Gadkari takes coastal drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco

| Updated: Jul 18, 2016 22:09 IST

By Anshul Rana Los Angeles (US), July 18 (ANI): Union Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari took a coastal drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles to gain what he said was a first-hand experience of the latest road engineering, highway construction, road signage techniques, besides an understanding of other effective road safety measures. Currently on the last leg of his weeklong official visit to the United States, Gadkari left San Francisco early in the morning by road and completed the unique feat in ten hours, covering a distance of 800-kilometers over winding hilly terrain, through thick forests and some desert patches along the west coast overseeing the Pacific Ocean. Gadkari said the idea behind undertaking this drive was to understand technology, machinery and construction material being used by the transportation department and other local agencies in the United States in constructing and maintaining the amazing overhangs and cliffs along the difficult coastline. The Road Transport and Highways Minister is currently engaged in constructing national highways in the difficult terrains of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, the North-Eastern Region and Himalayas- Pithoragarh to Mansarovar and from Haridwar to Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Badrinath and Kedarnath. Gadkari said he was impressed by the tunneling technology and the lovely scenic spots along the curves on the highways and coastal roads which have been converted into tourist attractions that have standard roadside amenities like restaurants, shops, entertainment facilities and camping sites. He was informed that that most of California's highways are more than a half-century old and carry nearly half of the nation's goods traffic. Heavy loads pound California's highways more than any other state and sustained 190 billion vehicle travelled kilometers in 2015. Gadkari appreciated the projects being undertaken for repairing bumpy pavements, preserving roads that are in good condition from deteriorating and upgrading bridges to make them safer and stronger. He also witnessed widening of hard shoulders and installation of drainage, relocation of utility, and realignment of local road intersections along the route he travelled along with a team of senior officials from his ministry. These highways and coastal roads are regularly maintained and upgraded with crash barriers, signage to make all weather travel safe, Gadkari was told. Gadkari also witnessed improved safety measures such as metal screens and mesh along the hilly terrain to prevent landslides hitting the roads, road markings, proper signage with adequate warning signals. SOS call boxes being run with solar panels. The minister was informed that maintenance staff works day and night to keep the highways clear and safe for all motorists. They do patching pavement, replacing signs, striping lanes, clearing vegetation, removing trash and graffiti - with utmost precautions for the safety of workers. (ANI)