Keyword: caltrans

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • California pension investment ticks off state engineers’ union

    05/15/2016 12:47:13 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 1 replies
    The Sacramento Bee ^ | May 10, 2016 | Jon Ortiz
    Add one more investment to the list of CalPERS’ controversial investments: a privately run state highway. The retirement fund recently purchased 10 percent of Indiana Toll Road Concession Co. The firm runs a 157-mile stretch of highway that runs across northern Indiana from Illinois to Ohio. California’s state engineers’ union says it’s a horrible investment that sinks government employees’ money into a project that, ironically, is hostile to government employees. The toll-road company is the first of what fund managers anticipate will be more investments in infrastructure and transportation projects as the $291 billion system broadens its reach into those...
  • Opinion: Will California use congestion to coerce motorists?

    07/06/2015 2:55:41 PM PDT · by Lonely Bull · 19 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | June 22, 2015 | Dan Walters
    --SNIP-- Three months ago, Brown’s Department of Transportation, fulfilling a 2009 legislative mandate, began circulating a draft of a California Transportation Plan, aimed at setting policy for the next quarter-century. Citing California’s commitments to reducing greenhouse gases and improving access to non-automotive transportation, the CTP proposes to reduce automotive travel by increasing motorists’ taxes, flatly rejecting “road capacity enhancing strategies,” and urging the state to “avoid funding projects that add road capacity.” Implicitly, therefore, it contends that increasing traffic congestion and the cost of driving would compel Californians to abandon their cars in favor of transit, bicycles and other non-automotive...
  • Caltrans Planning To Kick Out Homeless Encampment Behind South San Jose Homes

    A South San Jose neighborhood has had enough with a growing homeless camp that has been behind their homes for years. The state is now stepping in to kick the encampment out. For the five year he has lived in the Pinehurst neighborhood, Harlow Blub said he has dealt with some rowdy neighbors. “Totally frustrating, it’s been an endless struggle, it seems like,” Blum told KPIX 5. These neighbors don’t live next door. They live in a homeless encampment behind his backyard wall. “A lot of noise, they have pets back there, dogs are barking, sometimes they argue,” Blum said,...
  • Slow carpool lanes draw complaints from commuters, DOT

    12/15/2014 10:49:26 AM PST · by EveningStar · 57 replies
    Orange County Register ^ | December 15, 2014 | Kellie Mejdrich
    ... Carpool lanes are so clogged in California, the state could lose federal funding and approval for projects if it doesn’t fix the problem. Under federal law, carpool lane drivers in California must be able to go an average of 45 miles per hour or faster during peak hours. Additionally, over a six-month period, traffic has to go that fast 90 percent of the time. Caltrans explains that means the lane’s average speed can drop below 45 no more than two days a month ...
  • Bay Bridge shock absorbers spring leak (Retrofit parts gone bad.. what else is new?)

    07/20/2013 9:04:04 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 61 replies ^ | 7/19/13 | Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross
    While broken bolts on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge are commanding everyone's attention, Caltrans has another problem on its hands - 96 seismic shock absorbers on the western span, some of which began leaking lubricant just three years after they were installed. The estimated cost of the fix - $13 million. And, like the brittle bolts on the eastern span, there are questions as to whether Caltrans ordered the right shocks - or dampers, as they are known - in the first place. The dampers are located between the bridge towers just below the roadway, and are...
  • Bay Bridge technicians 'listen' for cracking in the steel anchor rods (CalTRans at its finest)

    05/06/2013 8:01:34 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 25 replies
    Mercury News ^ | 5/6/13 | Lisa Vorderbrueggen - Contra Costa Times
    OAKLAND — Strategically positioned high above the water, in a narrow crawl space between the new Bay Bridge deck and the top of its big pier east of the tower, instruments are listening for the sounds of cracking inside steel anchor rods. Caltrans placed 10 acoustic emission sensors on select rods in early April after some of the massive bolts -- 3 inches in diameter and 17 to 24 feet long -- snapped and triggered widespread worry about the replacement eastern span's seismic safety. The instrument records the energy produced when a crack initiates, spreads or moves within the rod,...
  • Bay Bridge inspections: busted bolts

