Welcome to the third issue of the 2009 California Transportation Journal. I think you will find an interesting mix of stories in this edition.
Mehdi Morshed, Executive Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, writes about the electric-powered train that someday may speed Californians — at up to 220 mph — between San Francisco and Sacramento at the northern end of California, to Los Angeles and San Diego in the south. This project represents the California of tomorrow.
California is also making history today with its $5.5 billion reconstruction project on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Caltrans Public Information Officer Bart Ney explains how the bridge has drawn significant interest from the global Internet community.
Another story by Michael Samadian, a Caltrans Senior Transportation Engineer, discusses a technique pioneered by Caltrans and the University of California, Berkeley, which makes pavement rehabilitation projects more efficient.
We also have a story about new floral designs on California highways. An innovative public-private relationship allows for-profit firms to help the State brighten its highways, while maintaining and preserving the roadsides of California’s vast highway system — at no cost to the State.
I also want to remind both those within, and outside of, Caltrans that safety is one of my top priorities. I thank Governor Schwarzenegger for signing the “move over” legislation, which requires vehicles to change to the adjacent lane, if safe, when Caltrans flashes its amber lights.
As this issue of the California Transportation Journal was being prepared for publication, two Caltrans employees — Maria Garza and Jose Lopez — suffered critical injuries on Interstate 15 in San Diego while removing litter. They were struck by a distracted motorist. Both have a long road to recovery and we wish them our best. This incident underscores the urgent importance I give to safety, along with the appropriateness, and timeliness, of the “move over” legislation.
That’s all the space I have in this issue. I hope you enjoy what we have to offer.