CT News 2019, Issue 3

Director's Corner

Caltrans answered the call of the quakes

Bob Franzoia

"Your professionalism and competence were on ample display during the Ridgecrest-area earthquakes earlier this month. I saw firsthand how impressively this organization responds to major events."



Camp Fire cleanup, recovery work continues

Dump trucks approach the temporary roundabout installed at State Route 191 and Durham-Pentz Road.

Eight months after the emergency work started, signs of recovery are clearly evident across the landscape.


Ceremony honors 189 fallen highway workers

Caltrans Honor Guard

Caltrans on April 25 honored the lives of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while working to keep others safe, building and maintaining California’s transportation system.

Caltrans overhauls website to boost accessibility

Caltrans HQ CWAA Team

On June 28, Caltrans switched all public web pages to a new template that is more accessible to all users as part of our Caltrans Web Accessibility for All (CWAA) project.

District 5 engineer commutes with a fold-up bicycle

Scott Morris  with his fold-up bicycle

Caltrans District 5 Transportation Engineer Scott Morris is participating in a program through San Luis Obispo County which promotes alternatives to driving to work in a car by yourself.



Goats feed and de-weed along the Central Coast

Caltrans is using goats to help controls weeds

Caltrans is using goats to help controls weeds within a 20-acre site adjacent to Highway 1 just north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse in northern San Luis Obispo County.


Smooth operators strut their stuff in the Sierra

Statewide Equipment Safety Competition - Loader

14 heavy-equipment operators competed in the third annual Statewide Equipment Safety Competition on June 19 at the Kingvale Maintenance Station.

Five Caltrans employees win Six Medal of Valor Awards

Caltrans employees who received Medal of Valor awards

At a private ceremony this spring, five Caltrans workers were presented with the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award.


Our Promise supports our communities’ nonprofits

The 2018 Caltrans Our Promise Team

The 2019 Our Promise Campaign – California State Employees Giving at Work officially kicks off from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, on the north steps of the Capitol.


Heminger, Brown among CTF Transportation Award winners

The California Transportation Foundation announced the annual CTF Transportation Award winners at its ceremony in May.

When road construction nearly went nuclear

The 1963 Project Carryall Feasibility Study’s exhibits include this terrain map that pinpoints the project’s location, 11 miles north of the small town of Amboy.

“Project Carryall:” a 1963 feasibility study about creating a two-mile ditch in a Mojave Desert mountain range by means of a “nuclear excavation.”


Trenches of transit: Have you got a tale to tell?

The view from the back of Bus No. 86 between Irvine and Santa Ana is nothing special, but it’s probably more interesting than what you would see from behind the wheel of a private car.

CT News shares some of your work-related intermodal wanderings.



Hats Off

Collapsible guardrail is a life-saver on Central Coast

Collapsible Guardrail Is a Life-Saver on Central Coast

"Clearly, though, the clever collapsing guardrail saved his life and prevented what could have been far more serious injuries..."


Health & Safety

Caltrans committed to heat illness prevention

worker drinks to stay hydrated

"Your professionalism and competence were on ample display during the Ridgecrest-area earthquakes earlier this month. I saw firsthand how impressively this organization responds to major events."

With hot weather fully upon us, first-line supervisors have direct responsibility to implement the Department’s Heat Illness Prevention Plan to ensure that it is an effective part of the overall Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).

Service Awards

Employees who celebrated 25 and 40 years of service...


The following employees retired and certificates were requested...

Who's New

Marlon Flournoy, new chief of the Division of Transportation Planning

Marlon Flournoy, Chief, Division of Transportation Planning

Marlon Flournoy has been promoted to Chief of the Division of Transportation Planning, effective Aug. 1. Marlon is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute. Marlon began his career with Caltrans in 1999 and has more than 20 years of transportation planning experience at the state and local levels and more than 10 years of supervision, management and executive experience. 

Dan McElhinney, new District 10 Director

Dan McElhinney, Caltrans District 10 Director

Dan McElhinney, who for 17 years served as the District 4 Chief Deputy District Director and Caltrans Toll Bridge Program Manager, became Caltrans District 10 Director in April. In his District 4 duties, McElhinney worked with more than 3,000 Caltrans employees in cooperation with federal, regional and local partners, including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the nine Bay Area counties. 


Mel Berning

Mel Berning

Mel Berning, who for 24 years was a civil engineer for the Division of Highways, now Caltrans, died earlier this year. The beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend passed away peacefully on March 22, surrounded by his loving wife and family.

Norman Charles Brinkmeyer

Normay Brinkmeyer

Norman Charles Brinkmeyer, who worked 39 years for Caltrans as a civil engineer, finishing his career as head of maintenance for Los Angeles and Ventura counties, died May 1 in Sonora. Norm enlisted in the Navy at age 17. He graduated from USC in 1948 and was a lifelong Trojan fan. In 1951 he was recalled to active duty in the Korean War. 

Phillip Butcher

Phillip Butcher

Phillip Stanley Butcher, who worked in the Division of Highways (now Caltrans) construction survey department as a transit “gunner” back in the 1960s, died on June 19. Nancy Ryman, one of Phillip’s three surviving siblings, said he will truly be missed by his family and friends, who loved him dearly.

John Dawson

John Dawson

John Dawson, who for more than 30 years was a road maintenance worker for Caltrans, died unexpectedly on April 7 at the Renown Medical Center in Reno. John joined the Marines when he was 18 and served in combat in the Vietnam War. He was proud to be a Marine and happy to serve his country.

Xavier C. Floyd

Xavier C. Floyd, a beloved member of our District 8 Division of Operations, Traffic Management Team since 2001, died unexpectedly on April 30. Xavier was born on March 31, 1957, in Albany, Ga. She resided in Ontario at the time of her passing.

Herbert Jensen

Herbert Jensen

Former Caltrans bridge engineer Herbert Jensen, 84, of San Andreas passed away peacefully at his home on June 19. Recruited by Caltrans Bridge Department, Herbert was the resident engineer for the Tuolumne River Bridge (James Robert Memorial Bridge) and Chief of Externally Financed Bridge Projects. He retired in 1992.

Ronald Lemmon

Ronald Lemmon

Ronald David Lemmon, who worked for Caltrans for 40 years, died Sept. 29, 2018, after a brief illness. While earning his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno, he worked on Caltrans road crews. 

Charles ‘Chuck’ Seim

Charles ‘Chuck’ Seim

Charles “Chuck” Seim, P.E., who worked 25 years for what is now Caltrans, died April 28 in San Francisco. Chuck served the industry for more than 50 years, 24 of which were spent as Senior Vice President for T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), which he joined in 1980.

Gabriel Velonza

Gabriel Velonza

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Gabriel Velonza, an Equipment Operator II. Gabe died suddenly on June 14. He has been a valued and respected member of our Caltrans family since June 2006 and will be missed immensely. 

In This Issue


Reed Parsell
Editor, Caltrans News

Tamie McGowen
Assistant Deputy Director, Public Affairs

Contact the Editor
Reed Parsell
(916) 654-5820  

Are You Retiring Soon?

Would you like to stay informed of what's happening with Caltrans? If so, submit your home email address to CT News editor Reed Parsell and we'll notify you by email when we publish a new issue of CT News.

Alternative Formats

For individuals with sensory disabilities, this document will be made available in Braille, large print, on audiocassette, or on computer disk. To obtain a copy in one of the alternative formats, pleasecontact the editor.