Friday, April 29, 2016

Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1): Las Tunas State Beach Shoreline Protection Project in Malibu Nearing Completion

Caltrans began constructing a seawall (rock slope protection) on the ocean side slopes of Las Tunas Canyon Beach along eastbound Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) east of Big Rock Road on Wednesday, October 28.  Today, the project is now 87% complete.  The project is expected to finish in late May.
The 1,600 foot-long and 20 to 30 feet-tall sea wall is finished.  The seawall will protect slopes from erosion.  Without this project, the erosion would have undermined the highway.  

What’s left to do:
  • A paved parking lot will be built on the south-end of the project area.
  • Install natural beach access trails.
  • Remove steel plates from the work area.
  • Return highway shoulder to original configuration. 
Nearby residents may hear occasional noise from the project area.

Nordic Industries of Olivehurst, California was awarded this $8.2 million contract that is funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

Remember to Be Work Zone Alert.

Officials signal the start of construction on the new I-10 HOV lanes project in the San Gabriel Valley on April 29.

Elected officials and representatives from Caltrans, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other organizations gathered April 29 for groundbreaking on a construction project that will add more than 10 miles of new carpool lanes on the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10).

The new HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes are expected to help ease congestion for the more than 200,000 motorists who travel the route daily in the San Gabriel Valley.

“Caltrans is working all over this state to improve traffic flow, reduce emissions and to save motorists time and money,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “These additional lanes are an example of some of the direct steps we’re taking to reduce travel times on some of the state’s most congested highways, including this vital route in the Los Angeles area’s regional freeway system.”

The $195 million project will add one 5.2-mile-long carpool lane in each direction of I-10 between Citrus Street in West Covina and the Orange Freeway (SR-57). Sound walls also will be constructed to reduce freeway noise in adjacent neighborhoods.

This is the last of three projects that upon completion will create continuous carpool lanes between downtown Los Angeles and San Bernardino County, a distance of about 40 miles.

Nearly 760,000 people per day ride on Los Angeles County’s 557 lane miles of carpool lanes. An additional 41 miles of carpool lanes are now under construction in the county, and another 131 miles are in the design and planning stage. California has more than 1,600 lane miles of carpool lanes – the most in the nation.

The prime contractor for the new I-10 HOV lanes project is Atkinson Construction of Irvine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I-5 Empire Project: A Concise Video Tour

It's tour time! We're about two years into the I-5 Empire Project in Burbank, which is on schedule to be completed in 2019. Wondering what's happening on this $355 million project? Wonder no longer! We're pleased to offer a concise video tour of some of the most critical work areas in the construction zone, all of which are between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street.

First up: the retaining wall for the new elevated railroad tracks along Victory Place. Between the concrete barrier and the retaining wall, you can also see the temporary railroad tracks (aka shoofly), which were completed last fall. The shoofly allows trains to keep running without disruption to service while the permanent elevated tracks are constructed:


The shoofly will be removed once the permanent tracks are completed.

This next video shows the steel and concrete structures that will support the new elevated railroad tracks over Buena Vista Street:


Trains will begin operating on the elevated tracks later this year. 

Here's a view of the Buena Vista Street/Winona Avenue bridge deck, which is being widened to accommodate new carpool lanes:


In this next video, you can check out the new pump house under construction. The pump house, as the name suggests, houses the equipment that prevents stormwater from flooding I-5:


And finally, here are some shots that show the location of the new Empire Avenue undercrossing. The undercrossing will connect Empire Avenue to San Fernando Boulevard by tunneling under I-5.


Want more information about the I-5 Empire Project? Visit the My5LA website, and while you're there, sign up to receive project updates.

Monday, April 25, 2016

San Gabriel Canyon Road (SR-39) Open!

