Friday, October 12, 2018

How Do We Build Median Traffic Barriers?

Caltrans median traffic barriers provide a safe separation of vehicles flowing in opposite directions. What is the process involved in building them?

A trench is cleared to build a footing:

A rebar frame for the footing  is placed into the trench:

And then encased in concrete:

Then a rebar frame for the barrier is placed into the concrete:


Then concrete "forms" are built over the barrier's rebar frame:


Then concrete is poured into the forms:

Finally, the forms are removed to reveal the concrete barrier rail with decorative facing:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Three Caltrans Districts to Host L.A. Workshop on Planning Grant Programs

LOS ANGELES -- Three Caltrans districts in Southern California are hosting a workshop on the Planning Grant Programs on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, following the call-for-applications announcement.

Caltrans Districts 7, 8 and 12 are hosting the event, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in downtown Los Angeles. 

Caltrans District 7 includes the counties of Los Angeles and Ventura. District 8 includes the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside. District 12 covers Orange County.

The location of the workshop is the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), 900 Wilshire Blvd., 17th Floor (Policy Meeting Room A), Los Angeles CA 90017.

Space will be limited at the workshop, so interested individuals are asked to RSVP by Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, via email to 

Parking is limited at the SCAG building, so please consider bus or rail transit options.

Join in with your web browser as a guest at
Call in by phone at (669) 900-6833. Meeting ID: 747202432.

Fiscal Year 2019-20 Grant Application Guides, application forms and required templates are posted on the Division of Transportation Planning Grants website at including Sustainable Communities Grants ($25 million) and Adaptation Planning Grants ($6 million).

The application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

Caltrans Headquarters will host a Statewide Transportation Grant Webinar on Oct. 9, 2018, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. More information is available at the website listed above,

Monday, September 10, 2018

Spreading the Word, Help is Available in a Crisis

New signs on State Route 118 promote awareness of a suicide crisis line's toll-free number.
To encourage people to reach out for help in a time of crisis, and to promote public awareness of support services, Caltrans installed a new type of sign on State Route 118 in the city of Moorpark in Ventura County.

A total of 16 signs were placed on and near a high bridge in July 2018 informing people that help is available and providing the toll-free telephone number for a 24/7 suicide crisis support line.

The new message, in English and Spanish, grew out of a collaboration between Caltrans and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a nonprofit agency that provides a variety of services in Southern California.

Earlier, local government officials had asked Caltrans whether steps could be taken to prevent avoidable deaths, such as a fence along the long, curving bridge near the junction of State Routes 118 and 23 in eastern Ventura County.

Fencing, however, would block a driver's line of sight, raising safety concerns. So officials evaluated other possible measures.

The signs were created and installed in the hope of benefiting people who feel despondent, and their families and friends, as well as informing the public at large that such services are available.

The signs also could help prevent injury to others. Below the bridge are streets, pedestrians, bicyclists and railroad tracks that carry passenger and freight trains daily.

The signs are in English and Spanish since those languages are widely used in Southern California. Didi Hirsch Suicide Crisis Line counselors can serve callers in any language by using their translation services.

On July 12, Caltrans, with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, attached 12 signs to the sides of the twin concrete structures -- facing traffic lanes. On July 5 and 6, Caltrans installed four ground-mounted signs visible to drivers approaching the bridge from either direction.

The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. September is National Suicide Prevention Month in the U.S.

Twin concrete structures comprise the Route 118 bridge over Princeton Avenue in Moorpark.

Monday, August 6, 2018

55-Hour Closure of NB I-405 Connector to Eastbound I-105 and Lane Closures on EB I-105 at I-405

HAWTHORNE — Reconstruction and pavement rehabilitation of the northbound I-405 (San Diego Freeway) connectors to eastbound / westbound I-105 (Century / Glenn Anderson Freeway) continue.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces the scheduled 55-hour closure of the connector ramp from northbound Interstate 405 (San Diego Freeway) to eastbound Interstate 105 (Century – Glenn Anderson Freeway) and of freeway lanes on eastbound I-105 at I-405 to grind, pave, and stripe lanes on I-105. The closures are subject to change and are scheduled as follows:

From 11:59 p.m. Thurs., August 9 until 6 a.m. Fri., August 10:
o Northbound I-405 connector to EB I-105 closed.
o EB I-105 reduced to one lane approaching and past the I-405 interchange.

From 10 p.m. Fri., August 10 until 5 a.m. Mon., August 13 (55 consecutive hours):
• The northbound I-405 connector ramp to eastbound I-105 will be closed.
• Eastbound I-105 will be reduced to two lanes approaching and past the I-405 interchange.

Some lane and ramp closures may start as early as 7 p.m.
The eastbound El Segundo on ramp to northbound I-405 will remain open.
The northbound I-405 connector to westbound I-105 will remain open.

