Monday, September 28, 2015

Go Human Campaign Encourages People to Walk and Bike More

Beginning this week, you may notice billboards advertising the Go Human campaign. Go Human is a community outreach and advertising campaign with the goals of reducing traffic collisions in Southern California and encouraging people to walk and bike more. The campaign, launched by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), hopes to create safer and healthier cities through education, advocacy, information sharing and events that help residents re-envision their neighborhoods.

Whether you plan to walk, bicycle or drive to your destination, SCAG and Go Human offer these tips to ensure you arrive safely and can enjoy your trip:
  • Let's Walk! Walking is one of the easiest ways to get active and stay fit. It's free, reduces stress, prevents disease, and can connect you to your community in a whole new way.
  • Let's Bike! Improve your health, save money, help the environment, and avoid traffic and the hassle of parking. Bicycling five miles to work, four days a week, avoids an average of 2,000 miles of driving a year.​
  • Drive With Care. California has the nation's highest number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. If you are driving, look twice for people walking or biking before you make a turn. Always come to a complete stop before making a right turn on red.
For more information, please visit the Go Human website or follow them on Twitter.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hollywood Freeway (US 101) Pavement Project from Downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood

Construction crew mark where old concrete will be cut then removed.
For those headed to Hollywood or Downtown Los Angeles on US 101 or just passing through, this message is for you.

Caltrans will continue to re-pave lanes on US 101 Hollywood, Friday, September 25.  Closures will occur on Friday and Saturday nights.  Motorists should expect delays and consider alternate routes. 

Upcoming Closures:
Friday, September 25 to Sunday, September 27
Southbound US 101, Western Avenue to Santa Monica Boulevard (SR-2)

The time frames for the closures are as follows:
Fridays and Saturdays: 
Up to one lane – 11 p.m. to 11 a.m.
Up to two lanes – 11 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Up to three lanes – 1 a.m. to 7a.m.

Saturday and Sundays:
Up to one lane – 11 p.m. to 12 p.m.
Up to two lanes – 11 p.m. to 10 a.m.
Up to three lanes – 1 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Precast Jointed Concrete Pavement (PJCP) will be used at several locations within the project area.   PJCP panels are cast and cured at a plant off-site and then trucked to the construction location and installed using a crane to help reduce closure times and maintenance costs. 

This $19.26 million project 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.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Battling the Butte Fire

The deadly wildfires that continue to rage in Northern California have destroyed more than 1,600 structures, burned through thousands of acres, and displaced hundreds of people. 

During large wildfires like these, Caltrans helps with monitoring roadblocks and providing traffic control. Then, when firefighters have extinguished the flames and hotspots, Caltrans takes on fire cleanup. Crews get to work on replacing guardrail and signage, removing dead trees and shrubs, and reintroducing native plants to prevent erosion. 

Check out the video below to get a glimpse into the areas affected by the Butte Fire in Calaveras County, now 74% contained, and the department’s commitment to assisting communities both during and after a wildfire strike.

The Six Minute Pitch: A Transportation Startup Challenge

"It's basically the transportation industry's national version of Shark Tank, Startup Battlefield, or Dragons' Den!"

The Transportation Research Board’s Young Members Council is sponsoring a competition for entrepreneurs with cutting-edge, research-based concepts for transportation product or service-based business. Selected presenters will have the opportunity to make a six minute, interactive presentation to a panel of distinguished transportation industry investors and entrepreneurs. All applicants must describe how their product or service will bring research to commercial application. Presentations should include an interactive element, such as a presentation of a prototype or demonstration of software under development. Read more...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pile Driving for New Elevated Railroad Tracks in Burbank Begins This Weekend

On September 8, the new temporary railroad tracks (aka shoofly) in Burbank began operation. These tracks will be in use while the new elevated tracks are constructed, which will take about a year. Work is already underway on the elevated tracks, and construction will really ramp up this weekend when the Buena Vista pile driving operation begins. Details:

WHERE AND WHEN: The work will take place near the intersection of Buena Vista Street and San Fernando Boulevard. Signed detours will be provided. The I-5 on- and off-ramps will remain OPEN. During work hours, Buena Vista Street northbound and southbound will be closed as follows:
+ September 19 – October 4, 2015
Northbound and southbound Buena Vista Street from Winona Avenue to San Fernando Boulevard will be fully closed on weekends from Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. to Sunday evenings at 8 p.m.

+ September 21 – October 16, 2015
One lane of northbound Buena Vista Street from San Fernando Boulevard to Winona Avenue will be closed on weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Flaggers will direct motorists.
IMPACTS: You may notice noise and vibration during this operation, particularly if you live or work near the area. 

SCHEDULE CHANGES: The work schedule is subject to change due to operational factors and inclement weather.

MORE INFORMATION: View the construction notice in English and Spanish HERE.

STAY INFORMED: To receive information about work related to the I-5 Empire Project, visit My5LA. Submit your email address through the website to get notifications delivered automatically to your inbox. You can also call us on the toll-free I-5 Info Line at (855) 454-6335.

Friday, September 11, 2015

New Names for US 101 Bike Path and Pedestrian Undercrossing Honor Cycling, Coastal Commission Leaders

The Ralph Fertig Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path
The Peter Douglas Coastal Access Way
The beautiful new Class 1 bike path that Caltrans recently constructed as part of the U.S. 101 carpool lane project in Ventura County has a new name: the Ralph Fertig Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path. Fertig, who died in 2014, was a tireless advocate for better bicycle infrastructure and smart transportation planning. The designated bike path stretches from Mobil Pier Road to Bates Road.

The pedestrian undercrossing at La Conchita also has a new name: the Peter Douglas Coastal Access Way. Peter Douglas was the longest-serving executive director of the California Coastal Commission (1985-2011) and contributed important suggestions for the design of the carpool lane project and bike path. He died in 2012.

Both designations were made possible by a resolution (ACR 58) sponsored by Assemblymember Das Williams, which recently passed unanimously in the California Legislature.

Caltrans will post signage with the special designations. The signs will be paid for by donations.

The freeway widening project constructed a carpool lane in each direction along a six-mile stretch of US 101 between Mobil Pier Road in Ventura County and Casitas Pass Road in Santa Barbara County. The project also constructed the bike path and pedestrian undercrossing in La Conchita, added concrete barriers, and closed existing median openings. Additional improvements included median landscaping, improved drainage and smart technology devices to better regulate traffic. The $102 million project was completed in March.

Additional Information: 

Read the resolution here.

More info about the U.S. 101 carpool lane project is here.

An article from the Santa Barbara Independent about the designations is here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Project Milestone: Temporary RR Tracks in Burbank Now Open!

 A train testing the new temporary tracks makes a trial run on Sept. 7.
Crews working on the I-5 Empire Project in Burbank spent this past weekend getting ready for a major milestone: opening of the new temporary railroad tracks — aka shoofly — adjacent to I-5. After several days spent testing the tracks and signals to ensure that all systems are working properly, the tracks were opened for regular train traffic at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8. Check out the video below to see the very first train to use the new 2.2-mile shoofly.

The shoofly will be in use while crews build elevated railroad tracks that will pass over Buena Vista Street, eliminating train/car and train/pedestrian conflicts at street level. Construction will take about a year. The work is part of the I-5 Empire Project in Burbank, a series of improvement to I-5 and adjacent streets. More info is here

Friday, September 4, 2015

Proposition 1B: Promises Made, Promises Kept

Back in 2006, California voters approved Proposition 1B, a bond measure that funded projects to relieve congestion, improve goods movement, improve air quality, and enhance the safety and security of the transportation system. (More info here.)

The Prop 1B program was designed to deliver vital transportation benefits throughout California over the course of a decade, and as it turns out, that’s exactly what it did. Caltrans, the California Transportation Commission (CTC), and local partners worked together to deliver the program’s promise to Californians — so says a new report on Prop 1B just released by the CTC, Proposition 1B: Promises Made, Promises Kept. Here are some of the report's key findings:

Low Administration Costs: 98 cents of every dollar went to projects; only 2 cents to project administration.

Job Creation: The expenditure of Proposition 1B bond funds came at a critical time, creating more than 650,000 jobs statewide at a time when jobs were most needed during the 2008 recession.

Billions in Cost Savings: The state benefited from a strong competitive bidding environment resulting in $2 billion in project cost savings.

Of the hundreds of projects that were completed on time and on budget with funding from Prop 1B, many were here in District 7, such as:

  • Addition of high occupancy vehicle and mixed flow lanes on I-5.
  • Replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
  • Addition of a northbound carpool lane for 10 miles on I-405.
  • Reconstruction of US 101 interchanges in Ventura County.
  • Los Angeles County - I-5 Truck Climbing Lanes Project.
  • Los Angeles County - SR 710 Long Life Pavement Rehabilitation Project.
See all the Prop 1B-funded projects and read the entire report here.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Baldwin Park 10/605 Direct Connector Project Close to Completion

If you have driven along the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) in the San Gabriel Valley in the last couple of years, you may have noticed construction of the southbound I-605 to eastbound I-10 direct connector in Baldwin Park. The direct connector, which is anticipated to open this fall, is a 30-foot wide single lane connector with a 5-foot wide left shoulder and a 10-foot wide right shoulder. Check out the enclosed video of the project's progress, and remember to Be Work Zone Alert.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ask Caltrans: What are you doing on US 101 late at night?

Wondering why you may have encountered late night lane closures on US 101 lately during the weekend? (Yes, we know, rush hour is 24/7 in Los Angeles, right?) 

Caltrans is currently repaving (rehabilitating) concrete pavement on the Hollywood Freeway and Ventura Freeway (US 101) between the 101/110 Interchange in Downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood, and from the 101/134/170 Interchange in Sherman Oaks to Calabasas.  

Generally, damaged or broken concrete is removed and new concrete is poured, sometimes depending on the type of concrete used, the process could take weeks to cure.  In the past few years, Caltrans has decided to use pre-cast panels (pre-fab slabs, as seen in the video) as an innovative way to effectively and efficiently replace damaged pavement, reduce the need for lanes closures and reduce the construction or maintenance crews exposure to traffic hazards, and increase the usage life of the pavement.  

Watch the video above and read Caltrans District 7’s Inside 7 Newsletter: A Concrete Solution to Freeway Repair: D7 Road Tests an Innovative Precast Panel Strategy  

Would you like to see your question answered on our blog? Send us a tweet with #AskCaltrans, and we'll see if we can answer your question.