The Conductor

The California High-Speed Rail Authority replaced an engineer with a political operative to lead the nation’s biggest public works project. Jeff Morales instantly charmed his opponents but made technical decisions that placed high-speed rail at the mercy of the courts. Can Morales save his runaway train?

Jan 2, 2014 Allen Young

The Price of Progress

San Joaquin farmers protest bullet train

City dwellers driving past the expansive cotton fields and scattered farmhouses along Highway 43 to Corcoran might get the feeling they’ve left California. A haze of dust, bugs and little particles of cow dung blanket the road between Fresno and Bakersfield. Even on a nice day, wiping debris from a car windshield begins to feel futile.

Dec 1, 2012 Allen Young

The Little Airport That Could

SMF navigates a nose dive

In September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed and the municipal bond market froze, Sacramento International Airport had just begun constructing the biggest capital improvement project in the county’s history.

Oct 31, 2012 Allen Young

Regulating High Rollers

New road networks proposed for truckers

Despite changes to the goods-movement industry, many transportation experts believe trucking will always be the nation’s primary mode of freight delivery. Now, transportation officials are looking for new ways to ease traffic congestion and improve the way heavy trucks interact with cars and communities.

Sep 30, 2012 Rich Ehisen

Transit Man

Acuity With Mike Wiley

Mike Wiley, 59, began his career at the Sacramento Regional Transit District as a service planner in 1978. In 2007, he was named general manager and CEO. He also serves on the executive committee of the California Transit Association.

Sep 30, 2012 Douglas Curley

The Truck Stops Here

18-wheelers sacked by clean air cops

There is a squad of clean air cops in Sacramento with a strong-arm approach that squashes the stereotype that environmentalists are wimps. These officials make up the enforcement branch of the California Air Resources Board, and they face off against truckers still fuming over
emission-control rules they fear will put them out of business.

Sep 30, 2012 Allen Young