Monday, June 30, 2014

Car Crashes Into Construction Zone



Construction crews nimbly removed fallen steel and wood beams on I-5.
After 2 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, a Dodge Magnum traveling on northbound I-5 crashed into bridge falsework at the northbound Interstate 5/Interstate 710 interchange in East Los Angeles.  The falsework was in place for the widening of the Olympic Boulevard overcrossing above the interchange as part of the I-710 Pavement Rehabilitation project.

Of the occupants of the vehicle one is dead and the other has moderate injuries.  The Los Angeles County Fire Department had to use urban search and rescue heavy equipment to remove the vehicle and occupants.  Several wood beams and other metal components of the falsework were severely damaged.

Northbound I-5 was closed at Atlantic Boulevard which forced thousands of vehicles onto local streets.

The contractor, Shimmick working in coordination with Structure Construction and District 7’s Maintenance, Operations, and Construction Divisions secured the falsework and tons of fallen steel and wood beams, and debris.

I-5 was opened to all traffic at 7:40 p.m. after the freeway was closed for nearly 14 hours.

*This is only a summary of the event(s) of the day.  The CHP and LACoFD should be contacted for the cause of the accident, condition of patients, and other accident related information.  Caltrans only handles the maintenance, operation, construction, and stewardship of the state's freeway and highway system.

Bridge Maintenace on PCH in Long Beach Almost Finished



Crews pouring and smoothing out concrete.

During a 55-hour closure of all lanes of Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) in Long Beach this past weekend, construction crews poured concrete into forms to construct a new northbound lane on SR-1 above the Terminal Island Freeway (SR-103).

One lane of northbound SR-1 will remain closed until Monday, July 8.  The closure is in place to allow for the concrete to harden (cure).

This project is expected to finish by July 2014.  D.W. Powell Construction Inc. of Fontana, California was awarded this $600,000 contact that is funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

Caltrans reminds motorists to Slow For The Cone Zone and Move Over. It’s the law.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Half Billion To Upgrade Transportation

New state budget also increases transportation funding by $351 million
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has allocated $510 million to 83 transportation projects that will put people to work improving the state’s highways, bridges, and public transit. One
Soundwall along I-5 in Santa Clarita Valley
of the highlights of the meeting was the CTC revising its funding estimate upward for the StateHighway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) for the 2014-15 fiscal year from $2.2 billion to approximately $2.4 billion. The revision was in response to the new state budget, which provides $351 million in new transportation funding through the early repayment of loans made to the General Fund.

The new funding includes $210 million for the SHOPP, which pays for transportation safety projects, pavement repair and preservation work, and upgrades bridges; $27 million for Caltrans maintenance projects; $100 million for city and county transportation; $9 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects under California’s new Active Transportation Program; and $5 million to mitigate environmental effects of proposed transportation improvements.

Gavin Canyon, I-5 Truck lanes project

The $510 million in CTC funding allocations include nearly $163 million for “fix it first” projects that will repair bumpy pavement, preserve roads that are in good condition from deteriorating and upgrade bridges to make them safer and stronger. Most of California’s highways are more than a half-century old, and they carry nearly half of the nation’s container freight – heavy loads that pound our highways more than any other state.

“To get the most bang for the buck for taxpayers, Caltrans targets dollars where they are most effective - pavement preservation,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “Every $1 spent on preventive pavement maintenance saves Californians $11 that would have been spent on expensive pavement repairs.”

The allocations also include $104 million from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. To date, more than $17 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been put to work statewide for transportation purposes.

Here are some of the significant projects that will improve and/or preserve California’s valuable investments in its transportation system that received allocations:

$71 million - Fairway Drive Grade Separation Project - Construct a roadway underpass on Fairway Drive and a double-track railroad bridge in the city of Industry.

$5.8 million - Washington Boulevard Widening and Reconstruction – Widen Washington Boulevard from two lanes to three lanes in each direction, upgrade traffic signals and street lighting, and improve sidewalks in the city of Commerce.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Highway Safety Poster Contest Winners Announced


Each year, Caltrans holds its annual Highway Safety Poster Contest. The contest is open to children and grandchildren of Caltrans employees, 17 years old and younger, who are invited to create a poster about the importance of driving safely in or near highway work zones. Judges selected winning posters based on creativity, expression of the highway safety theme, and the use of color.

The winning posters appeared in the Annual Workers Memorial program and were on display at the ceremony. (Check them out here.) Although the posters differ greatly in appearance, they all feature one of two safety messages: "Slow for the Cone Zone" or "Move Over." Here's the grand prize-winning poster, submitted by 17-year-old Ashley Cho:



You can help make trips safer for yourself, your passengers, workers and other motorists by remembering some work zone safety tips.
     > Don't speed in work zones.

     > Stay alert. Expect the unexpected.

     > Watch for workers and drive with caution.

     > Don't change lanes unnecessarily.

     > Avoid using your cell phone in work zones.

     > Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

     > Allow plenty of space between you and the car in front of you.

     > Anticipate lane shifts, and merge when directed to do so.

     > Expect delays. Be Patient.

In other words, drive through work zones as if someone who is very precious to you is working there. A total of 183 Caltrans employees have been killed on the job. With your help, we'll never get to 184.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) Bridge Maintenance in Long Beach

Demolition crew member using a "cutter"
to cut steel rebar inside of the bridge.


As part of a bridge maintenance project, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will temporarily close portions of Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) and the Terminal Island Freeway (SR-103) to repair damaged pavement during the following days and times:

Closures:

Friday, June 20 to Thursday, June 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Northbound SR-1 to Southbound SR-103 on-ramp

Construction crews will install steel rebar inside of the bridge deck and construct falsework.

55-hour closure starting 8 p.m. Friday, June 27 to 5 a.m. Monday, June 30

All lanes of north- and southbound SR-1 will be closed.


A full closure of north- and southbound lanes of SR-1 above SR-103 will be in place to prevent vibrations caused by passing vehicles from negatively affecting the curing (hardening) process of the newly poured concrete. 

This project is expected to finish by July 2014.  D.W. Powell Construction Inc. of Fontana, California was awarded this $600,000 contact that is funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

Motorists should expect delays.  Closures are subject to change.  Signed detours will be in place.

Caltrans reminds motorists to Slow For The Cone Zone and Move Over. It’s the law.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Maintenance Work on State Route 150

Caltrans will perform maintenance on State Route 150 from the interchange with U.S. Highway 101 to the Rincon Creek Bridge on Friday, June 20 from 8 am to 5 pm. This project will take place near Capenteria in Santa Barbara County.

Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control and can expect major delays from 45 minutes to one hour and should allow extra time for any trips planned on State Route 150 near the project area.

Electronic Message Boards will be activated to inform the public about this closure.

This fog seal project is designed to improve and maintain the surface of the highway. 

This project is being performed by the Caltrans District 5 Maintenance Group.

Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway work zones.

For traffic updates on other state highways in Santa Barbara County, motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit the District 5 website.

 

Kids Say: Be Alert! My Mom (and/or Dad) Is at Work

You may have noticed some new work zone safety billboards on Los Angeles freeways recently. The new billboards feature the children of Caltrans workers urging motorists to help keep their parents safe by staying alert when driving through work zones: 



It's an important message. Highway construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. The risk of death is seven times higher for highway workers than for average workers in any other industry, according to the latest data from the California Department of Industrial Relations. On average 1,000 Caltrans vehicles are struck each year—more than three each day. 

The new “Be Work Zone Alert” campaign features public service announcements and nearly 60 billboards across California. The campaign is funded with highway maintenance funds and a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Past public awareness campaigns, such as “Click It or Ticket” and “Slow for the Cone Zone” have helped improve public safety, reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities on California’s highways. Nevertheless, work zone collisions still burdened the state with approximately $185 million in economic cost as well as the tragic loss of human life.  

No child should ever be told that their mother or father won't be coming home because they were killed while working to provide for their family. Please be alert in work zones. And remember, California law requires all drivers to move over if safe to do so, or slow down when you see amber flashing lights on Caltrans vehicles.



Friday, June 13, 2014

PCH Bridge Maintenance Project in Long Beach



Last night at 6 p.m., Caltrans closed all lanes on northbound Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) in Long Beach to demolish a damaged section of roadway on the bridge above the Terminal Island Freeway (SR-103). 

As you’ll see in the pictures, the demolition crews (subcontractor Penhall) surgically removed the concrete and rebar.  Steel plates were placed on SR-103 below the bridge to prevent the falling concrete from damaging the pavement.

This project is expected to finish by July 2014.  D.W. Powell Construction Inc. of Fontana, California was awarded this $600,000 contract that is funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

Motorists should expect delays.  Signed detours will be in place.

Caltrans reminds motorists to Slow For The Cone Zone and Move Over. It’s the law.




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Project Update: I-5 Truck Lanes


In mid-2012, we began work on a project that’s widening I-5 to make room for specially designated truck lanes in both directions between SR-14 and Pico Canyon Road/Lyons Avenue in Santa Clarita. The southbound truck lane will extend from Pico Canyon Road/Lyons Avenue to SR-14 (3.7 miles), while the northbound lane will run from SR-14 to Gavin Canyon (1.4 miles). This $72 million project will improve traffic flow, relieve congestion and enhance safety. 

We're now about two years into the project. Here’s a status update ...

(Almost) Done: Crews are almost done with the following median work: retaining walls and paving from the Weldon Canyon overcrossing to the Pico Canyon/Lyons Avenue overcrossing, the retaining wall on the right shoulder of southbound I-5 just south of the Weldon Canyon overcrossing, and bridge widening operations at both the Gavin Canyon underpass and Calgrove Boulevard underpass. 

Here’s the new retaining wall just south of Weldon Canyon:



Here’s the wider Gavin Canyon underpass:


And here’s the wider Calgrove underpass:


In Progress: Crews are finishing up the retaining wall south of the Weldon Canyon overcrossing and have recently begun working on the retaining wall north of the Weldon Canyon overcrossing.

The project is about 84% complete and is on track to be completed late this year. More information about the project is here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

PCH Bridge Project in Long Beach near Ports



As part of a bridge maintenance project, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will temporarily close portions of northbound Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) and the Terminal Island Freeway (SR-103) to repair damaged pavement during the following days and times:

Closures for Monday, June 9 to Friday, June 13

SR-1
All lanes of northbound SR-1 above SR-103, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
One lane of northbound SR-1 above SR-103, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Northbound PCH, looking north.

SR-103
Northbound SR-103 to northbound SR-1, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

This week construction crews will demolish one lane of northbound SR-1 above SR-103.

This project is expected to finish by July 2014.  D.W. Powell Construction Inc. of Fontana, California was awarded this $600,000 contact that is funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

Motorists should expect delays.  Signed detours will be in place.

Caltrans reminds motorists to Slow For The Cone Zone and Move Over. It’s the law.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Another PCH (SR-1) Project: Slope Stabilization

 
Yes, that’s right, another project is about to start on PCH.
 
Examples of micropile installation and anchoring.
Courtesy of FHWA.
This project is expected to start in early July 2014 and end in August 2015, it shouldn’t affect the flow of traffic or slow your access to one of the many destinations along the coast. 
 
This project will help stabilize the slopes along the southbound side of PCH (SR-1) between Via Escondido and Sea Vista Drive in Malibu, near the Malibu Cove Colony.
 
Steel tie backs that were used to stabilize slopes
along SR-2 in the Angeles National Forest.
The contractor, C.A. Rasmussen of Valencia, California, will install anchor steel micropiles and tiebacks to bedrock beneath the highway to stabilize the slope.  Construction crews will shift the lanes to accommodate for construction activities.
 
Although there may be short and temporary lane closures, all lanes of PCH are expected to be open during this project.  Additionally, cyclists will continue to have access through the construction zone.

Construction project growing pains

 
If you live near the project area, construction noise may be heard during daytime work hours.   It is expected that crews will work from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

LED Lighting: A Bright Idea

Caltrans is taking significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. One example: replacing vapor sodium lamps with LED lamps. LED lamps are brighter and more cost-effective. They contain no hazardous waste, last four times longer, and reduce Caltrans' carbon footprint by about 10,000 tons per year. That's the equivalent of taking about 2,000 cars off the road.

So how many Caltrans directors does it take to change an LED bulb? None — we prefer to leave bulb changing to our highly skilled, experienced electricians. But in the video below, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty tags along with an electrical crew to see how it's done. 


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