    03/27/2013 9:25:11 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 48 replies ^ | 3/27/13 | Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross
    At least 30 of the giant bolts that hold together the new, $6.4 billion eastern span of the Bay Bridge have snapped. As a result, Caltrans is considering replacing all 288 of the bolts on the new bridge before it opens, The Chronicle has learned. Caltrans insists the new span is safe and that plans to open it the day after Labor Day are still on track. However, officials say it's too early to determine how long it will take to fix the problem - or the cost. Toll Bridge Program Manager Tony Anziano said engineers are "pretty confident" the...
  • Caltrans Hero Reunited with the Toddler He Saved

    03/01/2013 9:32:13 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 1 replies
    NBC San Diego ^ | Friday, Mar 1, 2013 | Monica Garske
    Joe Thomas administered CPR and saved a baby boy's life on the side of the roadA Caltrans maintenance worker who helped save a toddler’s life along State Route 54 earlier this week was reunited with the happy, healthy baby boy and his very grateful family on Friday. On Monday, Caltrans worker Joe Thomas was traveling along SR-54 when he noticed two women in distress on the side of the road, crying and waving for help. The women, mother Denise Ortiz and grandmother Rebecca Hill, told Thomas their 13-month-old baby, Cesar Ortiz, wasn’t breathing and needed immediate medical attention. Thomas called...
  • Poll: Who is to blame for the Caltrans, Duane Wiles controversy? (needs FReeping)

    12/19/2011 6:11:12 PM PST · by SmithL · 5 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 12/19/11 | Jon Ortiz
    The employee fired twice by Caltrans (and reinstated the first time) didn't appeal a third disciplinary action taken against him for numerous serious workplace infractions, including "inexcusable neglect of duty." The cause of Duane Wiles' uncontested discipline in July 2000 will probably never be known. . . . Wiles has appealed his November firing. As the story continues to unfold, we wanted to ask State Worker blog users:
  • San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Controversially Made in China (Union Cost too high)

    09/20/2011 12:09:46 PM PDT · by Beave Meister · 18 replies
    FOX News ^ | 9/20/2011 | Claudia Cowan
    When it was built in 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was a Depression-era project that put scores of Americans to work. When its $6.3 billion replacement opens in two years, it will be an international affair from the bottom up, an example of massive outsourcing that has drawn both praise and criticism. Half a dozen countries contributed expertise or materials, none more so than China. "China was immensely helpful to getting this project built," says California Department of Transportation spokesman Bart Ney. "They were able to turn the steel around and work directly with our own inspectors to make...
  • Crosses Removed From Inspirational Point

    08/23/2011 5:24:03 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 7 replies
    NBC San Diego ^ | Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011 | Sarah Grieco
    Caltrans is storing the three replicas until crosses can be relocated to nearby churchThe crosses at Inspirational Point in Julian were removed Tuesday morning around 4 a.m. by the California Department of Transportation. Caltrans received complaints from drivers earlier this summer that the crosses were erected without permit on state-owned property adjacent to State Route 79, east of Julian. The crosses are currently in storage, but Caltrans has plans to relocate them within the next 30 days to Hillside Community Church, where Pastor Rick Hill volunteered to host the three replicas. But Dorri Smith, a Julian resident, hopes to see...
  • Fourth highway worker since May injured in Riverside accident (the others were killed not injured)

    07/21/2011 11:21:12 AM PDT · by Smogger · 2 replies
    The Daily Bulletin ^ | 07/21/2011 | Jesse B. Gill
    RIVERSIDE - A fourth highway worker since early May has been struck in a freeway accident and is now in critical condition, Caltrans officials said. The worker, who has not yet been identified, is an employee of Skanska, a Caltrans subcontractor, said Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga. He was struck today on the westbound 91 freeway at Van Buren Boulevard. Three other Caltrans workers have been struck in freeway accidents in the last two months. Richard Gonzalez, 52, was picking up trash June 20 on the 15 Freeway connector to Highway 94 in San Diego when he was struck by a...
  • California: Judge Upholds Racial Quotas for Highway Contracts

    04/09/2011 7:35:42 AM PDT · by Ken H · 52 replies · 1+ views ^ | 04/08/2011 | n/a
    Federal judge approves set asides and racial quotas for transportation contracts in California. A federal judge last week granted the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) the right to discriminate against white business owners and men when awarding contracts. The Pacific Legal Foundation had filed suit against the department on behalf of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of San Diego, insisting that its racial quota program violated the voter-approved Proposition 209 prohibition on race- and sex-based preferences in public contracting, employment and education. US District Court Judge John Mendez weighed the arguments, denied the Pacific Legal Foundation's motion and granted summary...
  • Flag flap: Caltrans sorry, Old Glory repainted

