Spring is a time of new beginnings, so this month I think we’ll focus on some of the really good things that have happened recently.
First, we’re very pleased about the good news in Ventura County, where we just opened a project on Highway 118. Since we don’t have as many projects in Ventura County as we do in Los Angeles, it’s really nice to be able to spend time out there and celebrate our successes. The 118 freeway through Simi Valley is very important. We just completed the first phase of the widening between Tapo Canyon and Rocky Peak, which will greatly benefit motorists in that area. Equally important, we’re working very hard to get the rest of the funding so we’ll be able to widen the road in the other direction as well. Then we will have full additional lanes between Tapo Creek and Rocky Peak Road.
We also had our annual Bring Your Child to Work Day on April 29. It was really exciting for me to be able to see so many of our young children getting a chance to observe what their parents do every day. I appreciate all the parents who took the time to bring their children in and the children’s time as well.
We do really important work. But much of it is very dangerous and not exactly child-friendly. Our event here at the District Office is a great way to give our kids an idea of what we do without putting them at risk.
In April, we observed our Workers Memorial. I attended two very important events to commemorate our fallen workers. The first was in Sacramento for the statewide Caltrans Workers Memorial and National Work Zone Safety awareness event, which was very uplifting. The Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary attended as well as the head of the California Highway Patrol and other departments under Agency. All of them, along with about 100 family members of the deceased, were there to support Caltrans.
The District 7 event also went really well this year. The ceremony was very moving, as always, and each year I am pleased that we are able to get some attention out to the media about the importance of vehicles slowing down and moving away from Caltrans workers when we’re out working on our roads.
I know that many of you are going to enjoy the Employee Spotlight. We are a transportation agency but we too seldom talk about anything but driving on the freeways. I know only four people were available to be interviewed for the article, but please be aware that we have a far greater number of employees who do use bicycles. I know that our bicycle lockers in our main building are fully utilized along with the other bicycle parking areas. It’s critical that we recognize the importance of all modes of transportation and accommodate cyclists within our projects.
So far, May looks like it will be a significant month. We’re starting work on the I-405 design-build project. And there are a couple of other big projects on the way. Summer’s just around the corner. Some of you have vacation time coming up. I ask that you come back rested and relaxed because we have a lot of work to do to help stimulate the economy. Thank you all.