The Sacramento Bee » Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated when the California Transportation Commission voted, despite a host of warnings, to pay a contractor more than $1 billion to build two tunnels and a stretch of road outside San Francisco nine years ago. Now the project, known as the Presidio Parkway, is more than two years late and $208 million over budget. When the commission approved another $34 million in delay-related spending last month, two commissioners who originally opposed the project lamented their predictions had come true. “This has been a fiasco from the beginning,” Commissioner Bob Alvarado said at the March 14 meeting.
Inverse » Elon Musk is getting dug into the nitty-gritty of city politics. The Boring Company, a venture the entrepreneur started two years ago, has been aiming to convince local legislators that the answers to their traffic woes is building lots of tunnels. City officials from Sydney to New York have mixed reactions, now that an initial 1.14-mile test tunnel (cost: $10 million) has been opened for assessment.
American Journal of Transportation » A new U.S. report, using advanced analytic software, says waves and storm surges are gaining momentum from sea level rise and collectively pose a more immediate threat than was previously believed. The result could be serious damage to California coastal cities and ports by 2040. Elaine Forbes, executive director for the Port of San Francisco, said that rising sea levels are already threatening downtown San Francisco and Port property requiring the construction of a new sea wall. The projected cost: $5 billion.
The New York Times » California’s newly installed governor, Gavin Newsom, in his first major address to lawmakers this month, sent the project into disarray. The governor announced that the project, which was expected to connect the Central Valley to Silicon Valley, would be dramatically scaled back because of exorbitant costs.
Los Angeles Times » Environmental restrictions limit the amount of water that can be pumped into southbound aqueducts. Moreover, there aren’t many places to store the water and reservoirs are filling up fast. The principal answer to the pumping problem is highly controversial. It’s the long-debated tunnel proposal for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Chico Enterprise-Record » The state Department of Water Resources does not expect to need to operate the Oroville Dam spillway anytime soon but is preparing in the event that it is necessary. Lake Oroville, currently at 773-foot elevation, could rise to 780-785 feet by the end of the month based on current projections.