Corridor Improvement Plan approved
He said as the corridor will become a viable alternative that will grow for years to come to serve not only the north state’s economic needs, but security needs and the economic needs of this country.
But at the same time, Chapman said the potential impacts have to be recognized. Truck traffic, specifically on Townhill, is a safety issue. Chapman said the traffic will only magnify as the corridor plan comes to fruition.
The corridor plan was done in response to bond measure Proposition 1B, the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality and Port Security Act, which was approved by voters in Nov. 2006. Prop 1B will make safety improvements and repairs to state highways, upgrade freeways to reduce traffic congestion, repair local streets and roads, improve highways along major transportation corridors, improves safety of local bridges, expands public transit, helps complete California’s network of car pool lanes, reduces air pollution, and improves anti-terrorism security at shipping ports.
The corridor stretches from Arcata to Reno and incorporates Highways 44, 36, and 395.
Laura Rose, of Caltrans system planning, said, “The purpose of working with LCTC and its technical advisory committee during the development of the corridor plan is to provide a place for public input and comment regarding concepts and issues to be included in the draft. By adopting a resolution, indicates agreement with the overall concept of the plan and indicated willingness to consider this plan during the development and updates of future plans.”
Scott White, of Caltrans System Planning, said in the past, Caltrans has planned its projects by a specific route, or planning has been through city, county and transportation commission levels. However, Prop 1B looks at a corridor rather than a jurisdiction of boundaries or a certain route. Caltrans looked at all the jurisdiction planning documents to develop a view of the entire corridor and overall mobility between Arcata and Reno including both state and local roads.
White said one of the keys with the corridor management plan is to demonstrate there is a logical investment strategy in this corridor by various agencies involved, looking at recent past projects, current projects and next highest priority key projects.
“One of the key reasons that we are trying to do this is to put ourselves in a better position to compete for additional funding in the future,” he said.
Rose said the plan will be updated periodically to include the changing needs of the partnering agencies.
The intent of the document is to serve as a resource. The layout of the plan is intended to identify the greatest needs within the corridor, and seek a balance strategy of mobility of both major roads and state and local roads.
Caltrans began working on a draft document last May with local and regional agencies.
The plan was presented during the Monday, Nov. 5 meeting and Chapman expressed his concern about the possible increase of traffic and said the corridor plan did not address the potential impact it would have on Townhill.
During the January meeting, Rose said the plan was adjusted to incorporate Townhill.
Also in the plan are access management studies including Highway 36 to Highway 395, this is a cooperative partnership between Caltrans, Lassen County Regional Transportation Agency and the City of Susanville along with public participation to better look at options for the future facility of the roadway, Rose said.
Options include expanding the road into a four-lane divided expressway. Goals will be to identify potential locations for parallel local routes, logical connection points.
Another study under way is the Susanville Relief Route study, which will examine the alternatives to improve corridor operation by allowing some traffic to utilize an alternate route from Highway 36 through Susanville. The Townhill grade will continue to be a focus for improvement, she said.
Identified highway needs in Lassen County within the next 20 years include expanding a four-lane road from Highway 36 to Highway 395.
Potential roadway rehabilitation include the preservation projects at the junction of Highway 36 and 44, Highway 395 near Johnstonville and Highway 395 north of the Sierra and Lassen county borders.
The 2005/2006 Lassen County Regional Transportation Plan can be used as an additional resource to identify other programmed and proposed projects in Lassen County, Rose said.
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