It’s Road Construction Season On I-5

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You do know that Interstate 5 in and near Redding is going to be a minor mess for a while, right? But all the work is for the sake of better traffic flow and safer conditions.

The two biggest and, for a period, most disruptive projects are the improvements to the I-5 and Highway 44 interchange, and the addition of a lane in each direction on I-5 from that interchange to Bonnyview Road. The $5.9 million interchange project involves adding a southbound lane on I-5 to eliminate the very tight merge and weave that we’ve all griped about for years. Work is well underway, with construction scheduled through the fall, according to Caltrans.

Construction could begin as early as this May on the $22.5 million project to widen I-5. That project will last until about the fall of 2012.

A separate project that just got started is the replacement, upgrade and installation of metal beam guard rails along the highway at various locations from Dunsmuir to Cottonwood. This is another project that will extend to the fall of 2012.

Installation of a cable median barrier and drainage work on a 4-mile stretch of interstate north and south of Knighton Road is scheduled to begin in late spring. The cables reduce what Caltrans calls “cross median accidents.” Sounds like something to avoid.

Finally, Caltrans intends to lay fiber optic cable from Anderson to the I-5/44 interchange to improve the area’s transportation management system of highway cameras, message signs, highway advisories and such. Eventually, the fiber optic cable will extend to the Caltrans District 2 office on Riverside Drive in Redding.

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Crash and click … If you’re in a fender-bender in Redding, you may retrieve the Redding Police Department traffic collision report online. Reports for all crashes except those involving special circumstances, such as hit-and-run and fatalities, will be available at www.mycollisionreport.com. The cost to retrieve and print out the report is $15. Of course, you may still pick up the same report at the police department office.

Learn and lead … Leadership Redding is seeking applicants for its class of 2011-12. The program involves 10 sessions focusing on specific parts of the community once a month from September 2011 through June 2012. The application deadline is March 31. Details and an application are on the Leadership Redding website.

Fore a good cause … Shasta Area Red Cross is seeking sponsors and players for its second annual golf tournament, scheduled for April 29 at Gold Hills Golf Course. Sponsorships start at $200 and registration is $100 per player for the four-player scramble. For details, call the Red Cross at (530) 244-8000.

No actual whiskey … The National Park Service is seeking volunteers to help staff the visitor center at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Volunteers greet visitors, answer lots of questions (yes, you really do need a parking pass, no, you may not ride your motorcycle on the Buck Hollow Trail) and sell maps, books and souvenirs. A commitment of at least four hours a week is required. To learn more, contact the park’s volunteer manager at (530) 242-3421.

In excellent (public) health … The Shasta County Public Health Advisory Board is seeking nominations for its annual excellence in public health awards. People who have been involved in policy development, organizational change and community education would make good candidates, according to organizers. The deadline for nominations is March 31. Details and a nomination form are available right here.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and spends half of his waking hours driving I-5. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

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has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.
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