    07/06/2010 6:43:56 PM PDT · by thecodont · 16 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle / ^ | Tuesday, July 6, 2010 | Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
    (07-06) 16:03 PDT FREMONT -- Caltrans apologized today for painting over a large American flag mural on a hillside above Interstate 680 just four days before the Fourth of July. The 40-foot-wide flag near the Sunol Grade, created by three men the week after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was covered in gray paint Wednesday by a Caltrans crew after the agency declared it to be graffiti. The move sparked outrage and prompted an apology from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. On Saturday, two men not involved in creating the original flag, James Gallagher and Steve Giordano, spent 12 hours...
  • Caltrans apologizes for removal of American flag mural

    07/06/2010 4:06:31 PM PDT · by La Enchiladita · 17 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | July 6, 2010 | Janis Mara
    Caltrans apologized Tuesday for covering a mural of an American flag on Interstate 680 last week, a move that triggered howls of indignation and inspired two men to repaint it, and the agency said it will meet with the original artists to create another mural. "Caltrans regrets the removal of the flag mural," Caltrans spokesman Matt Rocco said in a prepared statement. "The department will work with the artists and local community to discuss the department's current permitting process for transportation art with the goal of placing another mural at a suitable location." It cost $1,324.67 in labor, equipment and...
  • Governor apologizes for move to cover flag mural

    07/03/2010 4:34:37 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 36 replies
    ap ^ | 19 hours ago
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is apologizing for a decision by state transportation officials to paint over a giant American flag mural on the side of a Northern California freeway. The 35-foot long flag was painted on a concrete slab near Interstate 680 in Sunol by three men about two weeks after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Even though the mural had been in clear view of commuters for nearly nine years, a Caltrans spokesman says it wasn't until last month that someone in the agency asked if the flag was on state property. Spokesman Allyn Amsk says it...
  • Popular California Flag Mural Deemed Graffiti, Painted Over

    07/02/2010 5:09:24 PM PDT · by Nachum · 17 replies · 1+ views
    fox news ^ | 7/2/10 | staff
    California residents are up in arms that a flag mural — paying homage to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks — was painted over after the state ruled it was graffiti. State transportation workers on Thursday turned the 35-foot hillside mural on Interstate 680 in Silicon Valley back into a gray slab of concrete, KTVU-TV reported. The explanation? It simply had been put on a list for graffiti remove, one official said. But the landmark had been a favorite among residents and motorists. "It just made me feel really patriotic just seeing it every day," motorcyclist Dave Freely told KTVU-TV....
  • Analyst says Caltrans overstaffed

    03/02/2010 1:00:03 PM PST · by SmithL · 5 replies · 311+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 3/2/10 | Kevin Yamamura
    The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said in a report today that Caltrans' Capital Outlay Support program is overstaffed and recommended that the state eliminate 1,500 full-time positions if the department cannot justify its staffing needs. The Capital Outlay Support (COS) program is responsible for environmental review, design and construction oversight of highway projects, among other responsibilities. LAO found that costs were higher at Caltrans than for comparable projects in other states and local transportation agencies. "We reviewed Caltrans' COS budget for recent years and found that the program's budget lacks sufficient workload justification," the LAO report states. " In order...
  • Auditor: Caltrans inflated job data to feds

    12/22/2009 7:37:17 AM PST · by SmithL · 9 replies · 719+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 12/22/9 | Andrew McIntosh
    Under fire for mismanaging its vehicle fleet, Caltrans was rapped anew on Monday for grossly overstating the number of jobs it created or preserved with federal stimulus money. The criticism came from state Auditor Elaine Howle, who revealed the department's inflated numbers in a report. In October, Caltrans told the federal government that it created or preserved 1,590 jobs with $26.7 million the department received earlier this year under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The stimulus bill requires all recipients of federal money to file quarterly job updates, reporting numbers of jobs created or saved by projects. Howle's auditors...
  • Bay Bridge crews scuttle to fix span by Tuesday

