Click here for a one-webpage version of all the stories in this column, in their complete form. (Service Awards and Retirements are not included.)

Director's Corner

Annual ceremonies put a spotlight on safety

Tony Tavares

The recent tragedy in Baltimore’s harbor, where a ship-caused collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge claimed the lives of six roadway workers, was an unwelcome reminder that the transportation industry has its perils. We are reviewing what happened in the early hours of March 26 in Maryland and will address any findings that might help increase bridge safety in California.


An inside look at a District 2 bridge

Antlers Bridge interior

The Antlers Bridge, which carries Interstate 5 traffic over the Sacramento River Arm of Shasta Lake, is one of the largest bridges in District 2, but there is one more thing that helps it stand out that many don’t know about. You can go inside it! The first of its kind in District 2, the Antlers Bridge was constructed to include an enclosed box girder that is essentially a tunnel that runs right under the surface of the bridge deck, allowing easier access for inspections and repairs.

Progress is on a roll with state’s rail network

Goes with the railcars story

Train passengers traveling in Northern California and the Central Valley will be able to enjoy a more comfortable and modern ride with the launch of new Venture Passenger Rail Car trains unveiled during a Caltrans and San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission event on March 5 at the Stockton Regional Maintenance Facility.

District 10 helps give Stockton kids safe access to schools 

Caltrans District 10’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) means race, socioeconomic status, identity, where people live, or how they travel will never factor into our decision-making process. That’s why our February closure of a massive homeless encampment adjacent to Garden Avenue in Stockton was a major event: We worked to give the neighborhood back to the people who live there and who send their kids to their two local schools.

How green is Caltrans? Award-winning, that’s how!

For green awards story

Caltrans has been awarded the Department of General Services’ Gold level for Green Awards. The Green Awards consider environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) data, participation in the Performance and Environmental Standards workgroup, and the number of purchasing officials that have taken EPP training.

Employee spotlight: Sheri Yeomans, District 2

Sheri Yeomans

As the District 2 water manager, Sheri Yeomans provides and monitors water usage needs and wastewater systems. Some of her duties includes the review of monthly water usage reports, managing a variety of service contracts, and working with landscape crews to ensure proper usage of the remote irrigation control and reclaimed water systems.

Francis N. Hveem Scholarship winners announced

Francis Hveem award winners 2024

Eight prospective future leaders in the transportation industry have been named the 2023 Hveem Scholarship winners.. The Francis N. Hveem Memorial Scholarship honors the late Francis N. Hveem, former state materials engineer and chief of the Materials and Research Laboratory in Sacramento.

Hats Off

Roundabouts, District 5 hailed as triumphant

Olive Mill roundabout

“The new Roundabouts at Olive Mill Road (above) and San Ysidro Road (below) in Santa Barbara County are a ‘work of art’ and I’m very happy with the outcome of these projects and I think Caltrans District 5 is great,” emailed Larry Parsons of Montecito.

Health and Safety

Five tips to support youth mental health

Health and Safety graphic

Youth mental health is essential to their overall health and well-being. Child behaviors and emotions can change frequently and rapidly, making it difficult for parents and teachers to detect mental, behavioral or emotional issues right away. Studies find that an estimated 70 to 80 percent of children with mental health disorders go without care.

Who's New

Angel Alvarado, Headquarters CPRA coordinator

Angel Alvarado

Angel Alvarado has joined Headquarters Public Affairs as the California Public Records Act (CPRA) coordinator.  His responsibilities include statewide oversight on routine and sensitive CPRA requests. He joins Public Affairs after two years working for the Department of Procurement and Contracts (DPAC) in the Property Control unit.

Chris Clark, Public Affairs deputy division chief

Chris Clark

Chris Clark has been promoted to Public Affairs deputy division chief, overseeing media. Chris has served most recently as the Middle Mile Broadband Initiative (MMBI) media specialist after previously working in 2020-21 as the Public Affairs media relations manager, where he specialized in public relations, media strategy and crisis communications.

Wajahat Nyaz, deputy district director, District 4 Division of Design

Wajahat Nyaz

Wajahat Nyaz is the new deputy district director for the District 4 Division of Design. Wajahat will oversee the district’s four Design regions: Design North, Design South/West, Design East, and Design Services. Within these Design Divisions are the Office of Materials & Pavement, Office of Hydraulic Engineering, Office of Landscape Architecture, and Utility Engineering, which provide specific technical expertise.

Nailah Pope-Harden, deputy director of Equity and Tribal Affairs

Nailah Pope-Parden

Nailah Pope-Harden is the new deputy director of Equity and Tribal Affairs as part of the Director’s Office of Equity, Sustainability and Tribal Affairs (ESTA) being reorganized. The Office of Equity and Tribal Affairs will take over ESTA’s Native American Liaison and Race & Equity branches, and be housed in the director’s office. Nailah has been executive director at ClimatePlan since 2021 and was a policy manager there from 2019 to 2021.

Eric Sundquist, deputy director for Sustainability

Eric Sundquist

Eric Sundquist has been appointed deputy director for Sustainability as part of the Director’s Office of Equity, Sustainability and Tribal Affairs (ESTA) being reorganized. Eric joined Caltrans in 2021 serving as the sustainability adviser in ESTA. In that role Eric led the department’s effort to evaluate and minimize vehicle-miles traveled in assessing project transportation impacts, and in developing metrics around equitable multimodal access to destinations.

Russ Watts, chief information security and privacy officer

Russ Watts

Russ Watts is Caltrans’ new chief information security and privacy officer. Russ has served Caltrans Information Technology for the past 14 years in various capacities, most recently as the deputy division chief over Infrastructure Services, where he oversaw the complex operations for server hosting, storage/data protection, database/middleware, and network operations/network engineering.

Service Awards

A list of Caltrans employees who celebrated 25 or 40 years of service, or who received superior accomplishment awards, in February.


A list of Caltrans employees who retired in February.


Andrew L. Hough, retired Caltrans engineer

Andrew Lockhart Hough

Retired Caltrans engineer Andrew L. Hough, 65, of Fair Oaks passed away on Dec. 17, 2023. Andy was educated at Cincinnati Country Day School, and graduated from Bradley University (Illinois) in engineering. He joined Caltrans in the mid-1980s and worked there for many decades until illness forced his retirement a few years ago.

Dexter Slade Luther, retired Caltrans electrician

Dexter Slade Luther

Dexter Slade Luther was born in the General hospital, in Eureka, on May 3, 1945. Upon discharge from the military, Dexter worked for a local television station, first manning their remote transmitter, and later in equipment maintenance. After a few years of working long hours for a small salary, Dexter went to work as an electrician for Caltrans. His 30-plus year career at Caltrans started in San Bernardino, and included a short stay in Stockton before he returned to Eureka.

Doug MacIvor, retired transportation planner

Doug MacIvor

Douglas (Doug) MacIvor passed away on Feb. 23 in Cebu, Philippines, one day shy of his 67th birthday. Doug worked for approximately 38 years for Caltrans in District 3 and Headquarters in the Division of Transportation Planning. While in District 3 he pioneered microsimulation modeling integration into transportation planning. He was the lead microsimulation modeler for the North Region on projects that included the Willits Bypass, Lincoln Bypass, and the Eureka to Arcata Corridor.

DOT Shots

SR-33 repairs

Check out the latest installment of photographs (no videos this time around) of Caltrans at work throughout the Golden State.

Director's Corner


Hats Off

DOT Shots

Health and Safety

Who's New

Service Awards



All-in-one version

CT News archives


Reed Parsell, Editor, Caltrans News

Matt Rocco, Deputy Director, Public Affairs

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