Q. Honk: How do you call California Highway Patrol offices during non-business hours if it is not an emergency? All you get is a recording. I tried to call the CHP in Santa Ana during a recent rain storm at 4 a.m. to report flooding on the westbound 22 Freeway. The right four lanes were flooded. I had to call 800-TELL-CHP to get ahold of someone, but that non-emergency service is headquartered in Sacramento. The dispatcher tried to call the local CHP office, but could not contact anyone by phone. The dispatcher had to send an email to notify the Santa Ana office. I hope they can have a better phone-notification system to report things like flooded roads.
– Roy Miyaji, Cypress
A. On that one, Roy, just call 911 with the CHP’s blessing.
“Something like that would have been an immediate traffic hazard,” said Officer Mitch Howell, a spokesman out of the Santa Ana CHP office.
Officers could roll out, and so could Caltrans – both agencies get such 911 information pronto.
“If there’s a safety issue, we get out there,” said Angela Madison, a Caltrans spokeswoman for Orange County. “We work closely together.”
You can reach a Caltrans dispatcher, too, at any hour. But Honk looked around online and, frankly, it isn’t easy to find the emergency number for each Caltrans district.
He could put the emergency numbers here for each Southern California Caltrans district, but that didn’t seem like stick-it-on-the-refrigerator material – although you would get to see Honk’s handsome mugshot every time you went to get a cold beverage.
If the issue can wait until morning, you can easily find the local Caltrans office’s daytime number by going to dot.ca.gov and clicking on the “contact us” tab. And, of course, you can reach the CHP then as well.
Q. Honk: What is the status of the construction on the ramp connecting the southbound 55 Freeway to the southbound 73? It has been under construction for several years. It is a safety issue, because it backs up the 55 as motorists try to squeeze onto the one lane now available on the ramp. You seldom see any workers doing construction. When will the construction be completed?
– Pat DeCarlo, Orange
A. No one knows.
Caltrans had a crew begin work on the ramp to improve it in November – as in 2021. One of the ramp’s two lanes was temporarily closed off, to increase safety for the construction crew and travelers as well.
Completion was to come late this year. But that is unlikely.
“The previous contractor failed to complete the contractual obligation to perform the work for this project,” Nathan Abler, a Caltrans spokesman, told Honk in an email. “Once the new contractor is secured, a new timeline will be established.”
The project was to cost $7.5 million and now that could rise. But taxpayers won’t be on the hook, Abler said: “Additional costs will be paid by the surety company.”
Whenever work resumes, the entire ramp may be closed at times overnight. The project is to reconstruct the ramp’s overhang and rail to meet modern standards.
HONKIN’ FACT: The Iowa 80 Truckstop, on the eastern edge of the state, proclaims to be the world’s largest such business. Besides the usual truck stop stuff, it offers eight restaurants, a barber shop, a chiropractor, a dentist, a movie theater, a place to work out, a spot to wash pets, and a trucking museum (Source: iowa80truckstop.com).
To ask Honk questions, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: ocregister.com/tag/honk. Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk
Source: Orange County Register
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