    09/06/2009 10:29:55 PM PDT · by george76 · 26 replies · 1,648+ views
    Chronicle ^ | September 6, 2009 | Rachel Gordon,
    Hundreds of thousands of Bay Area commuters remain in limbo today as crews scramble to complete an emergency repair to the workhorse Bay Bridge. The 73-year-old bridge, crossed by more than 260,000 cars and trucks a day, was shut down for a larger, unrelated seismic upgrade project. Now, crews are working to fix a cracked steel link, called an eyebar, that helps hold up the east span. Inspectors discovered the problem Saturday afternoon, setting in motion a dash to fix a problem that - by itself - would have forced officials to shut down the bridge. "There's a lot of...
  • Caltrans to pay Minutemen in settlement over cleanup on I-5 ($157K)

    08/06/2009 10:21:16 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 528+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 8/6/09 | Leslie Berestein
    A settlement has been reached between Caltrans and the San Diego Minutemen that gives the anti-illegal-immigration activists what they were hoping for: the right to keep their Adopt-A-Highway sign on northbound Interstate 5, a cash payment, and litter cleanup on an additional stretch of the freeway. The settlement was reached Monday, according to federal court records. In ending the lawsuit the group filed last year, the state conceded that the San Diego Minutemen sign near the Border Patrol's San Clemente checkpoint will remain for the duration of a five-year permit, and that the group may continue to clean the highway...
  • Transit bus, car collide in Southern California; 10 injured

    06/23/2009 4:53:02 PM PDT · by · 2 replies · 271+ views
    PASADENA, CALIF. — A fire official says 10 people were injured when a public transit bus collided with a car and rammed into obstacles on a Southern California street. The Pasadena Area Rapid Transit System bus struck the car, a traffic signal, a tree and a bus bench at an intersection Tuesday.
  • Connerly blasts Caltrans' contracting

    06/14/2009 6:40:25 PM PDT · by george76 · 295+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | Jun. 11, 2009 | Jon Ortiz
    Anti-affirmative action advocate Ward Connerly and a Sacramento-based legal foundation today blasted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Barack Obama's administration for a recently-enacted California Department of Transportation policy that awards contracts based on a race- and gender-based quota system. The Pacific Legal Foundation, an individual rights and limited government watchdog group, said that it is filing a lawsuit today against Caltrans on behalf of Associated General Contractors of America to reverse the department's mandate that 6.75 percent of contracts receiving federal money go to women, African Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans and Native Americans. The foundation says that the policy violates federal...
  • Suit: Race, gender a factor in Caltrans deals (quotas supported by Obama administration)

    06/14/2009 2:19:02 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 4 replies · 500+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | June 12, 2009 | Bob Egelko
    An association of contractors accused Caltrans in a lawsuit Thursday of colluding with the Obama administration to flout California's ban on race and sex preferences by reserving some state road-building contracts for companies owned by minorities and women. "Caltrans is sideswiping the important principle of equal opportunity by using race, not lowest cost by a responsible bidder, to decide who gets government road and highway contracts," said Sharon Browne, a Pacific Legal Foundation attorney who filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. The plaintiffs, the Associated General Contractors' San Diego chapter, seek to overturn the state Department of...
  • CHP: Marin lawyer drove with Caltrans worker on hood

    01/23/2009 9:37:16 AM PST · by SmithL · 12 replies · 791+ views
    Contra Costa Times ^ | 1/23/9 | Gary Klien
    When it comes to his daily takeout lunch, attorney Peter Stuart Buchanan is a man of strict routine. He likes the same salmon from the same restaurant, always grilled on one side. He likes light olive oil, no salt, no pepper. He likes generous portions of carrots and green beans, and prefers them extra steamed. And he likes four potatoes on the side. But when unforeseen factors complicate his routine, serious consequences can ensue. Buchanan, 73, was charged in Marin Superior Court this week on allegations he drove through a construction barricade outside his favorite restaurant in Mill Valley and...
  • Tempers Flare At Port Of Oakland [+ Video]