Drivers exiting LAX are advised to avoid entering eastbound I-105. Exit onto eastbound  Imperial Highway and rejoin eastbound I-105 at Freeman Ave. Or, exit onto eastbound Century Blvd. to southbound Hawthorne Blvd. to the on ramp to eastbound I-105. See attached detour maps.

Connector ramp detour: traffic may exit northbound I-405 to eastbound Imperial Highway and rejoin eastbound I-105 at the Freeman Ave. on ramp (east of Hawthorne Blvd.) Detour signs will be in place.                                                   

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Caltrans Recycles!

Caltrans Recycles!

Caltrans is in the process of widening the freeway, adding lanes and reconstructing interchanges along I-5 from I-605 to the Orange County line and from SR-134 to Buena Vista Street in Burbank. As we demolish old interchanges, bridges, ramps and sound and retaining walls, we keep the demolished concrete and metal.

One of our contractors then utilizes a large machine called a "crusher" to separate the metal and crush the concrete into pieces small enough to be used as aggregate to back-fill retaining walls and as base layer to build new freeway lanes. The crushed aggregate travels over a conveyor belt and is deposited into a large pile. Front loaders then load the recycled aggregate into trucks that deliver it to various construction sites within our overall project.

This recycling effort prevents negative impact on our environment and reduces project cost to our taxpayers. This is just another example of Caltrans fulfilling its mission statement to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California's economy and livability.

The photos below show the "crusher" and other equipment in action recycling our concrete and metal debris:



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

10 on I-10: 55-Hour Weekend Closures on I-10 Begin June 15

Beginning this weekend, Caltrans will conduct ten 55-hour weekend lane closures on the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) between Atlantic Boulevard and Rosemead Boulevard for bridge rehabilitation work. Along with the closure of the I-10 Metro Express Lanes, on- and off-ramps and local streets will also be closed. The first 55-hour weekend closure will begin Friday, June 15 at 10 p.m. and continue through Monday, June 18 at 5 a.m.

Friday, June 15 at 10 p.m. through Monday, June 18 at 5 a.m.
·       Eastbound I-10 Express Lanes at Atlantic Boulevard
·       Eastbound I-10 Atlantic Boulevard North on- and off-ramps
·       Westbound I-10 Atlantic Boulevard South on- and off-ramps
·       Both directions of Atlantic Boulevard between I-10 and Hellman Avenue 

Location of the first 55-hour weekend closure along eastbound I-10 at Atlantic Boulevard 

Although NOT a full freeway closure, motorists should expect delays and are strongly advised to use alternate routes, avoid the area or use public transit. Additionally, motorists can check traffic conditions before they leave by calling 511 or visiting the Caltrans Quickmap at

For more information regarding the I-10 55-hour closures and closure updates, please visit the project webpage  

10 55-hour weekend closures will take place on I-10 for bridge maintenance activities

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

In Burbank at I-5, Full Closure of Buena Vista Street on May 18-21

Buena Vista Street, looking south from the undercrossing at I-5 in Burbank.

The I-5 Buena Vista Street undercrossing in Burbank, looking north.
BURBANK — Buena Vista Street at the I-5 (Golden State Freeway) undercrossing is scheduled to be closed May 18-21 for paving and striping as part of the Empire Project, a series of improvements to Interstate 5 in Burbank.

From 10 p.m. Friday, May 18, to 6 a.m. Monday, May 21, Buena Vista Street is scheduled to be completely closed in both directions between Winona Avenue on the north and San Fernando Boulevard on the south.

Detours will be posted. The schedule is weather-permitting and subject to change.

Also closed for paving, at the same time, will be the northbound I-5 San Fernando Boulevard on-ramp, located north of the future I-5 interchange under construction at Empire Avenue in Burbank.

In addition, lanes will be reduced on San Fernando Boulevard at Buena Vista Street and on North Victory Place at Empire Avenue. Paving is scheduled in both areas. Also, Empire Avenue may be closed from Wilson Avenue to North Victory Place depending on the progress of work.

Traffic congestion and significant delays may occur near the closures, so drivers are advised to avoid the area or allow extra travel time.

When Buena Vista Street reopens on May 21, it will be reduced to one lane in each direction through late June for seismic retrofit work on bridge columns at the I-5 Buena Vista undercrossing.

As a result, congestion and delays are expected through June on Buena Vista Street and at nearby intersections, including Buena Vista Street at San Fernando Boulevard and Buena Vista Street at Winona Avenue.

The Empire Project includes construction of HOV (carpool) lanes, elevated railroad tracks, a new interchange at Empire Avenue and more. Information is available online at

Drivers will see more work on California bridges and highways as a result of SB 1, the state’s new transportation funding.

Caltrans reminds drivers to "Be Work Zone Alert" and "Slow for the Cone Zone."