Caltrans will fully close the intersection of Alondra Boulevard, Marquardt Avenue and South Firestone Boulevard in the city of Santa Fe Springs beginning on Monday morning, August 4 at 6 a.m.

Summer Driving Tips

Taking a road trip this summer? A few hours of prep now might save you from being stranded on the side of the road, a big repair bill and/or a ruined vacation.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Driving Tips

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. To help you get to your holiday destination as easily at possible, Caltrans will suspend construction closures from Wednesday, November 26, at 6 a.m. to Sunday, November 30, at midnight.

The Thanksgiving holiday is also a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) for the CHP, which means that officers will be out in full force providing extra protection and services to the motoring public. The MEP will begin Wednesday, November 26, at 6 p.m. and runs through Sunday, November 30, at 11:59 p.m.

CHP offers these tips to help you arrive safely at your holiday destination:

> Driving is a complex task, requiring your full attention. Anything that diverts your eyes or attention from the roadway, even for one or two seconds, could result in tragedy. Stay off your phone!

> The law is explicit: Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more is illegal, but a driver with a lower BAC may also be a hazard and taken to jail.

> Prepare for potential inclement weather by leaving early and allowing plenty of time to get where you’re going. Make sure your gas tank is full. Always leave ample distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.

> If you’re heading to mountain country or anywhere you may encounter snow, bring chains, chain tighteners, and warm, waterproof clothing. Other items that may prove useful: flares, flashlight and strong batteries, small shovel, windshield scraper, blankets, drinking water and snacks.

> Check in advance for road conditions by calling: 1-800-427-7623 (when inside California) 916-445-1534 (when outside California); 1-702-793-1313 (Nevada road conditions). Another great way to avoid congestion and delays: check the Caltrans QuickMap to get real-time traffic info before you leave.

AASHTO Has Spoken And ... Caltrans Wins!

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced that California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) earned the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards in the 2014 America's Transportation Awards competition.

A record 73 transportation projects from 36 states and the District of Columbia were nominated in the 7th annual competition. The 10 projects that received the highest number of points in four regional competitions were in the running for the top prizes announced today, at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Charlotte.

"There were many projects worthy of recognition in this year's competition," said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. "But the Caltrans and Florida DOT projects exemplify the best of the best. Their use of innovation and creative problem-solving improved the lives of the nearby communities and their economies. We sincerely tip our hats to all the hard working professionals who helped make these projects a reality."

Caltrans' San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span project received the Grand Prize, determined by a panel of judges. The $6.3 billion project replaced a nearly 80-year-old structure with a new, modern bridge featuring advanced seismic response technology. The bridge, which was constructed to last more than 100 years, is designed to accommodate future expansions of light rail and other modes of transportation.

The Grand Prize and People's Choice award winners were presented with $10,000 cash prizes to be used to support a charity or transportation-related scholarship program of the agencies' choosing.
Learn more about the contest and this year's entries at americastransportationawards.org

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two-Hour FULL CLOSURE of I-5 in Burbank This Sunday

If you drive I-5 through Burbank late at night on weekends, this post if for you. I-5 will be closed in both directions between Burbank Boulevard and Buena Vista Street on Sunday, November 23, 2014, from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. while a Burbank Water and Power crew relocates an electrical utility line. All on- and off-ramps in the work zone will be closed as well. A signed detour will be provided so you don’t get lost. (See details below.)

Although the closure of ALL lanes won’t begin until 2 a.m. on November 23, lane closures will start on Saturday, November 22, at 11 p.m. and will end on Sunday, November 23, at 6 a.m. So, if you’ll be driving I-5 during this window, expect delays. Check out the motorist advisory for this closure here.


Northbound I-5 Detour: Traffic will exit I-5 at the Burbank Boulevard off-ramp. Traffic exiting east on Burbank Boulevard will go north on San Fernando Boulevard, east on Amherst Drive, north on Glenoaks Boulevard, and south on Buena Vista Street to the northbound I-5 on-ramp. Traffic exiting west on Burbank Boulevard will continue west on Burbank Boulevard, go north on Victory Place, and then north on Buena Vista Street to the northbound I-5 on-ramp.

Southbound I-5 Detour: Traffic will exit I-5 at the Buena Vista Street off-ramp, then head south on San Fernando Road, east on Winona Avenue, south on Buena Vista Street, south on San Fernando Boulevard, straight to Victory Place, and east on Burbank Boulevard to the southbound I-5 on-ramp.

The work is part of the I-5 Empire Project in Burbank, a series of freeway improvements between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street. More information about the project is here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

CTC Allocates $368 MIllion for 115 Biking and Walking Projects

Good news for bikers and walkers! The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has adopted 115 biking and walking projects as part of the state’s $368 million 2014 Active Transportation Program (ATP), making it the nation’s largest non-motorized transportation program. The CTC will allocate $133.6 million to the projects at its future meetings.