    12/27/2008 5:04:38 PM PST · by CE2949BB · 13 replies · 926+ views
    KTVU ^ | December 26, 2008
    OAKLAND -- Bay area longshoremen were up in arms Friday night when they were denied work at one of Oakland's cargo terminals. The cargo ship, the Zhen Hua 19, pulled into Oakland's Pier Seven and on board was tons of steel slated to be used for the new Bay Bridge. Caltrans decided not to hire the ILWU Local 10 longshoremen to unload the vessel, a decision that angered some local union members.
  • Without Money, Its Only Caltrans Dreaming (Hey Dems - Where Did All The Freeway Fund Money Go Alert)

    07/23/2008 1:08:47 AM PDT · by goldstategop · 4 replies · 137+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 7/23/2008 | Steve Hymon, Road Sage
    Caltrans announced Tuesday its preferred method for improving the 405-101 freeway interchange, which the agency says is one of the busiest in the world. But don't get too excited. The agency also says that it doesn't have the money to design or build the project, which is expected to cost about $135 million. Still, this is one of those classic bottlenecks, and understanding why it doesn't work helps explain a lot of other bottlenecks on Southern California freeways. The big problem is that entrance and exit ramps have been placed too close to one another. The particular issue on the...
  • Caltrans halts Adopt-A-Highway applications after Minutemen sue

    06/23/2008 4:19:36 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 22 replies · 391+ views
    The Orange County Register ^ | June 23, 2008 | By MICHAEL MELLO
    Caltrans has announced it will no longer accept applications for its Adopt-a-Highway volunteer cleanup program. The move comes after members of the San Diego Minutemen sued the state agency over the right to sponsor a stretch of I-5 south of San Clemente near a Border Patrol checkpoint. Caltrans routinely posts signs noting the individuals or groups who sponsor that particular stretch of highway, but removed the Minuteman group's sign in January. Caltrans officials said then that they feared vandalism or protesters along the freeway. Caltrans offered the group another stretch of San Diego County highway, but the Minutemen have sought...
  • ACLU backs San Diego Minutemen in road battle

    02/02/2008 7:08:55 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 13 replies · 188+ views
    North County Times ^ | 2/2/08 | Teri Figueroa
    NORTH COUNTY ---- The regional chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is backing the San Diego Minutemen in their battle to pick up trash near a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. The civil rights group said it supports the Minutemen's efforts to win back permits to pick up freeway trash near the Interstate 5 checkpoint along Camp Pendleton and may join in the coming legal battle. "If people are surprised, they shouldn't be," David Blair-Loy, legal director of the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties, said Friday. "The ACLU defends the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for...
  • CA: Minutemen to fight being assigned new adopted highway stretch

    01/30/2008 6:30:26 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 2 replies · 93+ views
    An anti-immigration group says it will fight the state transportation department's decision to relocate their Adopt-A-Highway site away from a busy Border Patrol checkpoint to a less-traveled stretch of roadway. Early Wednesday, the San Diego Minutemen's Web site said the group was soliciting donations for a legal fund so they can sue the state over Monday's order to move their highway cleanup site from a two-mile stretch of Interstate 5, California's major north-south highway, to an area on State Road 52. The group's leader, Jeff Schwilk, said that they were "dumbfounded" by the decision. "There is absolutely no reason to...
  • Amber Alert in fifth year of saving abductees

    08/01/2007 5:02:45 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 186+ views
    Valley Press on ^ | Wednesday, August 1, 2007. | JAMES RUFUS KOREN
    On Aug. 1, 2002, California's first Amber Alert was issued for two teenage girls abducted from Quartz Hill's "lovers' lane." The program hadn't yet been signed into law, but the alerts went out on California Highway Patrol signs and over the radio, and a Caltrans employee spotted the kidnapper in Kern County. "It was really incredible," said Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster. "I don't even think Amber Alert was really up and running, but that was the first case. And it was so ironic - it was about a mile and a half from our house." Runner's husband, State Sen. George...
  • CA: Will gridlocked L.A. heed this toll call?

