Highway News of Interest: 3/15/2013 – 3/31/2013

userpic=roadgeekingThe chimes of Big Ben can mean only one thing: it’s time to complete the month of March with a collection of California Highway related news articles from the last half of the month:

  • Roadshow: From Devils Slide to Caldecott Tunnel, a year of major changes on Bay Area roads. 2013 may go down as a year of road improvements and changes dreamed about for decades…
  • Long Beach: Terminal Island Freeway Removal (Once Again) Attempts to Find Funding for Study. Last night, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to (once again) approved a motion to pursue a grant in order to further a study on the removal of the northern portion of the Terminal Island Freeway (CA 103) that sits above Pacific Coast Highway in West Long Beach.
  • Tunnel tames perilous Devil’s Slide at last. Almost from the time in 1937 when Highway 1 was placed precariously on a promontory on the San Mateo County coast, high above the Pacific, man has been trying to tame Devil’s Slide – with little success. Caltrans has spent millions of dollars on repeated attempts to prevent the steep geological formation from pulling itself, and Route 1, toward the ocean. But in wet weather, the slide has continued to toss mud, stones and huge boulders at the highway, causing it to slump, crack and tear apart.
  • Route 29 ‘visioning’ phase nearly done. A multi-faceted road into the renowned Napa Valley that encourages walking, bicycling and public transit while providing access for local residences and businesses and smooth, uncongested traffic-flow for commuters: That is what the Route 29 of the future should look like, according to a draft report presented to officials Thursday.
  • Arroyo Seco Parkway. This day in history: Opening of the Arroyo Seco Parkway, now Route 110.
  • Let There Be Light: Route 1. These days, it’s so bright inside the Sepulveda Tunnel you could almost land a plane here! The improved lighting is part of a beautification project underneath the southern runways at Los Angeles International Airport that was decades in the making.
  • Glendale’s “Space 134” Freeway Park Concept To Be Presented to City Council. Tomorrow night the Glendale City Council will review an initial concept presentation exploring the idea of capping the 134 freeway to create park space between Central and Glendale Avenue, similar to Seattle’s Freeway Park, Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway and the proposed park over the 101 Freeway in Hollywood.
  • 91 Freeway Widening Plan Clears Major Hurdle Monday. A financing plan that would see State Route 91 widened and the busy freeway’s interchange at Interstate 15 upgraded was green-lighted and is now headed to the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) for approval.
  • Giant Bolts Snap On New Bay Bridge Eastern Span. With less than six months until the scheduled opening of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, more than two dozen giant bolts holding the $6.4 billion bridge together have reportedly snapped. Another link on the same story from Joel W..
  • Golden Gate Bridge toll-takers ending 76-year run. Today is the last time that humans will collect tolls on the Golden Gate Bridge as the iconic span becomes the first in California and one of the few in the world to convert to electronic toll collection.
  • Lifting the Curtain on the Bay Bridge East Span. The first time Martin Chandrawinata saw the Golden Gate Bridge in 1996, he was dumbstruck. To be fair, most people are; the stretching pillars of burnt red nestled between pillowy sheets of fog and the endless blue of the Pacific is an image that resonates far beyond its practical appeal. But to Chandrawinata, an international student from Indonesia beginning his studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the bridge’s beauty resided precisely in its elegant functionality. “The first time I saw it I thought, ‘I want to build a bridge like this someday,” Chandrawinata said, in slow, earnest, heavily accented English. “And now I am.”
  • Devils Slide tunnels open at last. Seventy-six years after building an extension of Highway 1 at Devils Slide, Caltrans is ready to shut down the landslide-prone coastal road forever and open a pair of state-of-the-art tunnels through a mountainside behind the precarious cliffs.
  • Caltrans previews Willow Road interchange redesign. Caltrans, in partnership with San Mateo County, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, plans to reconstruct the current full cloverleaf interchange of U.S. 101 and Willow Road to “address deficiencies impacting motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians by eliminating traffic weaves and providing adequate space for vehicles to stack on freeway off-ramps,” according to the agency.
  • Proposed I-5 carpool lane in Santa Clarita. State transportation officials will hold a public hearing Thursday on a proposal to accelerate the completion of carpool lanes on the I-5 freeway through Santa Clarita by charging certain users a toll. The plan is to build a 13.5-mile carpool lane on each side of the I-5 from State Route 14 to Parker Road by 2040 at a cost of $400 million.
  • Firestone Boulevard ramps will close permanently, plus other closures and work on the I-5 South. This is the left exit NB ramp.

Music: An Oscar Brand Songbag Of Folk Song Favorites (Oscar Brand): “Buffalo Gals”


One Reply to “Highway News of Interest: 3/15/2013 – 3/31/2013”

  1. i’ve been following the bay bridge construction since it started. shame about those bolts. i’ve been watching via webcam. also have followed the devil’s slide tunnels; the pictures on google maps have been incredible.

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