91 Express Lanes

I found out recently that the 91 Express Lanes, the toll lanes in the median of the 91 Freeway from the 55 to the Riverside County Line are free for motorcyclists. Now, as I love to travel all roads that are available to me, I ended up signing up for a transponder. It has offered me an interesting look at what goes into getting one and how they work. I shall be posting photos and videos about how these devices work in the near future.

In addition to the transponder, I also obtained a special bag to put the device in when I travel toll lanes that are free and don’t need a transponder. Eventually, I hope that all lanes are the same and won’t need such devices.

91 Express Lanes Welcome Kit and Transponder.
91 Express Lanes Welcome Kit and Transponder.
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M5.1 Earthquake hits La Habra

From the USGS – Updated:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/ci15481673#summary

intensity

lahabraci15481673_ciim

Event Time

  1. 2014-03-29 04:09:42 UTC
  2. 2014-03-28 21:09:42 UTC-07:00 at epicenter
  3. 2014-03-28 21:09:42 UTC-07:00 system time

Location

33.919°N 117.944°W depth=7.5km (4.6mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 1km (1mi) S of La Habra, California
  2. 4km (2mi) W of Brea, California
  3. 5km (3mi) NNW of Fullerton, California
  4. 6km (4mi) E of La Mirada, California
  5. 546km (339mi) W of Phoenix, Arizona

Tectonic Summary

A M5.1 earthquake occurred at 9:09PM on March 28, 2014, located 1 mile easy of La Habra, CA, or 4 miles north of Fullerton, CA. The event was felt widely throughout Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.  It was preceded by two foreshocks, the larger of M3.6 at 8:03pm.  The demonstration earthquake early warning system provided 4 second warning in Pasadena.

There have been 23 aftershocks as of 10:00PM on March 28, the largest of which was a M3.6 at 9:30PM, and was felt locally near the epicenter. The aftershock sequence may continue for several days to weeks, but will likely decay in frequency and magnitude as time goes by.

The maximum observed instrumental intensity was VII, recorded in the LA Habra and Brea areas, although the ShakeMap shows a wide area of maximum intensity of VI. The maximum reported intensity for the Did You Feel It? map was reported at VI in the epicentral area.

This sequence could be associated with the Puente Hills thrust (PHT).  The PHT is a blind thrust fault that extends from this region to the north and west towards the City of Los Angeles.  It caused the M5.9 1987 Oct. 1 Whittier Narrows earthquake.

Previously, the M5.4 2008 Chino Hills earthquake occurred in this region.  It caused somewhat stronger shaking in Orange County and across the Los Angeles Basin.

The moment tensor shows oblique faulting, with a north dipping plane that approximately aligns with the Puente Hills thrust.

The demonstration earthquake early warning system provided 4 second warning in Pasadena.

Related Links

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Angels Flight in Los Angeles

Angels Flight is a short funicular railway in downtown Los Angeles. It has been around since 1901, though not continuously. It used to run from Hill St and 3rd St west up Bunker Hill. It was moved about 1/2 block south about 15 years ago. I took this video of it in 2010.

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Old signs in Downtown San Diego

Some buildings were demolished a few years ago on Kettner Blvd between Ash St and A St revealing some really cool old signs. I’m not sure how old they are but I’m guessing 1940’s.

Closeup of the Hires Root Beer sign.
Closeup of the Hires Root Beer sign.
Southern end of the sign.
Southern end of the sign.
Dr Pepper and Hires sign at an old bottling plant
Dr Pepper and Hires sign at an old bottling plant
(Visited 113 times, 1 visits today)

Tracks remain on Park Blvd

Walking today, I saw that the former San Diego Electric Railway tracks in the median of Park Blvd seem to be staying put. Construction is underway for a “busway” which is tearing out most of the old track and poles. However, at Howard Ave, the tracks are being left in place and reburied beneath the new median. Why this is the case here and not anywhere else is something of a mystery. Hopefully it marks a trend to keep some of the old infrastructure in place instead of destroying it.

Section of rail removed at Howard Ave.
Section of rail removed at Howard Ave.
South of Howard Ave to near Polk Ave, the old rails remain.
South of Howard Ave to near Polk Ave, the old rails remain.
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Welcome!

Welcome to the new Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads Page! This site is the combination of the “Los Angeles Rocks and Roads Page” and the “San Diego Rocks and Roads Page”. After having some trouble with the previous host server, I moved to a new host and am now able to better update the site. All of the previous pages are still around though some may have been moved or merged with others.

The new format of the site should also allow for easier access to the immense amount of information this site contains. Parts of the site date back to 1995, when the Santa Clarita Valley Resources Page first went online. Initially, the site was just a single page with some photos. Through the years, the site has been greatly expanded and modified. In 2008, the Santa Clarita Resources Page was transformed into the Los Angeles Rocks and Roads Page, with some of the pages removed and others merged.

