Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Project to Protect Ventura Freeway (US 101) and Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) from Mudflows in Solimar Fire Burn Area Underway


Caltrans has already begun efforts to mitigate potential mud and debris flows along the denuded slopes in the Solimar fire burn area along the Ventura Freeway (US 101) between West Main Street and Dulah Road, approximately 10 miles north of Ventura.  So far, recent storms have not caused significant mud or debris flows onto US 101 and SR-1.

Immediately after the fire was contained and controlled by the Ventura County Fire Department on Tuesday, December 29, Caltrans maintenance crews cleared drains, culverts, and debris basins, placed hundreds of feet concrete barriers (K-rails), and crews remained on 24-hour standby for storm patrol.  Throughout the year Caltrans maintenance crews prepare for storms.  
Caltrans maintenance and geotechnical staff have directed repair crews to clear debris basins for upcoming storms, clear and repair damaged culverts, install fiber rolls and K-rails to channelize water and mudflows, and stabilize slopes.  Additionally, repair crews will replace damaged metal beam guardrail, highway signs, fencing, rock fences, and drainage systems.  Hydroseeding may be used to help reestablish vegetation.

A $2.5 million emergency contract has been awarded to Summer Construction Inc. of Santa Paula, California to make immediate repairs and respond to future storm related incidents.  Repair crews will work Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (longer hours during incidents) in the Solimar fire burn area on US 101 and SR-1.  Occasional lane closures may be required.

The Solimar fire started on Friday, December 25 and charred more than 1300 acres.  The fire required the closure of US 101 and SR-1 between Ventura and the Santa Barbara County line for 14-hours on Saturday, December 26.

Please Be Work Zone Alert.