Sunday, April 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Plans for Highway 12 in east county take shape

By
From page A1 | January 31, 2013 |

hwy 12 study 1_25_13

A new study proposes a revamping of this narrow stretch of Highway 12 west of Rio Vista. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

RIO VISTA — Highway 12 in western Rio Vista carries about 15,000 vehicles daily – about 1,200 of them trucks – yet is narrow and has no shoulders.

This two-mile stretch looks more like a country road than a major highway linking the Central Valley and Bay Area. The state Department of Transportation has installed plastic median posts every few feet to discourage passing, but trucks squeezing along the road often knock them down.

The final version of a multiple-agency Highway 12 study proposes a big change. By 2020, this stretch should be reconstructed so that it has standard-sized lanes, shoulders and a concrete median barrier, the study says. Money must still be found.

Jan Vick, a Rio Vista resident, former Rio Vista mayor and secretary of the Highway 12 Association, sees this as good news. The grassroots association meets regularly to discuss Highway 12 issues and the narrow stretch in west Rio Vista is a major concern.

“We’re trying to get it on the radar and this study helps us,” Vick said.

The study is the culmination of a three-year effort to come up with a master plan for Highway 12 from Highway 29 in Napa County to Interstate 5 in San Joaquin County. Participating agencies are the state Department of Transportation, Solano Transportation Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the San Joaquin Council of Governments and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

Highway 12 between Suisun City and the Rio Vista Bridge for years had the reputation of being a local “blood alley” because of deaths and injuries from head-on collisions. That began to change about five years ago, with Caltrans making such improvements as adding temporary concrete K-rail in the median near Suisun City, adding plastic median posts in other, narrower stretches and widening a section near the Western Railway Museum. The state made Highway 12 a double-fine zone for traffic violations.

The stretch of Highway 12 east of Rio Vista through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Sacramento and San Joaquin counties has also been a safety concern. It is a two-lane road with no median barrier.

Some Highway 12 advocates have wanted to see the two-lane highway turned into a four-lane highway with a concrete median divider from Suisun City to Interstate 5 near Lodi. The study doesn’t go that far in its recommendations.

It proposes an $87 million list of “short-term” projects to be done between 2015 and 2020. They are to:

  • Reconstruct the highway in western Rio Vista from Summerset Drive to Drouin Drive.
  • Make the section in the Rio Vista business district safer for bicyclists and walkers and improve the landscaping and streetscape there.
  • Use technology to measure traffic conditions so emergency crews can respond faster to accidents and motorists can find out travel times.
  • Decide what to do about the Rio Vista Bridge, including whether a taller, four-lane bridge should be built at a different location, taking Highway 12 out of the Rio Vista business district. Another option is to keep the present Highway 12 alignment and bring traffic under the Sacramento River in a tunnel.
  • Make improvements to the Rio Vista and Mokelumne drawbridges, such as replacing aging equipment.

The list of “long-term” projects from 2020 to 2035 calls for such things as building interchanges at Beck and Pennsylvania avenues in Fairfield, installing a permanent median barrier from Suisun City to Highway 113, widening Highway 12 to four lanes from Highway 113 through Rio Vista, building a new, four-lane Rio Vista Bridge and adding a median barrier along the stretch east of Rio Vista through the Delta.

None of these ideas is new. Robert Macaulay, director of planning for the Solano Transportation Authority, said a newly released version of the study has no significant changes from a draft that came out last year.

“We finally have the nice, polished version ready to go,” Macaulay said.

Various agencies involved in the study met over the past few years as an ad-hoc Highway 12 corridor advisory committee. Macaulay foresees them making a more formal effort to push the Highway 12 study forward.

Meanwhile, that short-term recommendation for deciding the long-term fate of the Rio Vista Bridge hinges partly on Rio Vista. Macaulay said Rio Vista needs to state its preference among the Rio Vista Bridge options before work can be done on an environmental impact report.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 8 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • CD BrooksJanuary 31, 2013 - 9:11 am

    Highway 12 is a road by which we travel but the road is not the problem. Highway 12 much like guns doesn’t kill people, idi*ts do. I have driven that road in cars and trucks a thousand times and had my share of close calls. There needs to be improvements but that alone isn’t enough. Driver education is lacking thanks to parents exhibiting inept “skills” while their kids are the captive audience. There is no end to the stu*idity we see every day from people sanctimoniously trashing the Vehicle Code as they blindly hurtle their 5000 pound weapon down the road. I spoke with a parent at my grandkid’s school yesterday complaining about a woman speeding by as he was helping his little girl out of the car. He gestured like “really?” and the woman flipped him off! Parents: WTF? You are dashing through residential and school zones with your own child and recklessly endangering others? You are complete imb*ciles and need to be addressed as this gentleman and I discussed. Our roads certainly need work, but all the safety nets, all the education and beautiful asphalt will do nothing unless we have cops in large enough numbers to cite these idi*ts careening through our cities while performing unsafe passing/ recklessness on rural roads. So go ahead and make the improvements, but first get these offenders on the same page. We can generate a LOT of revenue and make folks more aware with zero tolerance, full time traffic divisions that will keep us safer in the interim. BTW, the speed limit on Highway 12 is 55MPH. I drive that speed out there so when you come up on me, back off or safely go around without the “salute,” thank you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Yes, take their license if can't drive 55January 31, 2013 - 10:29 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4IshbLp6es

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Oh.......Mr. Brooks!January 31, 2013 - 10:34 am

    Chicken.....So KWed or MHed....Do tell!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ADAMJuly 10, 2014 - 7:46 am

    to mr brooks... the issues you brought up are true. people do make rash and unfortunatly sometimes fatal decisions on the road. there are many contributing factors to the problem however. such as an ageing infrastructure that was not designed to handle anything near the amount of traffic that is seen today. realisticly, hwy 12 was designed to handle a few hundred vehicles a day not the thousands that it currently sees. another issue is authorities and decision makers that cant do just that....make a decision! fix the problem and stop this reactive band-aid approach to improving 12. as far as the drivers go.. ultimatly decisions drivers make on the road are their responsability. however, that being said.the culture of "enforcement" among authorities is somewhat one sided we concentrate all of our attention to violators who drive wrecklessly or speed but we turn a blind eye to other types of violations...how many times have you been on 12 stuck behind someone. who for whatever reason, be it mild vigilanteism, rudeness, or just becouse they think its funny. drives 10, 15, or on many occasions 20 mph below the speed limit on 12 with no weather issues or traffic in front of them for miles? failing to pull over and let vehicles pass when you will not or can not ttravel the speed limit is a violation of the vehicle code as well as speeding is. should one law be ignored by officials and another enforced just becouse of the danger involved in the latter? ive personally witnessed many drivers on the 12 take unnecessary risks just out of the pure frustration of driving 40 mph in the 55mph zone for miles on end. the point im trying to make is the problems and the answers are not as one sided as to blame speeders or other violators for the problems of 12. there are many contributing factors. the rigion is growing faster than the infrastructure can keep up, and we need innovative solutions

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 10, 2014 - 8:33 am

    Adam, I appreciate your comments and I agree. Apologies if I am repeating myself. After many years driving in different equipment, differing conditions and places, there is very little I have not encountered. Of course it is the driver’s responsibility to drive legally and safely. There is no minimum speed limit in California and although frustrating at times, there is nothing stopping folks from driving at what they believe is a safe speed. You can encounter that on any road and it is not at all uncommon for some folks to stay their course remaining to the left instead of moving over when passing lanes are available. My problem is when driving the posted limit of 55mph I don’t deserve to be hassled by somebody wanting to drive much faster. Don’t get me started on the myth known as “enforcement.” There is very little if any and that goes to traffic and other issues. I have seen as many as 12 CHP out there and as few most often as zero. I wish there were 12 every day all day. I wish there was 24/7 traffic enforcement here in Fairfield until there is we will continue to see more of the same. AND crime of all sorts will continue to rise. You want innovative solutions? Highway 12 needs 4 lanes, lights, barriers and a 65 mph limit. And it should have been done long ago. As far as driving? You can’t legislate stupid that is evident on any street in any city any time of any day.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Speaking of SpeedJanuary 31, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    Cehck this out...DoD: Army Successfully Tests Top Secret Hypersonic Weapon..abcnews A Defense spokesperson would not say how similar the Army's AHW program is to the hypersonic jet tested -- and momentarily lost -- by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in August. That jet was designed to travel at a blistering Mach 20, fast enough to travel from Los Angeles and New York in just 12 minutes.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 31, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    FDC, hello Sir, long time no hear from! Thank yo and I agree, we need to step up the penalties! Have a good day!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Children enjoy day of fishing at Fairfield pond

