CA Spent $50 Million on Roadway Debris Removal
In just the state of California alone, the state spent $50 million removing junk and trash from the highways, shoulders and medians. Approximately 50,000 cubic yards of debris was taken away from just the Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
California Highway Patrol said they have seen everything on the roadway from Stairmasters, trampolines, to barbeque grills and washing machines.
“You name it, we’ve picked it up,” said Ed Toledo, a maintenance manager for Caltrans who is responsible for a huge swath of Los Angeles County.
Highway Patrol officers joke that they know what to expect in different seasons or times of the year – end of the month means furniture for moving between apartments, winter time means Christmas trees, and New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July means more dead animals in the road from firework scares.
In 90 minutes, randomly chosen on a weekday, there were 20 calls in the L.A. County alone, for roadway debris.
Officer Leland Tang says that he has seen drivers do the most unsafe things to carry loads.
He once saw a driver with one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding onto a mattress on the roof of his car.
"How can someone think they can restrain a mattress with one hand while driving at freeway speeds?," he said.
He says that is also very common for drivers to have an entire load in the trunk bed of their truck, with just one strap holding it all down.
“One strap is holding the entire mess down,” Tang said.
Section 23114 of California's vehicle code states that water and feathers from live birds are the only things that can be legally blown, leaked, spilled, or dropped onto the roadway.