the bridge.

Too soon?

In any case, it is the last day of March. I understand there are some holidays today, but for me, it is a perfect day for a headline post. For those unfamiliar, this post generally contains headlines about California Highways that I’ve seen over the last month. It also serves as fodder for the updates to my California Highways site, so there are also other pages and things I’ve seen that I wanted to remember for the site updates. Lastly, the post also includes some things that I think would be of peripheral interest to my highway-obsessed highway-interested readers.

So what has happened in March with me? There was lots of theatre: One of the Good Ones at the Pasadena Playhouse; Million Dollar Quartet at 5-Star Theatricals; Chicago at Broadway in Hollywood; the Go Jazz Big Band at The Main in Santa Clarita; and Fat Ham at the Geffen. We also got a new 2024 Subaru Forester: my daughter’s 2012 Chevy Sonic with over 100K miles on it is on its deathbed, and she’s getting our 2016 Subaru Impreza (with 43K miles on it). Good timing, as work has caught the “back to the office” bug, meaning I’ll be on the 405 more. Is that friction I’m feeling? Could the relief be retirement? We’ll see, but not for at least a year.

California Highways: Route by Route logoThe podcast continues apace. One more episode dropped in March, and we’re hopefully recording more this week. I’ve started writing Season 3, but it is going close. Route 3 is done, and I’m working on Route 4. Episode 2.07 prompted a friend at Caltrans to offer to do an interview to talk about Fastrak and tolling in California; we’ll coordinate that as a bonus episode during the Season 2/3 break. I’m hoping to talk not just about Fastrak and tolling, but all those fake license plates going around, and placement of the transponder (article in the headlines). Please tell your friends about the podcast, “like”, “♥”, or “favorite” it, and give it a rating in your favorite podcatcher. Yes, the sound quality of the episodes does get better — we were learning. 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 podcatching app or via the RSS feeds (CARxR, Spotify for Podcasters) . The following episodes have been posted this month:

  • CA RxR 2.10: Route 1: The Lost Coast (incl. Route 208 and Route 211).  Episode 2.10 of California Highways: Route by Route completes our exploration of Route 1, as we discuss the “Lost Coast”. This area was originally part of the last segment of LRN 56, and was to be Route 1, but some reworking of the state system made the former lateral between Usal Road and US 101 (which in 1964 became Route 208) officially Route 1, and made the “Lost Coast” portion of the route Route 211. This episode explores the Lost Coast, including the history of Route 208 and Route 211.  (Spotify for Podcasters)

The season will conclude with two episodes on Route 2: One on the flatlands from Santa Monica to Glendale; and one on the mountain segments along the Angeles Crest Highway.

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


[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. See this article for more tips on bypassing paywalls. 🎧 indicates an primarily audio article. 🎥 indicates a primarily video article. ]

Highway Headlines

  • Most Calif. DOT under-freeway spaces failed fire inspections (Gov1). An alarming number of storage sites under Bay Area freeway underpasses failed state fire marshal inspections spurred by last year’s devastating blaze that shut down Interstate 10 in Los Angeles, according to new Caltrans reports that raise questions about the risks of leasing space under California’s highways. Inspectors found combustible trash, vegetation, tires and debris, stacks of wooden pallets and lumber, unsecured compressed gas cylinders, unsafe wiring, motor oil and obstructed fire safety access.  “Inspections of these sites revealed several issues presenting fire or safety risks, as well as other issues and lease violations,” Caltrans Director Tony Tavares wrote in a Feb. 6 report to Gov. Gavin Newsom on the safety of Caltrans’ program to lease out space under freeways.
  • Massive Ventura County landslide shuts down portion of CA-150 (AOL). Recent rainstorms in Ventura County have caused a massive mudslide that’s blocked off a stretch of State Route 150 north of Santa Paula, closing the road. Crews don’t anticipate the stretch to reopen for several months. According to Caltrans, the hillside along State Route 150, also known as Ojai Road, began to slide in early Febrary, as massive storms rolled through the area. Now, more than 150 feet of the road is completely covered by mud and debris. Caltrans estimates that 3,200 vehicles use that stretch of road daily. Through traffic is blocked between Stonegate Road in Santa Paula, south of the slide, and Mupu Road at Steckel Park, north of the slide.
  • What’s in our draft Long Beach – East Los Angeles Corridor Mobility Investment Plan (and how you can weigh in) (The Source). Last month, we released the draft Long Beach – East Los Angeles Corridor Mobility Investment Plan (for short, the CMIP), an comprehensive 255-page document that describes the ambitious community efforts to re-envision mobility within this 18-miles-long and 5 miles-wide area linked together by the 710 Freeway. Bounded by Long Beach and East Los Angeles, this project area includes 18 cities and 3 unincorporated communities. Twelve percent of LA County’s population (1.2 million) live here. It’s home to eleven percent of LA County’s jobs (one half million). The corridor also links the manufacturing district in southeast LA to the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB), two of the busiest ports in the world. In other words, moving supplies up and down this corridor is essential to keeping our pantries full, our businesses open, and our hospitals stocked with supplies. It’s an economic lifeline.
  • Centennial Corridor flyover to open March 5, marking completion of $600 million project (Bakersfield Now). Centennial Corridor flyover, the ramp from northbound Highway 99 to westbound Highway 58, is expected to open to traffic at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, March 5, with weather permitting or as late as Wednesday, March 6, completing the more than $600 million project. The flyover connector ramp was the only outstanding portion of the project left to open. Other portions of the project opened to traffic on Feb. 17 following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the engineering work and the impact of the about 1.5 miles of new roadway connecting Highway 58 and Highway 99.