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano cities celebrate Earth Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Hard-fought battle ends in victory

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Those addictive, terrible, wonderful smartphones

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Expo shows Kroc Center fun for whole Framily

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Police, faith groups look to change troubled neighborhoods

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Edibles in your landscape

By Daily Republic | From Page: C4

CHP offers free class for senior drivers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Supervisors consider changes in various county fees

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

Suisun police execute tobacco sting

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Covered California offers Solano enrollment events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Patrons raise a glass to toast a good cause

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Walk MS hits stride along Suisun waterfront

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Weather for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Be wary of next ‘big’ thing

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

Pay close attention to investment costs

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
.

US / World

With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Remains of dismembered newborn found in South Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
‘Operation Babylift’ kids, soldiers reunite 40 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Aden hit by coalition airstrikes amid fierce street battles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mother in custody dispute freed after 8 years behind bars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

A dozen arrested as Freddie Gray protests turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

European authorities stop illegal horse meat network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italian navy rescues 274 from migrant ship off Libyan coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Warrior pose: Yoga catching on as therapy for veterans’ PTSD

By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

Toll climbs after powerful quake hits Nepal: Things to Know

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

How can we give them more?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Primary challenge could force Harris’ hand

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Sound off for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Corruption tarnishes values of our ancestors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Obama sides with enemy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Who’s asleep at the switch?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in history: Sunday, April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Brides show short wedding gowns more of the love

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Community Calendar: April 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Vatican goes on offensive to defend US-Spanish saint

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
You get what you need with Jesus

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

 
How can I trust my husband after he texted a younger woman behind my back?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

Horoscope: April 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Veterinarians are too expensive, and it puts pets at risk

By The Washington Post | From Page: C5

Old standby body-weight training still has moves

By The Washington Post | From Page: C7

 
Milan spiffs up for Expo 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
More copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir being printed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amber Tamblyn writes book of poetry about dead actresses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Giants beat Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors complete sweep with 109-98 win over Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Athletics drop 3rd straight game, 9-3 to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rain postpones NASCAR race at Richmond until Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bulldogs get 10-0 baseball win over Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Canadian teen Henderson has 1-shot lead in LPGA Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Klitschko outpoints Jennings to defend heavyweight titles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Schumacher’s son makes strong Formula 4 debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US routs Canada 7-2 in semifinal at under-18 hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Watford back in Premier League after 8-year absence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Several Kentucky Derby hopefuls get workouts in before rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Levy falters at Volvo China Open; 4 tied for lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam team to lead Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Compton, Day top leaderboard in rain-plagued Zurich Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suzuki breaks Oh’s record for runs by a Japanese player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A’s place Ben Zobrist on disabled list with knee injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hometown report: Bicycle racing, youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Bowling report for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Bayless’ layup at buzzer gives Bucks 92-90 win over Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Grizzlies hold off a late Trail Blazers rally to go up 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Sports on TV for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Veggies take center plate as healthy fast food chains expand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
What’s in a hotel name? Guests try to decipher the mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Is ice cream safe? Federal health officials say yes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
Don’t panic, college seniors: Jobs for grads likely to grow

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Nicole Herdia Spann

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Reginald Morris Davis

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics