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

It’s been a mighty, tidy last few weeks, Caltrans!

Tony Tavares

Oct. 4 was California Clean Air Day, which Caltrans has participated in since its inception in 2018. Hundreds of you made pledges to do more to help make California air safer to breathe. Events occurred in every Caltrans district throughout September and early October. We can all commit to making lifestyle changes whenever feasible to help keep the air clean in our communities. Change can start small, like taking public transit to work once a week, and lead to larger investments, like purchasing a zero-emission vehicle. Together, we can inspire and lead California toward a brighter, cleaner future for all.


Art project transforms Bay Area gateway site

Ismael Vera Cruz

Caltrans, in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency through a Clean California local grant, has transformed Yerba Buena Garden/Moscone Transit Center to become the gateway to downtown San Francisco into a colorful vision through landscaping and artwork (murals). This renovation will visually welcome convention attendees, commuters, tourists, residents and neighboring communities with beautiful drought-resistant plants and flowers as the visitors stroll through the Yerba Buena Gardens/Moscone Transit Center.

Clean team bags 283 pounds at Orange County beach

Coastal Cleanup day at Huntington Beach

With about 283 pounds collected on Sept. 23 at Huntington State Beach, and a total of over 4,000 volunteers and 18,987 pounds of trash for the entire day, Coastal Cleanup, in partner with OC Coastkeeper’s, was a big hit.

‘In Memory of the Opportunity Center’

From left to right there names are, Craig Remley, Mykle Thomas, Michael LaFeverr, Hance “Buddy” Watkins, Sam Kopp

For almost 60 years, the Shasta County Opportunity Center facilitated productive and meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Caltrans had the privilege of utilizing this program for several contracts; including litter abatement, rest area janitorial services, and mailroom services before the program shut down on June 30. While active it made a meaningful impact to those involved, and forged bonds that survived the program

Hats Off

Traveler to Trinidad touts rest-area attendant

Jeff Calaway

“Hi, my name is Sheri Schmiedl. We recently made a trip to Trinidad and [stopped] at the rest place on the east side of the street. And there is a person by the name of Jeff that takes care of it. And I’m telling you, you couldn’t get any better. That place is spotless. He’s cleaning it all the time. He greets the people. I just couldn’t believe it. It made our trip so neat.

Health and Safety

How to become a mental health ally

For the Health and Safety story

There are few experiences more isolating than suffering with a mental health condition. People who have never felt more than some occasional blues or anxiety won’t likely understand the depth of distress that a serious mental health problem can cause. They may observe you routinely going through the motions of your day, while internally, you’re miserable.

Who's New

Sudha Kodali, chief of the Office of Capital Improvement Programs, Division of Financial Programming

Sudha Kodali

Sudha Kodali is the new chief of the Office of Capital Improvement Programs within the Division of Financial Programming. Since joining Caltrans in 2005, Sudha has worked across a variety of functional units, such as the North Region Division of Project Development, Transportation Management Plan, Contract Engineering within the Division of Construction, Advance Planning and Forecasting, and the Office of Capital Improvement Programming at both District 3 and Headquarters.

Marlon Regisford, District 7 deputy district director of planning and local assistance

Marlon Regisford

Marlon Regisford is District 7’s new deputy district director of planning and local assistance. Marlon is a 17-year veteran of Caltrans. He most recently served as the deputy district director of planning, local assistance and environmental in District 10. He is responsible for the delivery of division functions, including development of long-range strategic plans for preliminary planning and feasibility studies.

Matt Rocco, assistant deputy director of Public Affairs

Matt Rocco

Matt Rocco is the new assistant deputy director of Public Affairs. Matt has spent the past 30 years working in the communications/public relations field, and most recently as the acting assistant deputy director of Public Affairs. Over the past 17 years at Caltrans, Matt has promoted the department’s vision to the public and discussed a wide variety of transportation subjects with the media.

John Yang, District 7’s deputy district director for Construction

John Yang

John Yang is District 7’s new deputy district director for Construction. John has been with District 7 for 32 years and brings a wealth of experience from various disciplines in Caltrans. He served as District 7’s acting deputy district director in Construction for the last six months. He was also the acting deputy district director for District 7's Maintenance Division for six months in 2013.

Service Awards

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


A list of Caltrans employees who retired in August and September.


Kulwant Dhaliwal, retired District 6 Construction employee

Kulwant Dhaliwal

Our dear colleague and friend Kulwant Dhaliwal died on Sept. 5. He was 78. Kulwant started his career at Caltrans District 6 in 1992 in Bakersfield Construction Office. After 23 years of state service, he retired in May 2015. Upon retirement he kept himself busy with his family, gardening (very passionate) and long walks in the park adjoining his house.

Christopher Willard Martin, retired Caltrans supervisor

Christopher Willard Martin

Retired Caltrans employee Christopher Willard Martin, 72, of Pismo Beach passed away unexpectedly at Marian Regional Medical Hospital in Santa Maria on April 4. He completed an impressive 40 years of service with Caltrans, working to keep people and the environment safe as a HazMat and storm water drainage specialist among other roles, and retired as a supervisor.

Do You Know Our ABCs?  

CT News challenges you to identify three Caltrans-run roadways

For the ABC game 

Welcome to the latest installment of CT News' "video game," players of which are ideally amused and engaged, and winners of which have zero chance of being awarded with any meaningful prizes. The game play is simple. CT News presents links to three narration-free videos, all under 40 seconds. They were shot recently alongside (or over) California roadways that are maintained by Caltrans. Email your guesses of roadway and location to CT News by Nov. 30.

Road trippin': Spanning State Route 275

A bridge too far? Hardly, but as a highway it's pretty short!

State Route 275, aka Tower Bridge, spans the Sacramento River a mile or so west of the Capitol. 

Perhaps there are shorter highways on the planet, but State Route 275 surely is a serious contender considering it traverses only 230 meters, or less than 0.15 miles. Better known as the Tower Bridge, it packs a lot of scenery into its small stretch between downtown Sacramento (to the east) and West Sacramento, as it crosses over the Sacramento River. Pedestrian paths on both sides allow for views of Old Sacramento and the CalSTRS building to the north, and U.S. Highway 50/Business Interstate 80 to the south.


Reed Parsell, Editor, Caltrans News

Matt Rocco, Assistant Deputy Director, Public Affairs

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