    06/29/2007 10:18:04 AM PDT · by calcowgirl · 26 replies · 523+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | June 29, 2007 | Rong-Gong Lin II and Steve Hymon
    The land of the freeway is poised to become a little less free. Los Angeles County transit leaders on Thursday agreed to develop plans for toll roads within the next three years, after decades of opposition to the concept of motorists paying tolls to use the roads. The decision by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board comes amid criticism that Los Angeles has not joined other metropolitan areas around the nation in experimenting with "congestion pricing," in which motorists pay to use less crowded lanes. Last month, L.A. County lost out on a major federal grant because it did not have...
  • Maze's rapid repair shows benefit of bonus

    05/24/2007 7:46:00 AM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 500+ views
    Contra Costa Times ^ | 5/24/7 | Denis Cuff
    Speedy repairs on the melted MacArthur Maze freeway section that reopens Friday in Oakland have stoked interest in expanding the use of financial bonuses to motivate Caltrans contractors to finish projects earlier. The state Senate transportation and appropriations committees will conduct hearings next month on bonuses and other possible ways to reduce lengthy highway project construction times that frustrate the public, said Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch. Torlakson said legislators' interest was piqued by the MacArthur Maze contractor, which finished the project in half the expected time to earn a $5 million bonus. "This project is a sign of what can...
  • Daniel Weintraub: Buy design? The fight over engineers at Caltrans

    04/26/2007 8:04:29 AM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies · 489+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/26/7 | Daniel Weintraub
    When California voters approved Proposition 1B last year, thus agreeing to spend billions building new roads, ramps and bridges around the state, they triggered the need to hire hundreds of professional engineers to design those projects. They also poured gas on an old debate around the Capitol: Should the state put all of those new engineers on the government payroll or use private consulting firms to perform much of the work? Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signaled last week that he likes the private option. The governor hailed a state Supreme Court ruling that ended six years of litigation by the state's...
  • Caltrans Cloaks Millions in Deals

    03/21/2007 12:58:25 PM PDT · by bd476 · 20 replies · 530+ views
    Associated Press and ABC News ^ | March 21, 2007 | MICHAEL R. BLOOD
    Caltrans Cloaks Millions in Deals Calif. Transportation Agency Labels Hundreds of Contracts `confidential' By MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press Writer The Associated Press LOS ANGELES Mar 21, 2007 (AP) - The California Transportation Department shielded from public view details of at least 290 contracts worth more than $13 million, though there is no record the agency was given authority to strike the information from state records, an Associated Press investigation has found. The contracts labeled "confidential" and in many cases awarded without competitive bidding went out between 2002 and 2006 and ranged from $10,000 to more than $1 million....
  • CA: Report: Caltrans bought many properties, then let them decay

    10/15/2006 8:31:24 PM PDT · by calcowgirl · 4 replies · 480+ views
    AP - Press-Enterprise ^ | October 15, 2006
    Hundreds of homes that California's Department of Transportation bought up for freeway projects have fallen into disrepair over the last decade, it was reported Sunday. Caltrans currently owns more than 12,000 acres of land and is landlord to 1,300 homes and businesses where people still live and work, the Orange County Register reported, citing Caltrans and other state and court documents. About 40 percent of the homes Caltrans owned and rented out in the past decade had faulty plumbing, 20 percent had leaky roofs and 6 percent had rodent infestations, according to records cited by the Orange County Register. The...
  • CA: Red tape forces out top Caltrans workers (unable to sponsor foreign engineers for green cards)

    09/10/2006 7:52:10 AM PDT · by calcowgirl · 8 replies · 271+ views
    Contra Costa Times (from Sac Bee( ^ | Sep. 10, 2006 | Susan Ferriss and Mehul Srivastava
    Foreign engineers have been vital to the construction of California's complex and mammoth highway system, but they are being pushed out of jobs with the state Department of Transportation because of a conflict between state hiring rules and federal immigration laws. Dozens of foreign engineers in the past decade have left Caltrans because their temporary work visas were going to expire . . . Ninety-eight Caltrans employees -- 75 of them engineers -- are currently on H-1B work visas that last a maximum of six years. These engineers also will be forced to leave Caltrans unless the agency can sponsor...
  • Clogged carpool lanes could force new rules (Smug Alert!)