In 2006, I added the San Diego Rocks and Road Page, having moved here in 2005. I thought it would be a good addition as there is quite a bit to cover here. The San Diego site had a slightly different focus, with kayaking and local bicycling information as well as highway history.

Now, in 2014, the websites are undergoing a bigger change. Both the scvresources.com and sdrocksnroads.com sites are being merged with the new socalregion.com. This will allow a greater area to be covered with even more photos and information to be shared. I plan to use the new format to help expand the site and make it an even better resource for all of Southern California.

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Jackrabbit Trail – November 14, 2013

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, I had the opportunity to travel Jackrabbit Trail for this first time in many years. I took my new motorcycle, a 2014 Kawasaki KLR 650, which was well suited for the trip. Jackrabbit Trail is a roadway through the Badlands near Moreno Valley that has an interesting history. It was originally built in 1915 as a part of the Riverside to Beaumont Highway, later US 60/70. In 1923-24, the roadway was paved with asphalt. Some of this still exists today. In 1936, the roadway was bypassed by the current route of Hwy 60. However, in 1956, the roadway was rehabilitated for use as US 60 again, albeit temporarily, while the current route was being widened to a four lane expressway. Following this brief use, the old Jackrabbit Trail fell into disuse and eventually was abandoned. The County no longer maintains the road and just posts “Road Closed” signs at either end. It is, however, still a through route, with some landslide and washout problems.

1953 topographical map showing Jackrabbit Trail between US 60 and Gilman Springs Road.
1953 USGS topographical map showing Jackrabbit Trail between US 60 and Gilman Springs Road.
Looking north from Gilman Springs Road
Looking north from Gilman Springs Road

My journey took me over the entire route in both directions, as the southern roadway was closed for reconstruction. I was rather amazed to see how much old railing still exists along the roadway, most of which is from the 1920’s. In many ways, this road is similar to the Ridge Route north of Los Angeles on old US 99. It was built around the same time and bypassed around the same time. The only major difference is that the Ridge Route was not reused by the highway department after it was bypassed. The roadway also offers some rather scenic views of the area. Mt San Gorgonio stays in view when heading north and the lake bed of Mystic Lake is quite visible to the south. I highly recommend this road as an alternative to SR-60 and is good for bicycling as well.

My KLR 650 out on the highway.
My KLR 650 out on the highway.
1950's railing and 1950's paving
1950’s railing and 1950’s paving
Original railing and Mt San Gorgonio
Original railing and Mt San Gorgonio
Deep cuts near the summit
Deep cuts near the summit
Northern end of the trail
Northern end of the trail
Original railing near the northern end
Original railing near the northern end
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My contribution to the Los Angeles Metro Rail System

Before the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension was opened, I was contacted by Nobuho Nagasawa. She was commissioned to create the artwork for the 1st St and Soto St Metro Gold Line station. She was looking for maps of the area surrounding the 1st / Soto station and found my website on the East Los Angeles Interchange. After searching my collection, I did find two maps that covered that area. The Los Angeles and Alhambra 6′ map sheets from the late 1920’s covered the area she needed with the right resolution. They were then scanned in at high resolution and sent along to her for use. As they were USGS maps, they were within the public domain and easy to transfer.

As I had obtained the maps from a geologist that had marked them up, cleaning them up prior to scanning was essential. I got most of the marks off, but some still remained. It seems they were just enough to “watermark” the maps as indeed from my collection. While not intentional, it did help me identify the maps when I saw them in a video on the opening of the line. In December 2009, I was finally able to see the station in person. The sheer size of the artwork created from these maps was astounding. A portion of a 6′ USGS quad sheet had been transformed into a 30′ x 60′ map going from one side of the station to the other.

The "original" and the artwork. Map sheet being held is the Los Angeles 6' map.

The “original” and the artwork. Map sheet being held is the Los Angeles 6′ map.

Overview of part of the artwork display. Stairs lead to the platform level.

Overview of part of the artwork display. Stairs lead to the platform level.

Western half of the map showing the Los Angeles River and part of downtown.

Western half of the map showing the Los Angeles River and part of downtown.

Central portion of the artwork.

Central portion of the artwork.

Closeup showing some of the marks left on the map. Note the "36" circled in pencil.

Closeup showing some of the marks left on the map. Note the “36” circled in pencil.

Markings for Pliocene Rock (PLIO) and a fault line.

Markings for Pliocene Rock (PLIO) and a fault line.

I wish to thank Nobuho Nagasawa for allowing me the privilege of contributing to the Los Angeles Metro Rail system. It gives me great pleasure to know that something I have in my collection is seeing use in a way I never expected.

My contribution to the Los Angeles Metro Rail System was originally published on Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads

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Mystery bridge over the San Jacinto River

On Sunday, June 16, I went on a motorcycle ride out toward Palm Springs. On Hwy 74 just east of Hemet, I stopped to inspect an abandoned concrete arch bridge to the side of the current bridge. The “new” span, where Hwy 74 crosses today, was built in 1929. This makes the abandoned span most likely from the 1910’s. It appears to have been longer, though the rest is long since washed away. I originally saw this bridge on a previous motorcycle ride, having missed it on every driving trip through here. It just goes to show that you see more on two wheels – be they motorcycle or bicycle wheels.

Last remaining arch
Last remaining arch
Evidence the bridge continued west. It looks like there may have been an additional arch span.
Evidence the bridge continued west. It looks like there may have been an additional arch span.
Looking east across the bridge deck toward current Hwy 74.
Looking east across the bridge deck toward current Hwy 74.
Current 1929 bridge across the river. Abandoned span is about 50 feet to the left.
Current 1929 bridge across the river. Abandoned span is about 50 feet to the left.
Detail of the railing on the bridge. Note the 90 degree end to the railing instead of the curved ends used later.
Detail of the railing on the bridge. Note the 90 degree end to the railing instead of the curved ends used later.

After leaving the bridge, I headed east on Hwy 74 up into the mountains. The roadway was recently repaved, which was badly needed. The new pavement was quite fun to ride, even with the extra twisty passing areas. The tires seemed to grip the road better allowing me to ride faster than I did before. I didn’t originally plan to go all the way to Palm Springs, but somehow I decided “Why Not?” and did it anyway. It was rather hot while I was there, so I didn’t stay long. Leaving town was almost as difficult as dealing with the heat. Strong west winds, typical for the area, were blowing and made riding somewhat unnerving at times. The winds finally subsided once I got to the Beaumont area and temperatures decreased quite a bit as well.

Seven Level Hill on Hwy 74 heading into Palm Desert.
Seven Level Hill on Hwy 74 heading into Palm Desert.
(Visited 184 times, 1 visits today)

April 2010 Baja Earthquake – Part 1

On April 4, 2010, a 7.2 earthquake struck the northern Baja California and Southern California region. I was in Oceanside at a friends house at the time. Initially, I didn’t feel it and thought the others at the party were joking. We had been talking about the Northridge Earthquake earlier in the day. Once I stepped out onto the patio, I felt the ground moving. I knew it was large but farther away. My first thought was – What just happened to Los Angeles? Instead of Los Angeles, it was the Mexicali/Calexico area that got hit the worst as it was much closer to the epicenter.

Map showing the earthquake and affected area.
Map showing the earthquake and affected area.

Wanting to survey the damage to the roadways in that area and see if any of the old bridges were damaged, I headed out the following weekend. As it was also springtime, parts of the desert were in bloom. The ocotillo in particular had a beautiful display of flowers. To get out there, I followed Hwy 80 out to the Desert View Tower. After talking with Ben, the owner, I headed out to Calexico following Hwy 80 and Hwy 98. I was hoping to see cracks in Hwy 98 from any fault movement but did not find any.

Blooming ocotillo along Hwy 98 in the Yuha Desert.
Blooming ocotillo along Hwy 98 in the Yuha Desert.
DSCN0098
Closeup of the blooms.

In Calexico, many buildings were damaged with a large portion of the older downtown area closed off until the buildings could be stabilized. The biggest damage I saw was at a hotel in the northwestern end of downtown. Parts of the walls and roof had collapsed.

An empty and closed off downtown Calexico.
An empty and closed off downtown Calexico.
Partially collapsed roof and wall in Calexico.
Partially collapsed roof and wall in Calexico.
Damaged Hotel De Anza in Calexico.
Damaged Hotel De Anza in Calexico.
Front of Hotel De Anza showing some damage.
Front of Hotel De Anza showing some damage.
Partially collapsed facade of the Hotel De Anza.
Partially collapsed facade of the Hotel De Anza.

Returning from Calexico, I stopped at a few bridges to see the fill on each side had settled, causing some cracking in the pavement. Additional cracks were spotted at the New River crossing on old US 80. Overall, the highways were lightly damaged with some concrete broken at some bridges.

Typical settlement repair at the Westside Canal bridge on Hwy 98.
Typical settlement repair at the Westside Canal bridge on State 98.
Settled dirt at the edge of the Westside Canal at State 98.
Settled dirt at the edge of the Westside Canal at State 98.
Both sides of the New River trench show settlement on US 80.
Both sides of the New River trench show settlement on US 80.
Cracked pavement on old US 80 at the New River.
Cracked pavement on old US 80 at the New River.
Cracking in pavement and soil from settling at the edge of the New River trench.
Cracking in pavement and soil from settling at the edge of the New River trench.
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Your Resource For Highways, Geology, Railroads, History, Bicycling, And More Throughout Southern California Since 1995.

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