Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Full Closures of Hollywood Freeway (US 101) Downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood

Loop Detector Installation on US 101

Some FAQs: 

Q: So this is a full freeway closure, like a Carmageddon or RoseJam or a Hollywood Jam Session? 

A: No.  Not even close. (There are no emojis to express how this is SO not a major closure).

Only small sections of one direction of US 101 will be closed.  

For instance, if the closure is on northbound US 101 at Western Avenue, only northbound US 101 will be closed up to the next ramp, Sunset Boulevard. 

These closures have already occurred on US 101 and have not, nor is it expected that any total shut down of the highway will occur. :)

Q:  So what days and times will the closures occur?

A: The full freeway closures will start at midnight or 1 a.m. and end at 5 a.m., from Sunday to Wednesday.  The means that the closures will start during the morning of each day and end on the same morning (Sunday morning, Monday morning, Tuesday morning, and Wednesday morning). :)

The press release: 

Caltrans will close all lanes of portions of north- and southbound US 101 from Glendale Boulevard to Cahuenga Boulevard from Sunday to Wednesday, until the first week of September, midnight to 5 a.m. to install loop detectors into the pavement.  

Motorists should expect delays and consider alternate routes. Signed detours will be in place. 

The loop detector installation is one of the final stages of a $19.26 million project to repave US 101 from Downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood. 

Loop detectors track travel time information and speeds that reflect real-time traffic conditions. The data collected from the wire loops can be translated in many ways. For instance, the count for how many vehicles pass over each loop at any given time determines traffic volume. The length of time that a vehicle remains on the loop indicates a possible incident, congestion or if traffic is flowing smoothly. 

Media tweets:

The contract was awarded to OHL USA Inc. from Irvine, California. The project is funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) and is expected to finish by the end of 2016. The California Highway Patrol will be on duty. Remember to Be Work Zone Alert.

Burbank Western Channel Cap Update

Caltrans’ contractor will resume work on the Burbank Western Channel cap project this week. Here’s what to expect.

➤ Upcoming Work: Crews will remove the Burbank Western Channel fence and install precast concrete panels to form the deck covering the channel adjacent to Leland Way. A crane will be used to lower the panels onto the top of the channel, creating a concrete cap.

➤ Construction Schedule: The capping of the channel will begin the week of August 22, 2016, and will take approximately two months. Crews will work primarily Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Set-up work may begin earlier.) Some night work is possible as well.

➤ Work Location: To the extent possible, the crane used to place the concrete panels will be stationed on the freeway side of the soundwall, which means most of the operation will not be visible to Leland Way and Broadway residents. Due to space limitations, it may be necessary at times to work from the street side.

➤ Closures: For the safety of residents, motorists and workers, street parking will be restricted when necessary to accommodate equipment and materials. Please pay attention to signs. Flaggers will be on site, and access to homes and driveways will be maintained at all times.

➤ Dust/Noise Impacts: No significant dust is expected, as precast concrete will be used for this operation. There will be some construction noise, but it will not exceed levels permitted by federal, state and local regulations.

➤ Why the Channel Cap is Necessary: The channel cap is part of the I-5 Empire Project, which is implementing major improvements to I-5, local streets and the railroad tracks in Burbank. As part of the project, new carpool lanes and a full interchange at Empire Avenue will be constructed. Capping the channel will provide the space needed for the carpool lanes and interchange.

➤ Benefits: The cap will reduce the mosquito population on Leland Way and odors emanating from the channel. It will not affect the functioning of the channel.

➤ More information: Learn more about the I-5 Empire Project at Submit your email address to get project updates. Questions? Call us on the I-5 Info Line at (855) 454-6335 or send an email to

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lane Closure for Swarm Maintenance on Long Beach Freeway (I-710)

Culvert inspectors using a remote control robot to inspect freeway drains during a swarm in East LA.
Swarm maintenance?! What's that?  Rest assured, it has nothing to do with beekeeping or the Wu-Tang clan.  

By placing several personnel into one closure, crews will be able accomplish several tasks and reduce the need for future closures.

Here's an example of a past swarm maintenance operation at the East Los Angeles Interchange:

Here's the press release:

Lane Closure for Swarm Maintenance on Long Beach Freeway (I-710)

By placing several personnel into one closure, crews will be able accomplish several tasks and reduce the need for future closures

BELL GARDENS – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will deploy 100 maintenance workers (white hardhats) to perform “swarm” maintenance on Sunday, August 21, 5 a.m. to noon along southbound I-710 from Bandini Boulevard to Florence Avenue.  One lane of southbound I-710 will be closed.     

Crews will remove litter and graffiti, trim trees, clear weeds, repair guardrail and irrigation, and inspect and clear drains.