    09/08/2006 10:36:20 PM PDT · by BurbankKarl · 53 replies · 1,028+ views
    sfgate ^ | 9.9.06 | Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Federal authorities could force Caltrans to kick hybrid vehicles out of congested carpool lanes or require drivers of non-hybrids to pick up an extra passenger to gain admission to overused lanes. And that could help unclog carpool lanes in the Bay Area, most of which have become commute-hour slogs, according to a Caltrans report compiled after more than 50,000 hybrids were given access to the lanes. The report found that carpool lanes on Interstates 80 and 880 and Highways 101, 4, 85 and 237 have gone from being relatively free-flowing routes in spring 2005 to stop-and-go congestion this past spring....
  • Bridge being built around rock slide blocking route to Yosemite

    06/22/2006 3:11:48 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 10 replies · 848+ views
    ap on Riverside Press Enterprise ^ | 6/22/06 | Juliana Barbassa - ap
    SAN FRANCISCO A bridge is being built around a rock slide that closed a main route to Yosemite National Park and disrupted business and life in the area, state transportation officials announced Thursday. The company chosen for the project, Teichert Construction, has started moving equipment and bridge parts to Highway 140, which has been blocked since April 29 by 3 million cubic yards of rock and debris. Construction can't begin until the California Department of Transportation gets all the permits needed to move through the Merced River and build on federal forest service land, but officials hope the project will...
  • Caltrans: Race Will No Longer Be A Factor In Contracts (NO MORE RACIAL QUOTAS!)

    05/05/2006 4:23:29 PM PDT · by freedomdefender · 10 replies · 799+ views
    NBC 11 ^ | May 5, 2006 | AP/NBC 11
    SACRAMENTO -- A state agency won't use race anymore when awarding contracts. The California Department of Transportation made the decision because it could not show minorities suffered discrimination in contracting, Caltrans said. The department said it took the step early this week after a recent ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set out that standard. Caltrans has had a goal of giving 10.5 percent of its federal contracting dollars to disadvantaged businesses. ...At stake is $5.1 billion for 1,400 transportation projects throughout California over the next five years. "Caltrans funds so many different projects around the state...
  • CA: Caltrans may ditch program for minority contractors

    02/08/2006 4:05:08 AM PST · by Alia · 6 replies · 418+ views
    Times Sacramento Bureau ^ | 02-07-06 | Edwin Garcia
    SACRAMENTO - Just when California is poised to ramp up road construction, Caltrans may roll back a civil rights program that has steered tens of thousands of federally funded contracts to woman- and minority-owned small businesses across the state. State Department of Transportation officials say they prefer to continue administering the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program -- which pushes contractors to give a percentage of their contracts to women and minority subcontractors -- but a federal court decision could kill the decades-old quota system. A ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May would force Caltrans to prove...
  • CA: Massive ignoring of transit - Southland officials feel Arnold's plan falls short

    01/07/2006 10:47:04 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 15 replies · 453+ views
    LA Daily News ^ | 1/7/06 | Lisa Mascaro
    Despite a population boom forecast for California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hopes to keep traffic gridlock from worsening - and even improve it from today's levels - with his $107 billion transportation plan, officials said Friday. The governor's ambitious proposal for highways and freight-moving projects - which would be funded, in part, by voter-approved bonds - is unprecedented in a region where commuters spend 93 hours a year idling in traffic. It would add 750 highway miles, 550 miles of car-pool lanes and 600 miles of commuter rail. "We think we can make a significant improvement over today's levels for the...
  • CA: Cost Of Bay Bridge Suspension Tower Could Skyrocket (project may likely cost 500 million more)

    01/05/2006 10:11:46 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 18 replies · 476+ views ^ | 1/5/06
    OAKLAND -- A federal study now under way finds the cost of building the new Bay Bridge -- specifically the signature 525-foot suspension tower -- could explode again, this time by almost half a billion dollars. Almost ten years ago, Caltrans estimated it would cost $1.3 billion dollars to replace the eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Five years ago, the state said it would in fact cost almost twice that much -- $2.5 billion -- for a new bridge. Last year, Caltrans had still another projected cost: almost $5.3 billion dollars. Wednesday night, Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss acknowledged the...
  • Appeals court reinstates $3.6 million award against Caltrans

    07/22/2005 10:28:13 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 277+ views
    AP ^ | 7/22/5
    LOS ANGELES - The state Department of Transportation must pay $3.6 million to the family of a man who was killed at a freeway offramp in Carson, a state appeals court ruled. The 2nd District Court of Appeal on Wednesday reinstated the jury award in a wrongful death lawsuit, saying the Superior Court judge who threw out the verdict and granted Caltrans' motion for a new trial failed to specify his reasoning. Caltrans spokeswoman Lesa Saville said the department believed there were grounds for a retrial and is looking at its legal options. Jose Garcia was killed in November 2000...
  • Caltrans calls welds scrutinized

