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2023 - Caltrans Marks 50th Anniversary. Fifty years ago, the State of California established a new Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to unify a wide range of transportation functions under a single entity. Since July 1973, the department has managed one of the most complex transportation systems in the nation and helped play a vital role in creating the world’s fourth largest economy.
2013 - The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge new East Span between Oakland and Yerba Buena Island opened in September, 2013.
2007 -Caltrans oversaw the reconstruction and re-opening of approaches to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in a record 26 days following a devastating accident that compromised the structure.
1990 - State Master Plan for Transportation adopted, with a focus on reducing traffic congestion and an emphasis on expanding bus, rail and other public transit systems.
1989 - The massive Loma Prieta Earthquake occurred on October 17, raising awareness for the need to strengthen and retrofit state highway bridges.
1960 - The 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley served as impetus to build Interstate 80. Interstate 80 became the first all-weather, trans-Sierra Nevada highway and was nationally recognized as a major engineering achievement.
1956 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. Under the act, the federal government supplied 90 percent of funding for interstate highways, with the state paying the remaining 10 percent.
1936 - The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic. The bridge represented a remarkable engineering and political achievement.
1923 - The first state gas tax was created to fund the expansion of the state highway system. Initially, the tax was set at 2 cents a gallon. Accompanying legislation also created the "Motor Vehicle Fuel Fund," with some of the money going directly to counties and other funds being deposited into the "State Highway Maintenance Fund" for maintenance, repair, widening, resurfacing, and reconstruction of state highways and roads and highways in state parks.
1911 - The three-member California Highway Commission was created to oversee highway maintenance and construction. Legislation also provided for a state highway engineer, appointed by the governor to serve as the commission's executive officer.
1907 - The State Department of Engineering was created. The Department of Highways and Lake Tahoe Wagon Road Commission were placed under the control of the department.
1895 - The Bureau of Highways was created with the appointment of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road Commissioner and the Bureau of Highways Commissioners. The bureau studied highway needs and made recommendations for a 4,500-mile state highway system.