California Highways News for February 2014

userpic=roadgeekingThe following are articles related to California Highways that I’ve seen go past during February:

  • New Highway 92-El Camino Real interchange in San Mateo will ease backups. State transportation officials are moving closer to finalizing a plan to overhaul a major interchange where state Highway 92 meets El Camino Real. San Mateo residents have until Feb. 15 to submit comments on a draft environmental report on the $16 million Caltrans project, which is designed to ease congestion on Highway 92 and improve traffic safety. If the plan is approved in its current form, Caltrans expects to begin construction in 2017.
  • More Express Lanes Coming to Ease Bay Area Congestion. Nearly 300 miles of toll lanes are coming to the Bay Area by the end of the decade. But for some people that won’t be soon enough. People are willing to pay to get where they have to go faster, which has made so-called “hot lanes” — express lanes designed to ease congestion — popular among commuters.
  • Big names to help rechristen Bay Bridge span for Willie Brown. A who’s who of more than 500 people from politics, sports, entertainment and high society is expected to join former San Francisco Mayor and ex-Assembly Speaker Willie Brown on Treasure Island for Tuesday’s official rechristening of the western portion of the Bay Bridge in his honor.
  • S.F. Artists Snub Willie Brown, Install Rogue Sign Naming New Bay Bridge After Emperor Norton. Much to the chagrin of San Francisco progressives, the western span of the Bay Bridge was officially rechristened the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge Tuesday in a ceremony held on Treasure Island. But while politicos, including Gavin Newsom, flocked to Treasure Island to celebrate, a group of artists remained on this side of the Bay Bridge and did a little celebrating of their own, honoring their successful attempt at upstaging Willie Brown. Late Monday night, a group of unidentified artists installed a large sign at the Bay Bridge onramp at Fifth Street, commemorating Joshua A. Norton, not Willie L. Brown.
  • $349 million, 20-year proposed fix for Highway 29. Easing traffic congestion in south Napa County, the focus of a yearlong Caltrans-funded study, may cost more than $349 million and take 20 years, the Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency reported Monday. The draft Highway 29 Gateway Corridor Improvement Plan calls for expanding the highway from four to six lanes from American Canyon Road to Highway 12/Jameson Canyon, as well as new interchanges at Highway 12/Jameson Canyon and Highway 221 and improvements to the juncture of 29 and Highway 12/Carneros Highway.
  • Willie Brown Bridge now open. Former S.F. Mayor Willie Brown (center) celebrates his bridge honor Tuesday with Assemblyman Isadore Hall and NAACP’s Alice Huffman on Treasure Island.
  • Tear down SoMa’s stub of I-280, national group recommends. The notion of demolishing the stretch of Interstate 280 that lands near the Caltrain yard South of Market is gaining support – and national attention. Until now, the idea of tearing down the stub end of the freeway, putting traffic onto wide boulevards – a la the Central Freeway and Octavia Boulevard – and developing the vacant land, as well as unused portions of the Caltrain yard, into a new neighborhood has been mostly confined to city planners and dreamers, which one might argue are the same thing.
  • 405 Freeway closures through Sepulveda Pass planned this weekend . What’s more complicated than Carmageddon and could seriously mess with the flow of Angelenos’ long Presidents’ Day weekend? It’s Jamzilla. That’s the monster-evoking moniker that transportation officials have adopted for the 405 Freeway lane closures slated to begin late Friday, just in time for the post-Valentine’s-Day dinner rush. For 80 hours — from about 10 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Tuesday — most or all lanes on the busy northbound side of the freeway will be closed.
  • Pacifica residents rally against Caltrans’ plan to widen Highway 1. About two dozen people gathered Saturday afternoon along Highway 1 to launch a campaign against a Caltrans proposal to widen roughly 1.3 miles of the coastal corridor. The opponents claim the $51.6 million project is unnecessary and would tear the fabric of the small beachside community. They hope to replicate the success of a recent grass-roots movement that forced Caltrans to abandon a proposed bypass around nearby Devils Slide in favor of a tunnel, which opened to great fanfare last year.
  • The 710 Long Beach Freeway: A History of America’s Most Important Freeway. From the corporate investment of Jamestown to the Wolf of Wall Street era, economic interests have superseded many other American values. The I-710 Long Beach Freeway, meanwhile, has become the country’s most important — although clogged — economic artery, in the vascular system of American capitalism. The business of America is business. Yet, the 710 Freeway’s primary function has aided in the largest trade deficit in world history, facilitating the exporting of U.S. manufacturing jobs, while Pocahontas pajamas, children toys, and a litany of consumer goods are imported onto thousands of diesel powered trucks.
  • Transportation board endorses plan for Highway 29 upgrades. A $349 million, 20-year plan to expand Highway 29 in southern Napa County drew debate from elected officials Wednesday on whether it was worth the cost to fix the traffic snarls snagging motorists between Napa and American Canyon.