    04/21/2005 7:45:57 AM PDT · by SmithL · 9 replies · 462+ views
    Contra Costa Times ^ | 4/21/5 | Mike Adamick
    Squeezed inside an enclosed box , a welder works in scorching conditions to join two steel legs that support the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. A supervisor working for the contractor checks the crucial first weld, followed by an independent inspector required to test the weld within 30 minutes. Another inspector hired by Caltrans reviews the initial inspector's paperwork to make sure everything is OK. The Caltrans-hired inspector also randomly checks about 10 percent of the welds. If substandard welds exist on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, the work would have slipped by a chain...
  • CA: Campaign gift follows Perata aid (PeRATaGate)

    04/11/2005 8:45:30 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 1 replies · 289+ views
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 4/11/05 | Josh Richman
    State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata went to bat for a West Hollywood billboard company being sued by Caltrans in 2001, and three months later received a $10,000 campaign donation from that company, documents show. The events are detailed in campaign finance records, as well as in documents Caltrans has provided under subpoena to a federal grand jury investigating possible public corruption on the part of Perata, D-Oakland, now California's most powerful elected Democrat. "There is no, nor will there ever be, any inappropriate connection between Senator Perata's legislative activity and any political contributions he happens to receive on...
  • CA: Scrutiny halts bridge work (Bay Bridge brouhaha heats up..)

    04/08/2005 9:50:19 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 24 replies · 556+ views
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 4/8/05 | Sean Holstege and Steve Geissinger
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger became the highest-level official to call for investigations of Bay Bridge construction as Caltrans ordered a halt to a welding operation that is part of an FBI fraud probe that widened Thursday. Caltrans Director Will Kempton ordered Bay Bridge construction team KFM Joint Venture to cancel a concrete pour over four of the remaining footings where workers allege shoddy welds are being done. Kempton also called for a reinspection of all the welds that would have been buried by the pour, even as the state agency and KFM insist that the nearly 5,000 welds were done properly...
  • CA: FBI probes bridge welds (Bay Bridge, allegations made by 15 welders alleging bad welds)

    04/06/2005 9:17:01 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 29 replies · 1,351+ views
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 4/6/05 | Sean Holstege and Jill Tucker
    The new Bay Bridge is riddled with defective welds, 15 welders told the Oakland Tribune in a nine-month investigation - allegations that could lead to criminal fraud charges. The welders' claims have prompted an FBI investigation. In the worst case, the federal probe could lead to tearing apart the bridge to see if it is structurally sound or needs to be rebuilt. The FBI began investigating allegations in February that welders were "encouraged or instructed to save time by producing substandard welds," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Mershon of the bureau's San Francisco division. The bureau is investigating...
  • CA: Million-dollar problems plague Caltrans' work (Benicia bridge concrete snafu/brouhaha)

    04/02/2005 12:34:33 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 614+ views
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 4/2/05 | Sean Holstege
    The experimental lightweight concrete on the new Benicia Bridge is not drying properly, and Caltrans says it may need $130 million to correct the problem. It is only the latest in a series of snafus that have plagued the new Interstate 680 span and caused costs to shoot up from an official estimate of $385 million in 1999 to $1.06 billion before Caltrans' discovery this week. First, poor rock quality under the Carquinez Strait slowed and complicated the construction of foundations. Then, noise from the work unexpectedly killed endangered fish. Then, Caltrans design mistakes, including failing to prepare for construction...
  • Lui's Boo Boo? - Letter to Star News April 1, 2005 (No joke!). (California AB 1617)

    04/01/2005 2:45:39 PM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 1 replies · 184+ views ^ | April 1, 2005 | Wayne Lusvardi
    Liu's Boo Boo? Has California Assemblywoman Carol Liu unintentionally committed a boo-boo in seeking to change the way Caltrans surplus homes are sold? Liu's modifications to Assembly Bill 1617 by State Senator David Roberti would provide flexibility for Cal Trans to convert the 450 homes along the dormant 710-Freeway route to affordable units or resell the homes and use the sales proceeds to fund affordable housing within a two-mile radius. The proposed legislation violates state-adopted General Plans, usurps home rule and CEQA, and would be rife with corruption. For more go to: The Pasadena Pundit