Motorists should expect delays.  

By increasing the window to 6 hours and placing several personnel into one closure, crews will be able accomplish several tasks all at once.  

The California Highway Patrol will be on duty.  Please Be Work Zone Alert #BWZA.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What “Structurally Deficient” and “Functionally Obsolete” REALLY Mean

Bridge number 53-0062, the Manhattan Beach Undercrossing on PCH, built in 1930.
From time to time, a report of some kind or a news story will declare that X percentage of bridges in California are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. And if hearing that bridges you drive over may be structurally deficient or functionally obsolete gives you pause, you’re not alone. Admittedly, these loaded terms are terrific triggers for bridge anxiety, but rest assured that the reality is far less scary.

First, let’s be clear: No Caltrans bridge has ever collapsed due to neglect. Ever. Which isn’t to say that bridges don’t collapse. They do. They’re consumed by floods, brought down by fire, leveled by earthquakes, and hit by trucks, but in California, bridges do NOT collapse because they're not maintained. In large part, that flawless record is made possible by a special unit created by the department in 1927 to ensure the safety and reliability of the state’s bridge inventory. 

Sr. Bridge Engineer Bing Wu at work.
Two hundred specially trained engineers, technicians and support staff in Caltrans Structure Maintenance & Investigations (SM&I) are responsible for inspections on over 12,000 state highway bridges and approximately 12,200 bridges owned by local government agencies. Every bridge undergoes regularly scheduled routine inspections performed by licensed engineers with an expertise in bridges. Inspections have one purpose: to ensure the safety and reliability of every bridge open to traffic. 

If, during the course of an inspection, inspectors find any issue that could compromise the bridge’s structural integrity, they have the power to do whatever it takes to protect public safety, including closing the bridge or posting the structure for weight limitations until repairs are made.

Now, about those scary terms. Some of California’s older bridges are in good shape but functionally obsolete. This term, which is a federal designation, tells us more about the age of a bridge than its structural integrity. Functionally obsolete simply means that the bridge was built using different standards than are used today—like bridge number 53-0062 in the photo above. For example, a functionally obsolete bridge may have no shoulders and narrow lanes. Would we build a bridge like this today? No. Is it unsafe? No. 

Some of our bridges are also structurally deficient. Like the label functionally obsolete, structurally deficient doesn’t mean a bridge is unsafe. Rather, it indicates that a bridge is in need of maintenance, such as filling minor cracks or repainting. These are conditions that would be noted during a bridge inspection and later fixed. In the meantime, the bridge can be safely used by the motoring public.

So the next time you hear or read that a bridge is functionally obsolete or structurally deficient, remember: the bridge is NOT unsafe. Typically, it means that it’s an older bridge or has some minor maintenance issues that can be handled fairly easily and inexpensively. If the bridge is open, it’s safe. Traverse California's bridges with confidence!

Monday, August 15, 2016

POSTPONED: 10-day Closure of Paramount Boulevard eastbound SR-60 loop on-ramp in Montebello

Paramount Bl. Eastbound SR-60 loop on-ramp entrance
Caltrans will close the Paramount Boulevard eastbound SR-60 loop on-ramp from Tuesday, September 6 at 6 a.m. to Friday, September 16 at 3 p.m. Monday, August 29 to Wednesday, September 7 for 10-consecutive days.  Detour signs will be posted.

Construction crews will need the closure to reconfigure the ramp by grading soil, demolish the old ramp, and finishing paving and striping the new ramp.

Other information:
During this project, residents, businesses, and motorists should expect occasional day time lane closures and construction noise from heavy equipment. Caltrans noise and vibration specialists will monitor the work to ensure that the noise levels don’t exceed federal and state mandated noise levels.

Expected work schedule: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Occasional closures of lanes and ramps may occur.

Eastound I-210 RoseJam: A Timeline

Crew repaving eastbound 210

Friday, August 12, 2016

10 on 10: 10-Hour Full Closure of Eastbound I-10 at I-605 for Sign Project

Caltrans will close all lanes of eastbound I-10 at I-605 on Sunday, August 14, 4:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to upgrade several green overhead sign panels.  All eastbound I-10 traffic will be detoured onto southbound I-605 while all lanes are closed.  As work progresses, eastbound lanes may open early.  
Signed detours will be posted.

Motorists should consider alternate routes and expect delays.

10 on 10
Gallery from last project.
To ensure the safety of motorists and maintenance crews, the lanes must be closed.  Crews will upgrade the green sign panels with new, high reflective panels to enhance motorist safety.

er to Be Work Zone Alert.  The CHP will be on duty.

Also, be sure to check Quickmap: