California Highway Headlines: 5/27/13 – 6/15/13

userpic=pacific-coast-routeHaving just posted the highway page updates*, it’s time to start collecting headlines again. Of course, by the time you read this, the updates will be two weeks old… but “whatever”:
(*: Well, I had when I started collecting this groupa headlines)

  • Corrosion plagues new Bay Bridge span. Experts said that while a total collapse seemed unlikely, if Caltrans miscalculated corrosion estimates a major quake could cripple sections of the skyway. The span’s construction violated universally accepted techniques meant to prevent corrosion, they said, and could result in costly inspection and maintenance headaches nearly unheard of for similar modern bridges. (h/t to Joel W.)
  • Bay Bridge’s old span risky, engineers say. Every day the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge remains in use is a day motorists face the risk of catastrophe, Caltrans engineers say. Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission must weigh that risk in deciding whether to delay the scheduled Labor Day weekend opening of the new eastern span while dealing with suspect steel rods – something Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials have suggested might happen.
  • First stretch of carpool lane opens on northbound 405 Freeway. An extra traffic lane opened Friday along a 1.7-mile stretch of the northbound 405 Freeway, a milestone in the $1.15 billion Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project.
  • Uncovered Olympic Glories: Murals Restoration on the 101 Freeway. As the sun beat down on the earth, heat fizzled from the surrounding concrete, sizzling the temperature a few degrees higher. Perched on scaffolding at the edge of the 101 freeway, artist Willie Herrón III and his assistant Melody Betancourt bake in the sun while wearing hard hats and day-glo vests.
  • City of Lancaster, Caltrans, and Metro celebrate new Avenue I/SR-14 interchange improvements. Commuting in the City of Lancaster just got a little bit better with the recent opening of the Avenue I/SR-14 interchange.
  • Bay Bridge light show on the blink. After two months of dazzling the waterfront, the $8 million Bay Bridge light show is having trouble turning on its lights. And turning them off as well. The problem, says Ben Davis, the PR mastermind behind the privately funded Illuminate the Arts project: “Some lights are stuck in the on position — some are stuck in the off position. “It’s not the kind of thing you can hide.’’ So while most of the 25,000 LED lights continue to dance across the 1.8-mile Bay Bridge western span, hundreds simply aren’t cooperating — disrupting the dusk-til-2 a.m. show’s full effect.
  • I-80/680 interchange project still faces obstacle. Solano County’s chance to get $24 million in state bond money for a $100 million Green Valley interchange renovation project could get delayed again. The California Transportation Commission will take up the topic for a second consecutive month when it meets Tuesday in Sacramento. It delayed a vote in May because the project wasn’t ready to start construction.
  • Interstate 5 Toll Lanes Near Highway 14 Await State Approval. “The next step for the project is for us to be able to procure a private entity, bring them on board and to do this very creative type of project,” said Lan Saadatnejadi, an executive officer for Metro, describing the toll lanes as a unique public-private partnership.
  • Bay Area roadways: Where’d the names come from? When it comes to naming roads, bridges and tunnels after distinguished citizens, all’s fair in love, politics and vital signs. “It used to be that a politician had to be retired (to be honored),” said state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, who in 2007 proposed the second span of the Benicia Bridge be named after Rep. George Miller. “Now you’re supposed to be dead. I explained it to (Miller), that the rules say you have to be deceased. I said, ‘Now George, I’ve always wanted to follow you into Congress. I think we’re looking at a win-win here.'”
  • Group proposes naming part of Bay Bridge for Willie Brown. A group of legislators is proposing to name the western span of the Bay Bridge after former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 65 recognizes Brown’s accomplishments, which include two terms as mayor of San Francisco, by naming the western span the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge.
  • Anti-congestion recipe: work starts on I-580 carpool lane in Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton. A ceremony was held here Thursday to mark the start of construction on a 13-mile new carpool lane on westbound Interstate 580, which is hoped will help ease traffic congestion.