California Highway Headlines for April 2014

userpic=roadgeekingWhile everyone else was doing their taxes, I’ve been collecting highway headlines…

  • Highway 12 project nears milestone. Highway 12 through Jameson Canyon has two different looks as the state continues its drive to turn a two-lane, narrow road into a four-lane, modern highway. The 3-mile Solano County portion from Interstate 80 to the Solano/Napa border remains a two-lane construction zone. Crews are still working on a retaining wall on the lower part of a hill that they’ve carved out to make room for a wider roadway.
  • Zanker connector, Coleman widening planned but not funded. Q With the new major development announced for First Street and Brokaw Road in San Jose, do you know if the developer will be asked to pay for the “often thought of but never financed Zanker Road to North Fourth Street connection” to alleviate the traffic congestion the development will create?
  • Old Bay Bridge eastern span cut in half in demolition milestone. Crews dismantling the old east span of the Bay Bridge have cut it in half by slicing through metal sections of the cantilever section east of Yerba Buena Island.
  • O.C. tollway cancels studies for controversial extension . Orange County’s largest tollway operation announced Tuesday that it has canceled environmental studies for a controversial extension project that was widely criticized and ultimately rejected by the California Coastal Commission in 2008. The Transportation Corridor Agencies rescinded two notices to proceed with federal environmental impact statements for the Foothill South extension, which would have connected the 241 tollway with the 5 Freeway south of San Clemente.
  • Solution sought to Highway 101 widening. With stretches of the Highway 101 expansion project still underfunded, one Petaluma city official is hoping new revenue generated from an anticipated county sales tax measure could lead to the completion of highway widening from Petaluma to the county line.
  • Metro to publicly finance HOV toll lane project for Santa Clarita Valley. Metro and Caltrans have decided to publicly finance the project instead of seeking a public-private partnership (known as a PPP). Why? It’s less expensive to publicly finance the project by using $352 million in now-available Measure R and other funds and a federal low-interest loan for $175 million.
  • Resolution introduced to name freeway stretch for late Sen. Jenny Oropeza. The section of the 710 freeway in Long Beach would be designated as the Senator Jenny Oropeza Memorial Freeway under a resolution introduced Monday by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).
  • Commuter Collection Jewelry. Westways Magazine had an interesting article on this artist, who make necklaces, tie tacks, and rinks in the shape of California highway signs.
  • The Train Tunnel in This 1898 Film Is Now Part of Pacific Coast Highway. Santa Monica’s McClure Tunnel—is there a more dramatic 400 feet of roadway in all the Southland? First, the daylight fades as you leave behind the Santa Monica Freeway and plunge through the tunnel’s eastern portal. The road curves through the darkness, and then a new world flashes before you. As your eyes readjust, it all comes into focus: the rolling surf of the Pacific, a white sand beach, the hills of Malibu. You are now driving the Pacific Coast Highway.