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Sixteen Interstates That The DOT SHOULD Build: FOCUS: California Turnpike: Interstate 405

First of all allow me to note that this is merely a working route designation but one route I have studied for some 25 years. You read that right: I have been researching this route back to the early 1980s.
Anyway this is a look, and a real serious look at that, and in light of the recent proposals from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about a 10-year, $222bn series of projects, this is one proposal that would fit well into his plan.
This route would total in the neighbourhood of 330 to 350 miles and would form the most direct connection possible between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
And even the standards themselves would be phenomenal: Imagine a tollway that would best any German autobahn and allow people to drive as fast as they want...in the Golden State.
This route would consist of the following standards:
In rural areas, ie in Los Angeles county north of San Fernando where it meets the San Diego and Golden State Freeways and through Ventura, Kern, Kings, Fresno, San Benito, and Santa Clara counties up to the Gilroy area each carriageway would have three 20-foot-wide lanes and a 20-foot hard shoulder on each side (100ft total) separated by a 50-foot central reservation, with a 20-foot greenbelt alongside the right hard shoulder of each dual carriageway and a 30-foot area for pedestrians, bicyclists, mopeds, and even beasts of burden, with water stations every 10 miles and at each junction.
In urban areas, specifically from Gilroy alongside San Jose and Milpitas to Castro Valley, the central reservation would be replaced by a media barrier about four feet in height and spaced more closely between carriageways, maybe to as little as 6ft between them.
Each overcrossing would have a minimum height of 25 feet
At the junction with Interstate 580 the toll portion would end for a short distance and the I-405 would be cosigned with the I-580 until the latter splits off toward Oakland.
Meanwhile the I-405 replaces a controversial route, Interstate 238, which has been cited as an extreme violation of the AASHTO scheme on its way to the new San Bruno Bridge which connects San Leandro to San Bruno then forms a new toll route on the San Francisco Peninsula and through southern San Francisco past Colma and the Cow Palace and directly to the Golden Gate Park then improving State Highway 1 to the Golden Gate Bridge. This route would even provide some needed traffic relief for the City by the Bay on top of some toll revenues for local traffic infrastructure and even eliminating Interstate 238.
And let's have a look at the funding formula for the I-405/California Turnpike-San Bruno Bridge-Peninsula Turnpike.
After the operating and construction costs are paid for the funds should be distributed as follows:
The surpluses are to be split into two even portions:
One half for general state highway funding and revenues
One half for distribution to the counties in a mileage based formula.
And here is how the mileage based formula works:
The money is distributed to each of the counties on the corridor based upon how many miles are located in a county. For example Kern County would receive more turnpike money than would San Francisco or San Benito because of the distances of tollway within those respective counties.
But that money would come with the following requirements:
(1) At least HALF the money MUST go toward ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND IMPROVEMENT projects WITHIN 10 MILES of the turnpike.
(2) At least HALF the remaining money MUST go toward ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND IMPROVEMENT projects within the county.
(3) No more than ONE QUARTER of the money may go toward ANY NON-ROAD CONSTRUCTION or NON-ROAD IMPROVEMENT projects, INCLUDING public transit.
And any county that violated that scheme would find their monies withheld for the next budget year.
Anyway here is a look at a typical junction that would be used in the turnpike...

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As you can see from the enlarged image at the left there is a significant length of overcrossing needed for effectively handling high-speed entrances. A central toll plaza sits at a location about five miles north of Devils Den. To the right sits a road map of central California with Interstate 405/California Turnpike-San Bruno Bridge-Peninsula Turnpike.
And now let's check the junction list:
Starting NORTH from San Fernando:
CA23-126/I-30 Fillmore
CA138 (Extended via Gorman and Frazier Park)
CA33-166 Maricopa/Ventura/Santa Maria
CA119 Fellows
CA58 McKittrick/Bakersfield/Santa Margarita
I-40 (Extended from Barstow) Bakersfield/San Luis Obispo
CA46 Lost Hills/Paso Robles
Devils Den
CA41 Kettleman City/Fresno/Paso Robles
CA269 Utica
CA198/I-66(not listed on this map) San Lucas/Coalinga/Visalia
I-68 Salinas/Monterey/Fresno
San Benito County J1 Idria
CA156 Hollister
CA 152 Gilroy/Los Banos
SR85/I-470 Los Gatos
I-70 San Jose/Merced
CA130 San Jose/Alum Rock
I-680 San Jose/Sacramento
CA84 Sunol/Pleasanton
I-580 Fresno/Oakland
San Bruno Bridge
US101/I-380 San Francisco International Airport
Grand Avenue/Colma
Cow Palace
Geneva Avenue/Mission Street/CA82/Daly City
I-280 Junipero Serra Freeway/Bay Bridge/Daly City
Portola Drive/Mount Davidson Park
Seventh Avenue
Golden Gate Park/Fulton Street/CA1 SOUTH/Daly City
California Street
And now let's talk tolls. The California Turnpike would require a total toll of roughly $10 for the entire route and $2 for the peninsula route, that is if the entire route were to be travelled. I used the Will Rogers Turnpike in Oklahoma as a role model for this turnpike as well as those tolls correspond more or less with those of the I-44 of northeastern Oklahoma.
And the San Bruno Bridge should be priced at 99 cents for all vehicles. THAT should help relieve traffic on the Transbay (I-80).
Turnpike regulations would be as follows:
Maximum height: 24 feet 6 inches
Maximum width: 18 feet
Minimum speed: 50 mi/h
Maximum speed: NONE
Pedestrians, Bicycles, Mopeds, Animal transport MUST use adjacent paths
Admittedly extending the I-405 appears to defeat the purpose of a 3di loop. I say it enhances it further as it takes heavy traffic off of the overburdened US101, US99, and the I-5, provides a perfect route for vehicles carrying hazardous chemicals, boosts economic opportunities, and brings about the most direct SF/LA routing ever. AND it relieves the overburdened I-680 and I-880 to boot!
Of course we do not have to stick with the I-405: If some creativity were undertaken an I-580 extension south to LA is possible...with another x80 3di for LA County, the I-480 coming back! You say, the 480 has too many bad memories for San Francisco.
So make it LA's problem. >:-)
Also there is the prospect of an I-3 in the Southeast but if that fails then there is always the prospect of extending the California Turnpike through Concord and Vallejo toward Santa Rosa to terminate at US101 north of town and having that routed I-3 as well as the San Diego Freeway, thus releasing some of the I-580 between Hayward and Tracy for the new I-405 which now becomes an east/west into San Francisco.
And then there are the state routes that are not presently being used, CA11, CA21, CA77, CA81, CA93 to name just a few.
But the main point remains that the California Turnpike, with or without the extended I-405 designation, fits in very well with Governor Schwarzenegger's plans.
And I will have the next route on my hot list later.


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