California Highway Headlines: 9/3/2013 – 9/16/2013

userpic=roadgeekingAh, summer is over. Kids are back in school, school buses are on the road, and empty nesters have quiet houses again. Sounds like a perfect time to peruse the highway headlines:

  • CORONA: Temescal Canyon Road marker to be re-dedicated. Temescal Canyon Road just south of Corona was a popular way of getting around long before Interstate 15–actually, long before Henry Ford. It dates to 1820 or earlier, and was used by gold diggers in 1849. It was a military road between San Diego and Los Angeles from 1861 to 1865. (Note that Temescal Canyon is the road that became the first incarnation of Route 71).
  • State lets go of plans to extend Highway 12. Supporters of a plan to create a greenway across southeast Santa Rosa are buoyed by a report suggesting the state is willing to part with the two-mile ribbon of land that had been designated for the extension of Highway 12. The draft report on the future of the Highway 12 corridor clearly states that the State Department of Transportation has no plans to extend the highway east of Farmers Lane over Spring Lake and therefore doesn’t need the 50 acres long set aside for the project.
  • Why the New Bay Bridge Cost $6.4 Billion. In 1996, the California Department of Transportation announced the state would spend seven years and just over $1 billion to replace the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. But the bridge that opened this week costs several times that amount — and took ten years longer than originally projected. So…what happened?
  • Council opposes adding toll lane to 405 . The Huntington Beach City Council declared Tuesday its opposition to a transportation agency’s plan to add a toll lane to the 405 freeway and agreed to take action to thwart such a move. Council members voted 6 to 1, with Councilman Dave Sullivan dissenting, to support Mayor Connie Boardman in sending a letter to the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, opposing such lanes on the interstate, which is heavily used by Huntington Beach and south Orange County residents.
  • CityDig: How 1946’s L.A. River Freeway Became Today’s 710 This rosy cartographic view of the “soon to be built” Los Angeles River Freeway is one part reality and several parts fantasy. In the post-war freeway fever, all of California was being sized up for automotive rapid transit, and the idea of connecting L.A. with Orange County and Long Beach seemed like an essential piece in the puzzle. The real Los Angeles River Freeway came into being six years later in 1952 and was officially known by its Interstate highway number, Route 15, until 1964. It then became State highway Route 7 until 1983, when its name changed to California State Highway 710 (or “the 710,” as locals say), which is now one of the most traveled upon roads in the county.
  • A Walk In The Park On The 101 Freeway? City Council Says ‘Yes’ The Los Angeles City Council Friday voted in favor of a proposal to partner with a nonprofit group for an unusual plan to cover a portion of the Hollywood (101) Freeway with a neighborhood park.
  • 405 Freeway nightmare: Even the retaining walls are weeping . There’s plenty to weep over if you live near or drive around the 405 Freeway on the Westside during the seemingly endless construction project to widen it. Now, it turns out, the freeway feels your pain and weeps along with you. Well, actually, it’s the retaining wall that keeps the hillside from cascading down onto Sepulveda Boulevard, just east of the freeway, that weeps. For the next two weeks, crews will be working on a retaining wall — east of the freeway — on the east side of Sepulveda Boulevard. The task: installing weep holes.
  • Transportation officials look to decode northbound Highway 101. Armed with cameras on the ground and in the air, Marin transportation officials will begin documenting the frustration-filled afternoon northbound commute along Highway 101 with an eye toward tweaks that could bring relief. The almost daily ritual for drivers coming north begins as early as 4 p.m. as commuters, parents driving children home from school and people taking local trips all coalesce on the highway, producing virtual gridlock from the Richardson Bay Bridge to the Greenbrae Interchange. And it doesn’t let up for two to three hours.
  • 280 Freeway Competition winners re-envision San Francisco. Could San Francisco be made anew by the removal of Highway 280 as it runs through the city north of 16th Street? That’s what the Center for Architecture + Design asked in a recent contest. For a cash prize of $10,000, the competition ”encouraged artists, academics, architects, planners, landscape architects and designers to submit concepts for public art, buildings, landscape treatments, public amenities and infrastructure, or other urban design interventions made possible through the replacement of Highway 280,” according to the Center’s official website.
  • Bay Bridge span, against Gov. Jerry Brown’s wishes, set to be renamed One of the Bay Area’s most famous stretches of roadway is on the verge of being named after one of its most well-known and controversial politicians — but not if Gov. Jerry Brown has anything to say about it. The western half of the Bay Bridge would be named the “Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge,” after the charismatic former Assembly speaker and San Francisco mayor. […] The anonymous person behind the @SFBayBridge Twitter account on Monday tweeted a letter to its 7,000 followers — and lawmakers — urging a “no” vote on the Willie Brown idea. “I happen to like my name as it is, because it’s descriptive and functional,” the “bridge” wrote, adding the new name “feels as wrong as someone driving westbound on my lower deck.”
  • UPDATE: Coastal Commission’s 101 corridor conditions ‘workable,’ says Caltrans The California Coastal Commission in a 9-1 vote today gave Caltrans the go-ahead to build an interchange at the Indianola Cutoff -provided the agency meets certain conditions. Under conditions laid out by the commission for the Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Improvement Project, Caltrans officials must facilitate a separated bike trail and pedestrian right-of-way, remove all billboards along the corridor, submit a sea-level rise analysis report in their Coastal Development Permits and thoroughly explore wetland mitigation plans.
  • Caltrans: New Caldecott Tunnel On Pace for End-of-Year Opening Bay Area drivers are now eagerly waiting for another transportation milestone with the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel nearing completion. Caltrans said the new tunnel will be open before the end of the year.
  • Willits bypass delayed again After having a permit revoked two weeks ago, Caltrans has resumed hauling dirt to the project, but they can only haul it at night through the town of Willits. Tuesday night, two demonstrators chained themselves to a truck for more than eight hours, backing up a string of trucks and stopping work on the project.
  • Span named for Willie Brown, but no signs may go up. The Legislature’s overwhelming approval of a resolution renaming the western span of the Bay Bridge in honor of former San Francisco Mayor and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown is no guarantee the signs will actually go up. Gov. Jerry Brown – who said through a spokesman this week that “the iconic Bay Bridge should keep the name that it has had for nearly 77 years” – can’t veto the measure because it’s a nonbinding resolution, and any road signage would be paid for privately. However, even if the taxpayers don’t pay for the signs, the governor could still order Caltrans not to spend taxpayer dollars putting them up.

One Reply to “California Highway Headlines: 9/3/2013 – 9/16/2013”

  1. Whenever I see somebody writing about the 101 as it exists in California I giggle and get the urge to post one of the many pictures where, in Oregon, it is a 25-mph limit one lane each way road regulated by stop signs as it meanders through little Oregon coastal towns.

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