Caltrans opened San Gabriel Canyon Road (SR-39) on Friday, April 22 at 3 p.m. to the public.
Gate open!
The highway was originally expected to open in early May.   The highway was closed to public access since January 6 at East Fork Road due to severe El Niño storms that cause several washouts and filled and damage debris basins along the roadside.   
Repaired slope, looking southward
Construction crews repaired the following:
  • Five washed out slopes were rebuilt and stabilized.
  • Roadside debris basins have been cleared.
  • Fiber mesh has been installed on the slopes to prevent future erosion from heavy rains.
  • 1,000 to 1,500 feet of asphalt concrete berms were reconstructed on the shoulder.
  • One hundred feet of the highway was repaved.
  • Nearly 2,000 feet of rip rap (rocks) was installed to prevent water and debris flows from damaging the slopes during heavy rains.
  • Over 10,000 yards of dirt was hauled out or used to rebuild slopes and berms. 
  • The highway was restriped.  
  • During heavy rains in January, mud and debris flows blocked drainage systems and washed out support slopes along the highway (post mile 28.0 to post mile 31.0) in the Cabin fire burn area. 
O’Donnell Construction Inc. of San Dimas, California was awarded this $2 million contract.  

Please Be Work Zone Alert.  
Repaired pavement, berms, and slopes

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: The Collapse of State Route 3

Commuting by freeway in District 7 is not without its hassles—congestion, accidents, construction delays, etc. But rarely does the roadway simply give way, the pavement collapsing in on itself, whole chunks of it disappearing—like a scene in an action-adventure movie. 

That’s exactly what happened to State Route 3 about 10 miles north of Weaverville in Trinity County on March 14. Luckily, no one was hurt. Check out the video below to see some incredible images. 

Crews are working hard to get the highway reopened as soon as possible. About 5,000 dump trucks of material have to be moved to rebuild the road, which is expected to be back in service by Memorial Day.

Friday, April 15, 2016

VIDEO: Caltrans Rock Climbers Remove Loose Rocks from Slopes Near Las Tunas State Beach

Caltrans rock climber on slope above highway.
Caltrans intermittently closed all lanes of Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) between Big Rock Road and Peña Creek Road on Tuesday, April 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. so department rock climbers could remove loose rocks and debris from the slopes along the highway. 
Caltrans rock climbers or scalers are composed of employees from the division of maintenance and engineering geologists.  Rock climbers help maintain and protect slopes along 3,000 miles of state highways by physically removing marginally stable or unstable rocks from the face of a rock slope with crowbars, hands, feet, airbags, and explosives.

State Employee Medal of Valor Award on April 12, presented by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty awards Johnson
The State Employee Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor California bestows on its public servants.
Mark E. Johnson earned the gold medal for rescuing a pregnant woman on June 22, 2015, after her car crashed into his Caltrans skip-loader tractor on State Route 14 near Agua Dulce in Los Angeles County.
Her car began to burn and she was trapped inside it, unable to open the door. Johnson managed to pry open the door of the burning car and helped the driver to safety.

L to R: Caltrans District 7 Director Carrie Bowen, Mark Johnson
and Deputy District 7 Director of Maintenance Debbie Wong 
Then he took action to put out the grass fire that was ignited by the burning car.
Johnson, a 32-year veteran Caltrans Equipment Operator II, is based in District 7 North Region Maintenance.
His courageous action occurred about 10 a.m. as he was safely driving his slow-moving skip-loader tractor, with its amber lights flashing, along the paved right shoulder of the northbound freeway. He was heading to the worksite to meet up with the rest of his work crew.

Mark E. Johnson
Suddenly the car rear-ended his skip loader. He felt a powerful jolt, turned to assess the situation and saw that the car had sustained severe front-end damage and was starting to burn.
He rescued the driver, led her to a safe area along the guard rail and provided her some drinking water. Then he grabbed a shovel from the skip loader and began putting out the grass fire.
Soon, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol and paramedics arrived. Both the driver and Johnson were taken to the hospital for examination. Johnson was released later that day and was cleared to return to work.
The car’s driver sustained some injuries but suffered no serious injury, thanks to Johnson’s quick thinking and immediate action.
Medal of Valor
For courageously risking his life in the face of danger, Johnson was presented the Gold Medal of Valor, in recognition of his willingness to perform an extraordinary act of heroism far above and beyond the normal call of duty, at great risk to his own life in an effort to save a human life.
“All Caltrans employees are honorable servants of the state of California – with many exposed to the elements, explosives, heavy equipment and fast-moving traffic, but once in a while an employee will display extraordinary bravery, courage and selflessness in the face of danger,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “We honor those employees and thank them for their continued service.”
Johnson was one of four Caltrans employees who received the State Employee Medal of Valor Award on April 12, presented by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.