The adopted projects come from California’s eight largest Metropolitan Planning Organizations: Fresno Council of Governments; Sacramento Area Council of Governments: Southern California Association of Governments; Metropolitan Transportation Commission (Bay Area); San Joaquin Council of Governments; Stanislaus Council of Governments; Tulare County Association of Governments; and Kern Council of Governments.

Last year, Governor Brown signed legislation creating the ATP. The new program combined several small bike and pedestrian-related grant funds into a comprehensive program.

The Westside Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Improvements Project in Ventura is one example of a project that received ATP funding. The $1.5 million project will construct sidewalks and sidewalk improvements, curb extensions, a bike lane and install rectangular rapid flashing beacons and crosswalks in Ventura on Cedar Street from Prospect to Poli Street, and on Ventura Avenue from Kellogg Street to DeAnza Drive. The improvements will enhance safety and connectivity for walkers and bikers in an area with high volumes of non-motorized use.

Safe mobility for everyone—including pedestrians and bicyclists—is part of Caltrans’ mission to provide a sustainable transportation system that will help make California a better place to live and enhance our economy. The ATP supports a healthy lifestyle that also helps achieve California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The complete list of all 115 ATP project is here. Info about the ATP is here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I-10 Full Freeway Closure this Weekend

 Caltrans will close BOTH directions of I-10 between the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) and Baldwin Park Boulevard Sunday, November 16 from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. Motorists will experience delays and are strongly advised to use alternate routes.

The closures are part of the $66 million 10/605 Design-Build project, which will create a flyover bridge from the southbound San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to the eastbound San Bernardino Freeway (I-10). Detour signs will be posted to direct motorists. Anticipated project completion is fall, 2015. Caltrans reminds you to Slow For the Cone Zone.

Should you have any additional questions, please contact Yessica Jovel at (213) 897-1876 or Public Affairs at (213) 897-3656. Caltrans apologizes for this inconvenience as we work to improve I-10

Veterans Honored With Purple Heart Trail Signs

Just in time for Veterans Day, Caltrans, in partnership with Chapter 750 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, State Senator Hannah‑Beth Jackson, and Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long, installed Purple Heart Trail signs along US Highway 101 in Ventura to mark the sacrifices and contributions of veterans to this country. This segment, which is part of a larger network across the nation, covers the entire length of Ventura County on US Highway 101. The 36-mile segment in Santa Barbara County just north of this segment was designated in 2010. 

The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 by the congressionally sanctioned Military Order of the Purple Heart to be a symbolic trail throughout all 50 states to commemorate and honor all men and women who have been wounded or given their lives in combat while serving in the U.S. armed forces. The Purple Heart Trail originates in Mount Vernon, Virginia, and traverses the United States to California. 

Check out the video below to see the Caltrans Mission Hills sign crew installing a Purple Heart Trail sign on southbound U.S. 101 near Bates Road.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dr. E.D. Botts: WWI Veteran, Public Servant, and Creator of Botts' Dots

Dr. E.D. Botts
Ever heard of Botts’ Dots?  If you’ve ever driven on a freeway in California you’ve seen Dr. Botts’ dots, which are also known as raised pavement markers, buttons or traffic markers that help to guide freeway traffic and remind (bump, bump) motorists that their vehicle is crossing into an adjacent lane.

In 1950 Dr. E.D. Botts joined the Department of Public Works, Division of Highways, (now known as Caltrans) as a Senior Chemical Testing Engineer in the Materials and Research Department in Sacramento. 

Moderate to heavy rainfall or darkness caused the painted white lines on freeways to disappear.  In 1954, Botts developed a type of raised button or dot made of concrete to substitute for the painted white line.    Eventually, it was discovered that dots made of polyester or epoxy-type resin plastic were more durable.  In 1966, “Botts’ Dots” was mandated for Los Angeles area freeways in 1966 – millions were installed. 

Botts was widely known for his work with paints used by the Division of Highways for improved traffic striping and the protection of structural steel.  He also pioneered the use of epoxy resins in binders and adhesives, and received national recognition for his work.

Model shows arrangement of dots with reflectorized pavement markers in 1966.

Botts, born in Missouri in 1893, served in the U.S. Army during World War I, received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.  In 1924 he became chief chemist for American Marine Paint Co. in San Francisco.  From 1928 to 1944 he was a professor of chemistry at San Jose State College (now University).  He was a technical adviser to the Small War Plants Corporation and the U.S. Department of Commerce in Los Angeles.  He also served for two years as a research chemist with the Veterans Hospital in San Fernando Valley.  Botts stayed with the Division of Highways until his retirement on January 1, 1960.  He passed away in 1962.     

Source: California Highway and Public Works, January-February 1960 and Caltrans Headquarters Library