  • Caltrans And Angels Camp Host Public Meeting On Mobility Project (myMotherLode). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the city of Angels Camp have announced a public meeting to discuss the Mobility Project, an initiative aimed at tackling traffic and safety concerns in the region. The event is open to all community members, local businesses, and media outlets and will take place on March 7 from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Bret Harte Multi-purpose room. The Mobility Project addresses traffic and safety issues along the Highway 4 and 49 corridor, a route heavily impacted by the annual influx of visitors. The project aims to create safer and less congested streets, not only for current residents but also for future generations. According to a statement from Caltrans, the project’s scope extends beyond Angels Camp, impacting multiple economies and communities along these vital state routes.
  • Plan to improve traffic flow on Interstate 15 in Riverside County hinges on ‘smart freeway’ high-tech solutions (ABC7 Los Angeles). Riverside County transportation officials are hoping an upcoming project will improve a stretch of Interstate 15 through Temecula that seems perpetually snarled by traffic. “It gets gridlocked almost any time of day,” said Aaron Hake, deputy executive director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission. “Not only do you have the commute coming back from San Diego, but you also have a lot of local residents here just trying to get around the Temecula – Murrieta area. “They’re merging, they’re weaving, and just trying to get on the 215. And all of those actions have the effect of slowing traffic down and producing the opportunity for collisions.”
  • Golden Gate Bridge receives $400 million from Biden bill (SF Examiner). U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined Mayor London Breed, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu at the Roundhouse Cafe at the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza Monday to celebrate a $400 million grant to complete the final phase of a much–needed seismic retrofit to one of nation’s most iconic spans. The bridge’s retrofit funds come from the Biden administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The first three phases of the retrofit were completed between 2002 and 2014, according to the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District.
  • Skyline Boulevard: A long and winding road through scenic redwoods (Local News Matters). A drive along State Route 35, aka Skyline Boulevard, is a reminder of all the wilderness that the Santa Cruz Mountains and Bay Area have to offer. This is where the redwoods meet the road, where the mountains soar high and open space abounds. It’s a winding road, all 45 miles of it between Highway 92 and Highway 17 at the Santa Cruz County line. So which part should you see before carsickness takes over? (State Route 35 also continues north to Daly City, but for a six-mile stretch it disappears and joins Interstate 280 between San Mateo and San Bruno.)

  • Oakland Alameda Access Project EIR/EA (Caltrans). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), as assigned by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has prepared this Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA) for the proposed project located in Alameda County, California. Caltrans is the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Caltrans is the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The document tells you why the project is being proposed, what alternatives have been considered for the project, how the existing environment could be affected by the project, the potential impacts of each of the alternatives, and the proposed avoidance, minimization, and/or mitigation measures. The Draft EIR/EA circulated to the public for 63 days between September 29, 2020 and November 30, 2020. Comments received during this period are included in Appendix I. Elsewhere throughout this document, a vertical line in the margin indicates a change made since the draft document circulation. Minor editorial changes and clarifications have not been so indicated. Copies of this document and the related technical studies are available for review at the district office (111 Grand Avenue, Oakland California 94612).
  • Caltrans, Ventura County officials to hold virtual meeting about Highway 150 (News Channel 3-12). The California Department of Transportation and Ventura County officials will hold a virtual community meeting Monday about Highway 150. Caltrans along with Ventura County Supervisors Matt LaVere (District 1) and Kelly Long (District 3) will provide an update regarding HWY 150’s emergency project, which is currently being done to stabilize and clear a large mudslide that closed the highway north of Santa Paula, during recent powerful February storms.
  • Massive Ventura County landslide shuts down portion of CA-150 (Fox 11). Recent rainstorms in Ventura County have caused a massive mudslide that’s blocked off a stretch of State Route 150 north of Santa Paula, closing the road. Crews don’t anticipate the stretch to reopen for several months. According to Caltrans, the hillside along State Route 150, also known as Ojai Road, began to slide in early Febrary, as massive storms rolled through the area. Now, more than 150 feet of the road is completely covered by mud and debris. Caltrans estimates that 3,200 vehicles use that stretch of road daily. Through traffic is blocked between Stonegate Road in Santa Paula, south of the slide, and Mupu Road at Steckel Park, north of the slide.
  • Some locals displeased as Caltrans covers up part of Highway 1 sign (SF Gate). It’s not often you see such an on-the-nose example of the phrase “You can’t get there from here” as a road sign with two-thirds of its destinations blacked out. But there is such a place and such a sign. And today, it can be found alongside Highway 1 south of the tiny coastal California town of Cambria. There, just past the intersection of state Route 1 and state Route 46, is a green roadside sign that has for years displayed the miles to Cambria, Big Sur and Monterey. Recently — as if the great censor in the sky came down and redacted it — the bottom two destinations have been covered up by a piece of sheet metal. Only Cambria remains. The other two, gone.
  • United States Marine Highway Program (US DOT Maritime Administration). The United States has a versatile and expansive network of navigable waterways, including rivers, bays, channels, coasts, the Great Lakes, open-ocean routes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway System. We like to think of this as “the United States’ marine highway,” a network of maritime expressways having as many benefits (in some cases more) as the United States’ road network. However, the United States’ waterways are underused. The benefits of using our marine waterways –such as reducing landside congestion and reducing system wear and tear — are not perceived at the individual level. Using our waterways more consistently would create more public benefits and incentivize shippers to use these critical transportation channels.
  • Scenic Highways (Caltrans). The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) manages the State Scenic Highway Program. Caltrans provides guidance to local government agencies, community organizations and citizens that are pursuing the official designation of a State Scenic Highway.
  • Decade-long Centennial Corridor construction concludes with opening of final flyover (Bakersfield Now). The portion that connects the Westside Parkway to Highway 58 and southbound Highway 99 opened on February 18 to traffic, nearly three weeks before the opening of the flyover. The City of Bakersfield had sent out a press release earlier this week, stating the flyover would open on March 5th or as late as March 6, depending on the weather. The flyover opened Friday with no official announcement from the city. A similar situation happened previously when the initial portion of the Centennial Corridor opened in February.
  • Nevada County Community Forum on Highway 49: Extensive Road Work Ahead (YubaNet). This month’s Nevada County Community Forum turns its attention to upcoming highway safety projects in the area, particularly plans for extensive work slated for Highway 49. With approval from the California Transportation Commission in December, a $101.5 million project will widen Highway 49 between Ponderosa Pines Way north of Wolf Road in Grass Valley, as well as add shoulders and a center two-way left turn. The project is geared to allow safer entrances and exits from the highway and also improve evacuation times in the event of wildfire. “Those of us living south of Grass Valley assume that during an evacuation once we reach Highway 49, we’ll be safe,” Supervisor Ed Scofield, who represents Alta Sierra, Lake of the Pines and other South County communities along the highway and serves as chair of the Nevada County Transportation Commission, said in an early February news release. “This project will assure the ability to keep evacuation routes open and could certainly save lives.”
  • CalBike Summit Preview: Complete Streets Bill Would Require Caltrans to Implement Its Own Policies (Streetsblog California). The California Bicycle Coalition held a lively discussion this morning on the topic of S.B. 960, the Complete Streets bill authored by Senator Scott Wiener. The webinar was a preview of the kinds of discussions that will happen next month at CalBike’s biannual Bike Summit, this year taking place in San Diego from April 18 and 19. While a previous version of the bill, 2017’s S.B. 127, passed every legislative vote it faced, it was ultimately vetoed by the governor. Newsom said the bill was unnecessary because Caltrans already had a policy in place to accommodate the safety of all road users, and was supposedly moving away from its car-centric focus. Senator Wiener told the webinar attendees that at the time Newsom told him Caltrans’ “new leadership” needed the chance to make improvements on their own.
  • Caltrans to host another meeting on Fernbridge and Ferndale access along Route 211 (Caltrans). Caltrans once again invites community members to participate in an informational meeting March 19 to discuss the future of Fernbridge and Ferndale access along Route 211. Presenters will provide updates on emergency repairs to Fernbridge following a December 2022 earthquake, as well as information about ongoing efforts to collaborate on visions for future access in and out of Ferndale. Fernbridge, a 1,320-foot-long concrete arch bridge spanning the Eel River, has been in operation since 1911. Due to its age and susceptibility to ongoing repairs and closures, Caltrans has initiated a project to review and develop alternatives for future access in and out of Ferndale.
  • Caltrans to reduce speed limits on Highway 1 through Big Sur Coast (Press Enterprise). Caltrans will reduce the posted speed limits along a 44.5-mile segment of Highway 1 on the Big Sur Coast, the agency announced Thursday. Enforcement of the new lower speeds will begin once all speed limit signs have been updated. These updates are expected to be completed within the next 30 days. Speed limits will be lowered on three segments of Highway 1 north of the county line at San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. For the 14-mile segment of Highway 1 between post mile 0.0 and post mile 14 – from the county line to just north of the Sand Dollar Beach Picnic Area – the recommendation is to decrease the existing 55-mph speed limit to 45-mph. For the 22.5-mile segment of Highway 1 between post mile 14 and post mile 36.5 – from just north of Sand Dollar Beach Picnic Area to just north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – the recommendation is to decrease the existing 55-mph speed limit to 50-mph. For the 8-mile segment of Highway 1 between Post Mile 36.5 and Post Mile 44.5 – from north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to just south of Coast Ridge Road – the recommendation is to decrease the existing 55-mph speed limit to 40-mph.
  • Calaveras Road Projects (myMotherLode). Here are the few road projects that are planned for the second week of March. On Highway 4 shoulder closures are planned from Lower Moran Road to Lakemont Drive for survey work beginning Monday, March 11, through Friday, March 15, 2024, from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. On Highway 26 utility work at Highway 12 will limit traffic to one-way Monday, March 11, through Friday, March 15, 2024, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
  • National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy (FB/FHWA). To align with the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy released today by the Joint Office of Energy & Transportation and U.S. Department of Energy, the FHWA announces the designation of National EV Freight Corridors aiming to improve air quality in local communities heavily impacted by diesel emissions.
  • The strange, fun and fascinating stories behind Bay Area city names (SF Gate). With lots of “San” and “Santa” names in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might think you can guess the origins of most Bay Area city names. But you’re in for a few surprises. Take, for example, San Ramon. If you guessed that it’s named for Saint Raymond, you’re not alone. San Ramon, however, is named after a normal fellow named Ramon. According to the city history, Ramon was a Native American vaquero who tended sheep in the area in the late 1700s. Locals took to calling a nearby creek Ramon Creek, but that didn’t sound quite right to everyone’s ears.
  • Map of Imperial Highway (FB/WESTCHESTER, CA SCHOOL DAYS 1950s-60s). Manchester becomes Firestone it runs into Rosecrans & reaches Orange County…plans in the 1920’s. Renamed Bellview to Imperial Hwy to extend from El Segundo to the Mex Border. But the Fwy came
  • Rain-Induced Mudslides Shut Down Key Routes in Malibu and Topanga, Causing Delays (SM Mirror). Caltrans District 7 announced via social media that sections of Route 1 (PCH) in Malibu and Route 27 south of Topanga have faced full closures due to mud and rock slides, causing significant disruptions for commuters on Monday morning. The closures also include the northbound lane on Route 1 in Pacific Palisades, and the duration of the closures remains unknown. Caltrans advised commuters to anticipate delays and avoid the affected areas.
  • Olympics 2028: Los Angeles area awarded $900 million to improve transit ahead of the games (KTLA 5). The Biden Administration has awarded the Los Angeles region nearly $900 million for public transportation and infrastructure improvements ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics. Of that batch of federal dollars, more than $860 million is earmarked for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, aka LA Metro. The cash infusions will help to expand the Metro rail system and “reconnect communities” ahead of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. LA Metro will receive about $710 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the United States Department of Transportation’s 2024 budget.
  • L.A. scores $160M from feds for transportation and infrastructure ahead of 2028 Olympics (Urbanize LA). Ask and ye shall receive – that seems to be the story with the L.A. area and the federal government right now with preparations underway for the 2028 Summer Olympics. According to a news release from Senator Alex Padilla, the Los Angeles area will receive more than $160 million in grant funding through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program and the Neighborhood Access and Equity Programs, both of which were created through the landmark 2021 federal infrastructure bill. Per an information sheet provided by Padilla, L.A. County projects receiving money include:
  • Speed limits being lowered along 44 miles of Highway 1 in Big Sur for increased safety (Local News Matters). Caltrans is lowering speed limits along dozens of miles of state Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast after conducting an engineering and traffic survey recently, officials with the state agency said. The changes are taking place for 44.5 miles of the coastal highway north of the line between San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties and enforcement of the lower speeds will begin after all speed limit signs are changed in the next 30 days, according to Caltrans. The speed limit for a 14-mile segment of Highway 1 between Post Mile 0.0 and Post Mile 14 (just north of the Sand Dollar Beach picnic area) is lowering from 55 mph to 45 mph, while the limit for a 22.5-mile segment between Post Mile 14 and Post Mile 36.6 (just north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park) is decreasing from 55 mph to 50 mph.
  • World’s largest wildlife crossing is taking shape in California (SF Gate). In the early morning hours of July 18, 2022, 2-year-old mountain lion P-89 ventured out on a nearly impossible journey: crossing the 10 lanes of the busy 101 freeway. P-89 attempted this journey between the DeSoto Avenue and Winnetka Avenue exits in Woodland Hills, a suburban area near Los Angeles with homes and businesses bordering both sides of the freeway. A car hit and killed P-89 around 2 a.m. A month later, his brother P-90 was killed by a car on state Route 33, after successfully crossing the 101 and traveling from the Santa Monica Mountains to Los Padres National Forest. P-90 was the seventh mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding region known to be killed by a car in 2022.
  • POLA and Caltrans Forge Ahead with Transformative $130 Million State Route 47 Interchange Project (Random Lengths News). The Port of Los Angeles and California Department of Transportation or Caltrans will start work this month on a $130 million transportation project to reconfigure a major interchange at State Route 47 (SR 47)/Vincent Thomas Bridge and Front Street/Harbor Boulevard in San Pedro. The interchange reconfiguration aims to reduce travel times, alleviate congestion and improve motorist and pedestrian safety at this highly traveled roadway juncture. “We have all experienced a significant increase in trucks interfacing with passenger vehicles at the Harbor Blvd./SR47 Interchange, which is both difficult and dangerous as we work to move cargo and as residents go about their daily commute,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Tim McOsker. “I’m glad that we are breaking ground on this massive project which will not only help with traffic safety and the movement of goods, but also accommodate the exciting redevelopment along the waterfront.”
  • Topanga Canyon Boulevard Closed Indefinitely As Landslide Continues (Malibu, CA Patch). A portion of Topanga Canyon Boulevard has been shut indefinitely due to an ongoing active landslide, according to Caltrans. The road is closed in both directions between Pacific Coast Highway and Grand View Drive, making it unavailable as a connection between PCH and the San Fernando Valley. Topanga Canyon Boulevard was first shut down on March 9 due to the slide.
  • Reconnecting Arcata Neighborhoods (Humboldt NOW | Cal Poly Humboldt). Governor Gavin Newsom announced a pilot program to reconnect three communities historically divided by transportation infrastructure in California. The Reconnecting Communities: Highways to Boulevards grant program will increase access and traveling options in underserved and underinvested neighborhoods in Arcata, South San Francisco and southeast San Diego/National City. The pilot program, initially proposed in the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure, seeks to convert underused highways that divide underserved communities into multimodal corridors and vibrant public spaces. The Reconnecting Arcata project seeks to address mobility, accessibility, and equity challenges in this rural area caused by three state highways (U.S. Highway 101 and state Routes 255 and 299) through a comprehensive, community-driven planning process. Key solutions may include a new transit center, potential freeway cap or new crossings, and expanded walking and biking options. The state highway system created barriers to Arcata neighborhoods and nearby communities. Bridging this gap would help improve public health while providing more alternative transportation options.
  • Freeways split San Diego’s communities of color. This new Caltrans project aims to reconnect them.  (San Diego Union-Tribune). Neighborhoods in southeastern San Diego and National City that were disconnected by Interstate 805 construction are part of a pilot program that will provide millions for parks, bike lanes and other amenities. The goal of the state program is to re-imagine and revitalize dozens of blocks divided by freeways. The pilot program, which was announced Tuesday, also includes divided communities in Arcata and South San Francisco. Caltrans also announced this week $8 million in federal money for transit and road projects across San Diego County, including freeway lid parks in Barrio Logan and managed lanes at the state Route 78/I-15 interchange.
  • Metro and Caltrans Quietly Canceled 110 Freeway Expansion Project (Streetsblog Los Angeles). Metro and Caltrans have canceled a large-scale new flyover offramp planned for the 110 freeway near downtown Los Angeles. The 110 Adams Terminus Improvement Project would have extended a 2000+foot long ramp from below 28th Street to Figueroa Street. This week Metro shared news of the project cancellation via a “board box” letter – a mostly internal communication that Twitter’s Metro document sleuth @numble shared. According to the Metro letter, a lawsuit against Caltrans and Metro forced them to do full environmental impact studies. The agencies had prepared a MND (mitigated negative declaration) with FONSI (finding of no significant impact) in 2018, but the lawsuit challenged that, forcing Metro to do a full EIR (Environmental Impact Report).
