CT News 2017, Issue 3

Director's Corner

OK'd legislation helps make this an exciting time

Malcolm Dougherty

These are exciting times for transportation and for California! The state Legislature and the Governor last month enacted the landmark Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which is expected to raise $54 billion over the next decade for state and local entities to catch up on years of unfunded maintenance needs. It is the largest investment in California’s transportation needs since the fuel tax was raised to 18 cents a gallon in 1994. And, significantly, it is also the first time that tax has been raised since then.


Knights in shiny ... orange?

From left to right, Caltrans Equipment Operator II Kenneth Myers, Maintenance Supervisor Rodney Walker and Equipment Operator II James Anderson each earned the State Employee Medal of Valor Award for rescuing a woman trapped upside down in a car in fast-flowing creek on Jan. 29, 2016.

On May 23, Caltrans Alturas Maintenance Shop Leadworker Dean Rouse and Whitmore Maintenance Equipment Operator II James Anderson each received the Governor’s State Employee Gold Medal of Valor Award for risking their lives to save drowning victims in two different scenarios in Northern California this past year. Anderson’s co-worker Maintenance Equipment Operator II Kenneth Myers, and Maintenance Supervisor Rodney Walker earned the Governor’s Silver Medal of Valor Award for aiding a rescue.

Pathway to healthy movement and travel

Pedestrian bridges over freeways are safe and convenient ways to encourage active transportation.

In the near future, Californians around the state can expect it to be easier and safer to walk and bike. This May, Caltrans released its first statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan Toward an Active California, which identifies how Caltrans will meet its ambitious goal to double walking and triple bicycling in the state between 2010 and 2020.

California Transportation Foundation aims to recognize, remember and educate

On May 24, the California Transportation Foundation (CTF) held its 28th Annual Transportation Awards Ceremony to recognize excellence in all different transportation modes, from the public and private sector, and from all regions of the state. This year, the Transportation Awards jury reviewed 90 outstanding nominations.

Honoring those lost

Caltrans Electrician Randy Whisenhunt

The State Capitol’s west lawn was covered in a sea of orange as nearly 1,000 Caltrans workers and their families, media, public officials and the community gathered April 27 at the Caltrans Fallen Highway Workers Memorial to honor the 187 Caltrans employees killed in the line of duty since 1921. Displays at the ceremony featured Caltrans’ new Remote Operated Safety Attendant (ROSA), which has been piloted successfully on flagging operations in Topanga Canyon and Mt. Shasta. 

Hats Off

Helpful, informative and fun

"I want to send a heartfelt 'thank you' from the bottom of my heart for your response and following through on the green lane and delineation project at Whitehall Lane. Honestly, this is such a huge success, I really don’t have enough words to say thank you enough."

Kind and clean

A member of the public recognized Caltrans Maintenance employee Lupe Dominguez’ hard work and wrote this letter.

"T hank you all for the outstanding and most excellent Job Fair held in Marysville on June 1, 2017!!! You provided a friendly, professional and informative presentation of your department’s divisions. I can't say I've seen anything like it. You have set the bar high by giving the community insight on the important work that Caltrans provides the state and our nation. Well done!"

Recognition and appreciation

From left to right, Caltrans Maintenance North Bay Road Warriors Jimmy Adams, Chad Klein, Dillon Maples, Cassandra Coker, Mark Caldwell, Will Hauke, Pete Ielmorini, John O’Neill, Vicente Perez, Fred Bailey and Diego Ortega received a thank you from a Kentwood resident. North Bay Road Warriors Chris King and Robert Lee are not pictured, but included in the thank you.

"Thank you for getting California through the deluge of rain, snow, and the windy and numerous storms of this past year! I often thought, with every footage of mudslides, freeway ponding, flooding, etc. on the news, how hard Caltrans is working! I am impressed with the Caltrans team getting everyone from here to there!"

Grateful to be in the loop

Caltrans crews had to reconstruct State Route 74 after winter storms washed out part of the soil under the roadway.

"So many folks in the 'Highway 74 Residents and Commuters' group appreciate your updates and professionalism during the Ortega Highway closure. Many of us tried to ask if we could send food, flowers or anything to your crews and you in appreciation. Of course, you all had to decline any so called "gifts."  Now, all we can share with you is our appreciation for a job well done."

Artistic science

The new Interstate 15/State Route 91 crossroads spurred a Murrietta resident’s thank you note for all the good highway work in southern California.

"We want to thank you for the beautiful job at the crossroads at Interstate 15 and State Route 91. All these years we have watched in awe as the construction progressed...the engineering marvels went up. The work is scientific and artistic. ... We have lived in several states, and praise you for the wonderful highways in our area. Well done."

Visionary and skilled planners

Caltrans Senior Transportation Planner Jacob Armstrong played a lead role in generating new solutions for the I-8 Hotel Circle/Taylor Street interchange.

"I wanted to reach out and share some feedback regarding Caltrans District 11 staff. I attended a briefing regarding the Interstate 8 corridor study. As you know, I-8 in Mission Valley and particularly Hotel Circle/ Taylor Street areas are some of the most challenging road segments and interchange areas in all of District 11."

Highway rescue saves director's town hall

Caltrans Equipment Operator II Newman Whitaker came to the aid of two videographers stranded near Harris Ranch on their way from Sacramento to the Director’s Town Hall in San Diego.

"While they were on their way from Sacramento to San Diego to webcast the Director’s Town Hall, two members of my staff had not one - but two tires blow out. Caltrans staff from both Districts 6 and 7 went out of their way to help get them to San Diego on time. When the first tire blew out near Harris Ranch, Caltrans Equipment Operator II Newman Whitaker happen to come along from the Mendota yard in District 6 and helped them."

Health & Safety

Managing workplace stress

Every job has its own particular stressors. And while every employee at some point has felt the pressures of a deadline, a challenging assignment at work, or tension with co-workers, chronic stress is harmful to your physical and emotional health. Learning how to manage workplace stress is important for your wellbeing and job satisfaction.


A list of Caltrans employees who retired or for whom certificates were requested.

Service Awards

Employees who are celebrating 25 and 40 years of service..

Who's New

Troy Tusup, innovative business solutions manager

Troy Tusup

Troy Tusup is the new Lean 6 Sigma Program Manager in Caltrans’ Innovative Business Solutions branch, which is under the Director’s Office of Innovation, Risk, and Strategic Management. Tusup’s branch makes Departmental improvements, such as Lean 6-Sigma and Value Analysis. Lean-6 Sigma is a methodology that streamlines processes by eliminating unnecessary steps. Value Analysis is a systematic assessment to ensure that a project’s cost is no greater than necessary.

Trophy Case

Announcing 2017 Highway Safety Poster Contest winners 

Maycie McCloud is the 12-year-old daughter of Roah McCloud, District 3 Transportation Engineering Technician.

Each year, Caltrans holds its annual Highway Safety Poster Contest. The contest is open to children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of Caltrans employees, and it gives the children an opportunity to express the importance of driving safely in or near highway work zones. It also allows them to be part of Caltrans’ educational outreach and life-saving message.

Raising the bar — and the freeway

American Society of Civil Engineers’ Sacramento Section awarded their 2016 Outstanding Roadway and Highway Project to Caltrans’ Raise 80 project. Higher vertical clearance improves commerce and national security access on Interstate 80 (I-80) through the Sierra.

CT News - Caltrans' employee newsletter


Reed Parsell
Editor, Caltrans News (May 2019 to the present)

Tamie McGowen
Assistant Deputy Director, Public Affairs

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