California Department of Transportation
 

California Department of Transportation

Date: September 30, 2013
District: 10
Contact: Chantel Miller
Phone: (209) 948-3930

CALTRANS MAKING STATE ROUTE 12 AND INTERSTATE 5
SAFER AND SMARTER

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY Caltrans announced today that work is being completed on a $21 million project creating a “smart corridor” using Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)  technology on State Route 12 in Solano, Sacramento, and San Joaquin counties and on Interstate 5 in San Joaquin County.

“This technology will make these highways safer for everyone and provide motorists real-time information they can use to make smart choices and steer clear of traffic incidents, roadwork, and bad weather,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

The ITS equipment includes five electronic message signs and four closed-circuit television cameras installed collectively on SR-12 and I-5 that will help drivers make informed travel decisions. Nearly 2,300 Caltrans cameras monitor freeways across California. These cameras offer live streaming video available to the public via the web at http://video.dot.ca.gov.

The project also expanded the existing park and ride lot at SR-12/Thornton Road and improved key intersections at Tower Park Way, Glasscock Road, Correia Road, and Guard Road, resulting in better traffic flow and safer conditions.

“This project opening is an important step but just one of the steps in the continuing effort to improve safety, operations and maintenance of SR-12 in San Joaquin County,” said San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) Executive Director Andrew Chesley.

Workers are gearing up to start construction on a highly-anticipated $47 million safety project on Bouldin Island that will construct a concrete median barrier on SR-12 to prevent vehicles from straying into oncoming traffic. The project will also widen the highway shoulders, providing a safe area for motorists and law enforcement to pull over when needed. In addition, Caltrans will replace an old section of the highway between the Potato Slough Bridge and the Mokelumne River Bridge with new, smoother pavement.

Since 2007, Caltrans has taken action and implemented many measures to make
SR-12 safer:

  • Additional signs encouraging motorists to “Save Lives Not Minutes” and “Pass with Care” have been installed
  • Passing areas have been removed in various locations to prevent motorists from passing on the two-lane highway
  • Radar speed signs were set up
  • Rumble strips were installed to alert drivers when they start to drift across the centerline or veer off the highway
  • The double fine zone has been extended through the end of 2013

The project announcements were made today at an event held by Caltrans, SJCOG, San Joaquin County, and the city of Lodi. Friends and family of Dana Cowell, a former Caltrans and SJCOG employee, attended the ceremony to dedicate a five-mile portion of SR-12 from Potato Slough Bridge to I-5 as the “Dana Cowell Memorial Highway.”

“Dedicating the highway in memory of Dana is a fitting tribute and will keep his accomplishments and memory alive,” said Dougherty.

Drivers elsewhere in California also benefit from smart corridor projects and ITS technology:  

  • The Interstate 80 Smart Corridor: In 2012, work began on an $80 million technology-laden project on I-80 in the Bay Area. When completed, traffic signals on surface streets will be in better synch with onramp meters and computerized highway signs, helping cars and buses better share the road during rush hour.
  • The San Mateo Smart Corridor: Caltrans and 10 San Mateo cities are partners in this project. Electronic message signs will guide motorists through detour routes during incidents; sensors will provide information about the volume of traffic; and closed-circuit TV cameras will allow Caltrans and the cities to look at the traffic flow and determine the most effective way to reroute motorists during major congestion.
  • Smart Message Signs: This summer, Caltrans used smart electronic message signs to let motorists know about traffic incidents and roadwork while it worked on State Route 60 in the heart of Los Angeles.
  • QuickMap: This year, Caltrans created and launched an exciting ITS innovation called QuickMap. From the Caltrans website (www.dot.ca.gov) the public can access images from nearly 1,000 freeway cameras and see messages posted on more than 700 electronic highway message signs using an interactive map that displays incidents, lane closures, traffic speeds, and more on roadways throughout the state of California.

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