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Transportation projects get state funding boost

Road and rail projects in San Joaquin County are set to receive about $30 million of the $359 million in transportation funding announced by state officials Wednesday.

For drivers, about $10 million will be used to make improvements to Highway 4 in the Delta west of Stockton. The Bacon Island Rehabilitation Project covers about 12 miles' worth of road, widening and upgrading intersections, adding shoulder and median rumble strips, upgrading drainage and repaving where needed.

For rail passengers, $20.5 million is headed toward building 3.8 miles of double railroad track between Stockton and Escalon. It will improve the on-time performance of Amtrak's San Joaquin routes using the tracks, according to the California Transportation Commission. The route connects Stockton to Sacramento, Oakland and Bakersfield.

Downtown Stockton Alliance shifts to new plug-in electric vehicles for maintenance fleet

The Downtown Stockton Alliance has switched to an all-electric fleet of maintenance vehicles. A nearly $100,000 grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District allowed the switch to the new Polaris Ranger buggies, which may be small, but are capable of hauling up to 1,700 pounds in cargo.    They're even four-wheel drive.

Even the drivers are still sometimes surprised when they fire up their buggies and are met with virtual silence.

"This is such a step up," worker Brandon Trahan said as he and his partner pressure-washed graffiti off a San Joaquin Street structure.

It'll be quieter, and it should be cheaper. Last year the alliance burned through $17,000 in gas for its John Deere vehicles. Maintenance costs were also increasing as those vehicles got older.

Now some of that gas money can be spent on other things, Trahan said.

"It allows us to do more for the community," he said.

ACE commuter rail looks to expand- holding public open houses

ACE commuter rail looks to expand- holding public open houses

  The Altamont Corridor Express passenger train service, which now runs between Stockton in the Central Valley and San Jose in Silicon Valley, is planning to expand.

The project includes improving existing service and extending new ACE rail service to downtown Modesto by as early as 2018 and to Merced by as early as 2022.

The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission is holding five public scoping meetings over the next two weeks to get public comment on its plans, which it calls "ACEforward."

The SJRRC and the Federal Rail Administration are jointly preparing an Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the ACEforward program in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. 

The meetings will be open houses and attendees can drop by anytime during the three hour meetings. Public scoping meetings will be held at the following locations:

High Speed Rail Sheds Altamont Corridor

•  Transfers leadership and funding to San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission

•  “We can expedite improvements at the local level”

If commuter rail service between San Joaquin County and Silicon Valley is to improve, it’s now on the shoulders of the Stockton-based San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority board of directors has transferred full leadership and funding for rail planning in the Altamont Corridor to the commission.

How much money, if any, will transfer has not been announced.

The Altamont Corridor Express, which connects the Central Valley and Silicon Valley via the Altamont Corridor and serves a million commuters per year, is run by the commission.

Ramp closures planned on Highway 99 this week

Ramp closures planned on Highway 99 this week

Drivers travelling on Highway 99 through Stockton or Woodbridge may experience some delays due to ramp closures this week.

The Woodbridge Road offramp will be closed through Friday, June 7 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for road maintenance on northbound 99.

The Mariposa Road exit and entrance in both directions on Highway 99 in Stockton, in addition to both entrance and exit ramps for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on southbound 99, will also be closed Wednesday through Friday from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. 

Winter Holiday Avoid DUI Campaign

Winter Holiday Avoid DUI Campaign

The Winter Holiday Anti-DUI crackdown has resulted in a significant number of DUI arrests from local routine traffic enforcement and special Avoid the 10 DUI deployments during the past several days in San Joaquin County.

From 12:01 AM Friday December 14, 2012 through Midnight Monday December 31, 2012 officers representing 10 county law enforcement agencies have arrested 133 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  In 2011 130 DUI arrests occurred during the 2012 holiday campaign time period.

For the final night of the campaign there are no special operations planned until Super Bowl Sunday.   CHP are deploying all available officers for their Maximum Enforcement Period during the holiday weekend ending midnight tonight.  All regularly scheduled traffic and patrol officers will focus efforts at stopping and arresting DUI drivers during their normal shifts through the weekend. 

Multiple DUI Driver’s License Che

Parking meters going digital in Stockton

From the City of Stockton.

The City of Stockton is upgrading all parking meters in downtown Stockton.  Beginning in January 2012, the Central Parking District will begin converting older mechanical models with new digital internal mechanisms and displays.  With the new installment, parking meter rates will increase.  Current parking meter rates range from .25 cents to .50 cents per hour.  Rates will increase to $1.00 per hour for all parking meters when the meters are upgraded.