  • I-110 Flyover (LA Conservancy). A proposal to address traffic in University Park could have irreversible impacts on St. John’s Cathedral and the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Caltrans working on three Highway 1 slides, Paul’s Slide to open late spring (Mercury News). A closure on Highway 1 of about 12 miles continues as Caltrans works to right the roadway from the affects of three landslides along the Central California coastline, but the highway remains open for the vast majority of the rest of the road. Progress at the the three slide locations – Paul’s Slide, Dolan Point Slide and Regent’s Slide – has been delayed by a series of recent storm events, but progress at each site was safeguarded and a return to production in the immediate aftermath of rainy weather was possible. But slide activity is not necessarily tied to rain events and can happen long after.
  • South San Francisco grant to redress highway-induced inequities (San Mateo Daily Journal). South San Francisco is one of three California cities that will share a $150 million grant to remedy the effects of disruptive highway construction over more than 100 years, which continues to stifle many low-income residents’ access to other parts of the city. The funds are part of a larger movement to improve connectivity within areas such as Lindenville and downtown, as major transit corridors — such as the Caltrain tracks, Highway 101 and El Camino Real — create dangerous travel conditions for residents unable to afford a car and rely on walking or biking to get to other parts of the city. Mayor James Coleman said it’s a necessary initiative but also one that has been neglected for too long. The first pedestrian and bike path in the city that crossed Highway 101, for instance, was the recent underground Caltrain station upgrade completed about two years ago. Residents could still travel across the freeway via Grand Avenue or Sister Cities Boulevard, although the car-centric roads pose risks for nondrivers.
  • Los Angeles, state partner to address freeway trash and debris (The Eastsider). Mayor Karen Bass and California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new partnership to address the issue of trash and debris that regularly accumulates near freeways in Los Angeles. The agreement between the Los Angeles Department of Sanitation (LASAN) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will allow city crews to access Caltrans properties to remove trash and debris. The state will then reimburse the city for the costs associated with the partnership in the Caltrans District 7 Metro Region. The new effort is part of the state and city governments’ efforts to address the issue of homelessness and public safety by getting unhoused residents into housing.
  • Sierra Club, transit group sue Caltrans over Highway 1 project near Santa Cruz (Lookout Santa Cruz). Local transit advocacy group Campaign for Sustainable Transportation and the Sierra Club have filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Transportation and the state agency’s plan to widen Highway 1 in Aptos for auxiliary lanes between State Park Drive and Freedom Boulevard — Phase 3 of the Highway 1 widening project. The project includes new auxiliary lanes — lanes that connect highway on- and off-ramps, allowing vehicles more space to merge — between the 41st Avenue and Soquel Drive interchanges, the busiest stretch of Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County. Some of those auxiliary lanes will also do double duty as bus-on-shoulder lanes, which allow buses to use the auxiliary lanes to bypass traffic.
  • Mysterious mark under Bay Bridge reveals site of Bay Area disaster (SF Gate). A phantom place name on Google Maps, resting in the shadow of the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, was highlighted on social media this week. The historical landmark pin, located in the water between the Port of Oakland and Yerba Buena Island, is marked: “Former site of the Key System Mole.” “How does a ferry terminal that hasn’t existed in over a century end up on Google Maps?” East Bay Yesterday asked. Nothing of the site is visible today above the water line, but the spot was once a bustling ferry and rail station in the middle of the bay, long before the Bay Bridge was built. Originally installed in 1903 as part of what would become the Key System, the pier stretched over a mile across the water from Oakland, ending at a ferry station complete with concession stands for the thousands of commuters who used the terminal every week.
  • Powerful LA homeowners group steps up fight against transit tunnel (SF Gate). A group of Southern California homeowners is continuing to fight back against Los Angeles Metro, the LA transit authority, over plans for a possible underground rail line beneath their homes. The Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association has been pushing LA Metro and its CEO, Stephanie Wiggins, for answers to nearly two dozen questions regarding one of several transit options the agency has proposed for the Sepulveda Pass area. Those proposals — part of what’s known as the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project — include several options connecting transit lines in the Los Angeles basin to those in the San Fernando Valley. A variety of options have been proposed in recent years, from tunnels to monorails, which would run north-south in rough parallel to the 405 freeway, one of the busiest driving routes in America. The Sherman Oaks group is advocating for a monorail line, rather than transit options that would involve burrowing beneath multimillion-dollar homes.
  • Napa County seeing a roundabout growth spurt (Napa Valley Register). Two new Napa County roundabouts on a big scale — they’ll have two lanes in sections and handle some 22,000 vehicles daily — could debut at Soscol Junction as soon as this spring. Soscol Junction is where Highway 12/29 meets Highway 221 and Soscol Ferry Road, just south of the city of Napa. While the roundabouts won’t be on Highway 29 itself, they will handle traffic entering the highway at this busy crossroads. There’s no getting around it, Napa County is becoming a land of roundabouts. Nine or so exist, five are to be built, and another 15 or so are planned or at least mentioned in various studies, some on thoroughfares. The Federal Highway Administration says a roundabout, compared to a signalized intersection, reduces injury crashes by 78%. One reason is that roundabouts slow vehicles down. Another is because drivers enter at an angle that reduces collision severity, an agency report said.
  • Richmond-San Rafael Bridge pedestrian lane may soon be removed after four year pilot (Mercury News). Bicycle advocates are bracing for a pedestrian and bike lane to be removed from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, a shift transportation officials hope will alleviate traffic as alternative changes are studied. This May, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission plans to seek approval from the Bay Conservation & Development Commission to remove the multipurpose lane Mondays through Thursdays, creating a shoulder for drivers to pull off to after collisions or breakdowns, said John Goodwin, MTC assistant director of communications. The lane would be reopened to cyclists and pedestrians Friday through Sunday, under the current plan. This comes about four years after the pedestrian lane opened as a pilot program. “It’s an attempt to balance legitimate competing interests,” Goodwin said.
  • Mechanical problems sideline troubled Delta ferry again, forcing detours near Ryer Island (Local News Matters). In what has become a familiar refrain 0ver the years for residents of Rio Vista and Delta island dwellers who rely on the levee backroads to get around, the Real McCoy II ferry boat is out of service. Again. Caltrans announced that the 88-foot car ferry, which provides a free but vital connection across Cache Slough on state Highway 84 between Rio Vista and Ryer Island in eastern Solano County, is currently out of service due to mechanical repairs of the vessel that began on Friday.
  • Covina Past: The Arrow Highway (Covina Past Blog). One-hundred years ago today – March 20, 1924 – the “Arrow Route Association” was formed at the Sycamore Inn in Upland1,2 to promote the development of a modern 80-foot-wide2 interurban highway from San Bernardino to Los Angeles. It was proposed to relieve traffic on Foothill Boulevard while also linking the business districts of Rialto, Fontana, Cucamonga, Upland, Claremont, La Verne and San Dimas.1,2 The ambitious initial plans even called for the new thoroughfare to extend beyond Los Angeles to Santa Monica.3
  • An ode to freedom (more lanes) (The Daily Cardinal). The alarm was set for seven. I woke up at eight. / I pressed snooze too many times, and now I’m going to be late. / No time for breakfast. Not a full shower today. / My shirt is a bit wrinkled, but I guess that’s okay. / I expect traffic to be a nightmare, mentally it will cause me pain. / I know what would fix this. Please just give us one more lane.
  • Highway 101 pavement project nears completion in time for Spring Break (News Channel 3-12). Spring is getting off to a good start for commuters and tourists driving between Santa Barbara and Ventura. Caltrans District 7 Public Information Officer Jim Medina should know. He has been giving updates since the summer of 2021. “The U.S. 101 Pavement Rehabilitation Project is nearing completion, we have had delays at times because of severe rainstorms last winter and early this year but we are making good progress,” said Medina. RV drivers on vacation and weekday commuters all like what they see.
  • 101 Freeway to close lanes at times for building of wildlife crossing (Los Angeles Times). Starting in mid-April, 101 Freeway lanes will be closed overnight to enable construction work on the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing in Agoura Hills. Caltrans will close all lanes in one direction of the freeway between Liberty Canyon Road and Chesebro Road while the work is being performed, according to a city news release. The lanes will be closed for five hours on weeknights, starting at 11:59 p.m. While the lanes in one direction are closed, all those in the opposite direction will remain open; Caltrans didn’t specify which direction would be closed first.
  • Nature’s Remodeling: Topanga Canyon’s Landscape Altered by Mudslides (The Corsair). Los Angeles has experienced more than twice more rain in February this year than last year, according to National Weather Service data. The rainstorms have caused multiple mudslides in Topanga Canyon, resulting in a road closure through the main highway and onto Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Topanga Canyon Boulevard, also known as State Route 27, has had multiple mudslides and large boulders that have fallen on the main road that goes into and out of the canyon through S Topanga Canyon Boulevard between Grand View Drive and PCH starting on March 9. The mudslides are still active, and the road remains closed today. The Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness stated, “the landslides at mile marker 1.8 is still unstable and active and until that activity stops, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are unable to place their survey crews on the site to determine the best course of action to stabilize the hillside or even predict when the road might open. Every time the hillside has activity, it requires a re-assessment and resets the process.” Santa Monica College students who live in Topanga Canyon are not able to take State Route 27 down to PCH to easily get to campus. They must drive up to Woodland Hills and either take the 405 freeway, a detour further down to Malibu through Malibu Canyon Road, or take an even more scenic route to PCH through Tuna Canyon Road. While the 405 is usually congested, the results of these detours have increased the time it takes students to get to school with bumper to bumper traffic the majority of the drive. Normally a 50 minute drive has turned into an hour and a half.
  • Brentwood opens pedestrian crossing above Highway 4, a critical link on Mokelumne Trail (Local News Matters). The Mokelumne Trail Bicycle and Pedestrian Overcrossing above state Highway 4 in Brentwood officially opened Wednesday morning. The 16-foot-wide, 850-foot-long overcrossing provides a critical infrastructure link along the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail, which once completed will extend from the Mokelumne River’s headwaters at the Sierra Crest to Martinez. Roughly half of the multi-use trail has been completed. The new overcrossing also accommodates the potential for future autonomous shuttle travel and provides access and connection to the planned East County Intermodal Transit Center in Brentwood.
  • Caltrans Extends Closure on Topanga Canyon Boulevard Due to Mud and Rockslide(SM Mirror). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has announced plans to maintain the closure of all lanes on a stretch of State Route 27 (Topanga Canyon Boulevard) indefinitely due to a weather-triggered mud and rockslide and an unstable hillside at postmile 1.8. Large rocks continue to fall at the site. In addition, One lane of PCH will be closed at Topanga Cyn on Tuesday, March 26, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for work on the City’s Traffic Signal Synchronization Project The closure, spanning from Grand View Drive to State Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway), will persist due to an active landslide. With more rain expected over the weekend, traffic control measures will be in place, with flaggers directing traffic from Tuna Canyon onto southbound PCH in Malibu to help make it easier and safer for drivers to cross the northbound lanes of PCH and prevent wrong-way drivers from entering one-way Tuna Canyon Rd. Additionally, striping in the median lane on PCH south of Big Rock will provide two northbound lanes. One northbound lane was taken up by K-rails to hold back the active landslide.
  • Southern California canyon road still ‘too dangerous’ to reopen (KTLA 5). One of the most scenic and heavily traveled canyon roads in Los Angeles County has been closed for two weeks due to a crumbling hillside, and officials still have no idea when it will reopen. The southern section of Topanga Canyon from Grand View Drive to Pacific Coast Highway was shut down on March 11 as torrential rain swept through Southern California, causing the ground to give way near the town of Topanga. Malibu Canyon and the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu were also temporarily closed from separate slides.
  • Caltrans lowers speed limit on 44.5 miles of California’s Highway 1 (SF Gate). California sightseers, be warned: Caltrans is reducing the speed limit along three different stretches of State Route 1 on the coast of Big Sur. The agency recently conducted an engineering and traffic survey that found lowering speed limits would be advisable along the three segments of the highway, which are all in Monterey County and total 44.5 miles. This includes a 14-mile segment that stretches from the Monterey County line near Ragged Point to just north of the Sand Dollar Beach Picnic Area, a 22.5-mile segment that starts north of the Sand Dollar Beach Picnic Area to just north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and an 8-mile segment from north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to just south of Coast Ridge Road. The speed limit in these areas was 55 miles per hour and will be reduced to 45, 50 and 40 miles per hour, respectively.
  • Highway 41 closure reduced in SLO County (San Luis Obispo Tribune). A 17-mile closure of Highway 41 on Thursday for roadwork won’t be needed after all, Caltrans said in a news release on Wednesday. Instead of the road being fully closed and requiring a detour on Highway 46 East, the work will instead result in reverse traffic control on a 7-mile stretch of the highway from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. TOP VIDEOS The affected area runs from the Cholame Y at the intersection of Highway 41 and Highway 46 East to the San Luis Obispo-Kern County line. Caltrans urged drivers to allow extra time for their travel.
  • National Trail Highway Bridge 77. (FB/SBD County Public Works). National Trail Highway Bridge 77 reopened Friday, March 22, 2024. The bridge received final inspection by Caltrans District 8 on Thursday, March 21 and opened next morning. The bridge had been closed on Thursday, February 15, 2024 after Caltrans notified San Bernardino County Department of Public Works that during a scheduled routine bridge inspections it was found that Bridge Number 77 on National Trails Highway (NTH) between Amboy Road and Kelbaker Road was deficient and recommend immediate closure to all vehicle traffic.
  • Part of Highway 1 in Big Sur set to reopen (KSBW). Caltrans provided updates for three major slides on Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast on Thursday. Crews have been working for months to clear these slides, but various rain events have made the job harder. Currently, Highway 1 remains closed from the north at Lime Creek and from southbound just south of Limeklin State Park. This is an estimated 12.1 miles. Highway 1 from Carmel to just south of the Esalen Institute and from the San Simeon area just south of Limeklin State Park remains open, per Caltrans.
  • Why your car’s windshield might be blocking you from getting FasTrak toll discounts (NBC Bay Area). On 680 in Sunol, cruising in the Express Lane is free if you have two or more people in the car, the car has a FasTrak device, and the device has been switched to the “2 people” or “3+ people” position. Asal Rashidi of Pleasanton uses this stretch of 680 to commute with a friend. “We go to school together,” Rashidi explained. She set her FasTrak to reflect that two people are always in the car, so she expected a free ride. But over and over recently — 48 times to be exact– FasTrak charged Rashidi for using 680’s Sunol Express Lane. Rashidi said it amounted to “about $250 worth of charges that shouldn’t have been there.” Rashidi says she disputed those charges, but FasTrak wouldn’t reverse them.
  • Caltrans renews promise to fully reopen Highway 1 by late spring (SF Gate). Highway 1 between Monterey and San Simeon is rightfully one of the most beautiful drives in the country, attracting visitors from all over the world. But the road’s spectacular location, clinging to steep cliffs above the ocean, also makes it prone to landslides, particularly after stormy weather. Since January 2023, when a 500,000-cubic-yard slide closed a stretch of the highway at Paul’s Slide, crews have continuously worked to reopen it, all while dealing with other slides following periods of torrential rain. But on Thursday, Caltrans announced it was getting closer to its promised full reopening by late spring. In a news release, the agency said that besides a 12.1-mile section between the Esalen Institute at the north end and just south of Limekiln State Park, the rest of Highway 1 is open for drivers. While that cuts the road into two lengthy cul-de-sacs, you can still visit some of its most scenic parts, like Big Sur and the Bixby Bridge.
  • Marin planners: I-580 connector might be unnecessary (Marin I-J). Marin transportation planners have reset the options they are considering for unclogging gridlock between northbound Highway 101 and eastbound Interstate 580. The board governing the Transportation Authority of Marin voted unanimously Thursday to cut two project alternatives from the mix over concerns of cost, impacts and aesthetics. The vote also added a new project alternative that does not directly link the two highways. While the project has been long envisioned as a flyover connection in the area of Bellam Boulevard and Andersen Drive in San Rafael, recent data show similar traffic relief could be achieved by revamping the Bellam Boulevard corridor alone, staff said. “We’re finding that these improvements would reduce the backup on the Bellam Boulevard offramp, they will improve travel times to the San Rafael bridge,” said Connie Fremier, project manager. “And in addition, they also reduce travel times on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and improved travel times for local destinations in East San Rafael for the residents and businesses in the area.”
  • Gold Nugget Project Scheduled to Begin on State Route 20/49 (YubaNet). Caltrans is alerting motorists of various ramp and shoulder closures along State Route 20/49 (SR-20/49) in Nevada County as part of the $26 million Gold Nugget Project. Motorists can expect various ramp closures between Grass Valley and Nevada City starting Sunday, March 31 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Construction activity will pause Friday morning and resume the following Sunday night, continuing throughout the end of April. Crews are working to upgrade these facilities to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Roadside message signs will be in place along SR-20/49 to alert motorists of the closures and will not affect multiple ramps in succession.
  • Reverse traffic control on Hwy. 41 for highway widening project Thursday (KMPH). Caltrans District 5 announced the full closure of Highway 41 near Cholame in San Luis Obispo County on Wednesday. The closure was for the widening project at the “Wye” at SR-46 and SR-41. The 41 closure is between State Route 46 East and State Route 33 on Wednesday from 6 am to 6 pm. A full closure is not planned for Thursday but rather reverse traffic controls will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This traffic control will take place within a seven-mile section of Hwy. 41 from the Hwy. 46/State Route 41 Interchange to the San Luis Obispo/Kern County line.
  • California’s Highway 247 to get a share of $1 billion to improve roads (VV Daily Press). The California Transportation Commission recently allocated $1.1 billion for projects that will repair and improve the state’s transportation infrastructure, including one High Desert roadway. The funding includes more than $300 million for projects across California that will make the system more climate resilient while investing in bike and pedestrian pathways and increasing natural disaster preparedness, state officials said. Projects the transportation commission approved include $3.37 million to improve State Route 247 near Barstow. The project would include rehabilitating pavement, replacing sign panels, adding bike lanes, and upgrading facilities to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In San Bernardino County, State Route 247 stretches from Barstow to Lucerne Valley, then onto Yucca Valley.
  • Caltrans releases rendering of roundabout for State Route 121 and State Route 116 (Sonoma News). Caltrans and Sonoma County Transportation Authority will break ground on April 4 to build a roundabout at the intersection of State Route 121 and State Route 116. The goal of the $27 million project is to decrease traffic congestion, reduce accidents and improve access for pedestrians and bicyclists. Caltrans published a video rendering of what the coming roundabout will look like ahead of the groundbreaking. Completion of the project is scheduled for spring 2026, according to Caltrans.
  • Crenshaw Boulevard off-ramp on southbound 405 in Torrance closes for 30 days (Daily Breeze). The off-ramp at Crenshaw Boulevard on the southbound 405 Freeway, in Torrance, will be closed for 30 days because of construction, the city’s Public Works Department announced earlier this week. The closure, which started at 9 pm on Monday, March 25, redirects southbound traffic on the freeway to the next exit at Western Avenue and 190th Street. Motorists are advised to find alternate routes. The construction is a part of a capital improvement project led by the California Department of Transportation, also known as Caltrans, in coordination with Torrance. It aims to improve the 405 Freeway and its on- and off-ramps at Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street. The purpose of this particular closure is to improve safety and streamline the flow of traffic for drivers exiting the freeway at that off-ramp, said Beth Overstreet, a Torrance engineering manager.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • The original California State Route 51 (former US Route 101 in Orange). The original California State Route 51 was a short-lived designation which was assigned to a former section of US Route 101 at the western outskirts of Orange. The original California State Route 51 was defined as part of the wider 1964 State Highway Renumbering along Chapman Avenue and Main Street. This corridor would be deleted by way of 1965 Legislative Chapter 1372 and relinquished from the State Highway System.
  • Unconstructed California State Route 234. California State Route 234 is a three-mile unconstructed State Highway which was planned near the southern city border of Stockton near French Camp. The corridor which was adopted into the State Highway System by way of 1959 Legislative Chapter 1062. The traversable routing of California State Route 234 is noted by Caltrans as French Camp Road despite it not matching the planned corridor routing displayed on State Highway Maps. During 1983 San Joaquin County adopted a resolution to adopt French Camp Road formally California State Route 234. The state never acted on the resolution and San Joaquin eventually lost interest. Modern Arch Airport Road was completed in 2010s along the planned corridor of California State Route 234. Arch Airport Road facilitates traffic to newer industrial construction at Airpark 599 near Stockton Metropolitain Airport.
  • Interstate 10S and the original Interstate 110 in California. Interstate 10S is a short spur of Interstate 10 along San Bernardino Freeway in downtown Los Angeles. Interstate 10S begins at the Santa Ana Freeway (US Route 101) and extends east to Interstate 5 where it merges into mainline Interstate 10. Interstate 10S is one of the oldest freeway segments in Los Angeles having been part of US Routes 60, 70 and 99 when it was part of the corridor of the Ramona Expressway. The current corridor of Interstate 10S was assigned as Chargeable Corridor H following the passage of the 1956 Federal Highway Aid Act. Interstate 110 was a short-lived designation which comprised the segment San Bernardino Freeway from US Route 101 to Interstate 5 between 1964-1968. The original Interstate 110 was dropped as a Chargeable Corridor during 1965 and consolidated as Interstate 10S during 1968.
  • Madera County Road 800 and Indian Peak Road. The combined corridor of Madera County Road 800 and Indian Peak Road is located in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains. The combined corridor serves to connect traffic from Raymond to Bootjack via the ghost town of Bailey Flats. Road 800 is an approximately seventeen-mile highway which begins at Road 613 near Raymond and ends the Mariposa County line at Indian Peak Road. The ten most northbound miles of Road 800 has a dirt surface which follows much of the course of the forking Chowchilla River. The approximately ten-mile Indian Peak Road begins as a dirt surface highway and becomes progressively more modernized approaching California State Route 49 near Bootjack. Pictured as the blog cover is the 1956 Middle Fork Chowchilla River Bridge along Road 800.
  • California State Route 203 the proposed Minaret Summit Highway. California State Route 203 is an approximately nine-mile State Highway located near Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Mono County. California State Route 203 as presently configured begins at US Route 395, passes through Mammoth Lakes and terminates at the Madera County line at Minaret Summit. What is now California State Route 203 was added to the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 112. The original Mammoth Lakes State Highway ended at Lake Mary near the site of Old Mammoth and was renumbered to California State Route 203 in 1964. The modern alignment of the highway to Minaret Summit was adopted during 1967.

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