Monday, February 29, 2016

Caltrans Hosts Free Workshop for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

Caltrans District 7 invites you to attend a free Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification Informational Workshop, presented by our Office of Business and Economic Opportunity DBE experts.

If you're a small business owner and are not yet DBE certified, come learn how you can increase your business opportunities by becoming DBE certified to perform work for federal highway transportation projects.
   Where: 100 South Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 

You may qualify for DBE certification if you meet these criteria: 

   + Within personal net worth limitations ($1.32 million)
   + Within business size standards (up to $23.98 million) 
   + Socially and economically disadvantaged
   + Meet the 51% ownership and operational control requirement

During the workshop, you'll learn about the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP), the certification process and criteria, and how to turn your certification into contracting opportunities.

Pre-registration has ended, but you can find out about late registration and/or seat availability by contacting Elsa King at 213-897-7582 or

More information about the DBE Program is here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ventura Freeway (US 101) Pavement Project in San Fernando Valley

A traffic jam on a LA freeway at midnight?!  Yes, it is possible, but really (really), Caltrans has a reason for the late night lane closures.

Caltrans will reduce lanes and close ramps on northbound US 101 to install new pre-cast concrete slabs and install new guardrail, Friday, February 26 to Sunday, February 28.  Motorists should expect delays and consider alternate routes.

Friday, Feb. 26 into Saturday, Feb. 27
Midnight to 7 a.m. - Up to two lanes closed from Tujunga Boulevard to Cold Water Canyon.  Both on-ramps will be closed.
8 p.m. to noon - Up to three lanes closed from Valley Circle Boulevard to Las Virgenes Road.

Saturday, Feb. 27 into Sunday, Feb. 28
Midnight to 9 a.m. - Up to two lanes closed from Laurel Canyon Boulevard on-ramp to Woodman Avenue off-ramp.
9 p.m. to 10 a.m. – Up to three lanes closed from Valley Circle Boulevard on-ramp to Las Virgenes Road off-ramp.
Removing damaged and old concrete.
The pavement on north- and southbound US 101, connectors, and ramps will be rehabilitated by using rubberized hot mix asphalt, Portland concrete cement, and pre-cast concrete slabs.  The existing metal beam guardrail (metal and wood barriers) will also be replaced to enhance safety.  
Installing new pre-cast slab

This $62 million contract was awarded to Myers and Sons Construction, LP of Sacramento, California.  The project is funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP).  The project is expected to finish in fall 2016.  
Remember to Be Work Zone Alert.  The CHP will be on duty. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Las Tunas State Beach Sea Wall Project along PCH in Malibu

Wave crash against wave break as crews built sea wall. 
El Niño?!  What El Niño?!  Whether or not heavy rains make an appearance in Southern California or not, Caltrans is ready.

Recent article about this project in Popular Mechanics Magazine: How L.A. Built Up For A Storm That May Never Come

The rains the past few months have not caused any additional damage at the Las Tunas State Beach Project in Malibu along PCH.  Even high surf has attempted to batter the shore, but with protection from the wave breaker, and the sea wall being 60 percent complete, the slopes are well protected.  

Previous blogs: 

Progress at Las Tunas State Beach Wave Breaker
Wave Breaker Construction and Shoreline Restoration Begins Along Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1)
The sea wall and wave breaker is comprised of thousands of boulders weighing from a half-ton to 8 tons.  The sea wall receives support from shotcrete  and geotextiles to protect the slopes.  Boulders from the wave breaker will eventually be used to in the construction of the sea wall. 

Our contractor Nordic Industries has worked non-stop, only slowed by regular high tides, working in front of one of most impressive backdrops on the west coast, while violent waves crash against boulders nearby.  The contractor crews and Caltrans inspectors can be seen working late at night or during the day.

Once the sea wall is complete, the contractor will begin to construct the beach access trails.

This project is expected to finish by April.

Monday, February 22, 2016

We Want Your Input on the California State Rail Plan!

The future of rail in California is being planned today, and we want your input!  

Caltrans is beginning work on the next California State Rail Plan, which will provide the framework for the state’s rail network and set the stage for new and improved rail and community connections for the next 20 years. We’re seeking input early in the planning process to understand the public’s priorities for improvements to passenger and freight rail networks.

You can participate by taking a survey (here) on the new California State Rail Plan website through Friday, March 4, 2016. Comments can also be provided directly through the site’s online comment form.

The Rail Plan, to be completed in 2018, will provide a long-term strategy that will enable Caltrans, the California High-Speed Rail Authority, intercity and commuter rail operators, freight railroads, and communities to plan for the future. The Rail Plan is intended to prioritize funding and actions for integrating the statewide rail network.

The 2018 Rail Plan is considered more ambitious than previous statewide rail plans, as it will build on regional plans and provide a statewide vision for an integrated high speed, intercity and commuter passenger rail system with reliable, timed connections and more transportation options.

Want more info? Check out the California State Rail Plan website, or join the plan email list to receive notifications and updates.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Railway-highway crossing in the spotlight

A railway-highway grade crossing in Ventura County is a step closer to a major overhaul to enhance safety.

A member of Congress from Southern California, Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, announced $1.5 million has been secured for the proposed Rice Avenue (State Route 1) grade-separation project in Oxnard.

The funding will be used for project design. Brownley supported the grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Railroad Safety Grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products (STEP) by Rail program.

The location has seen repeated accidents. On Feb. 24, 2015, a Metrolink train hit a truck at the crossing, resulting in the death of the train’s engineer and injuries to more than 30 other people.

“This is the first step in moving the Rice Avenue grade-separation project forward,” Brownley said. “In recent years, we have seen multiple accidents at this busy intersection, including the tragic 2015 Metrolink derailment. This project will not only improve safety at the Rice Avenue rail crossing, but it will also allow the smoother flow of goods from the Port of Hueneme."

The port is the only deepwater harbor between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and Rice Avenue serves as its primary truck route with average daily traffic of 35,000 vehicles.

The proposed project involves a six-lane bridge on Rice Avenue (State Route 1), over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and State Route 34 (5th Street), located parallel to and just south of the railroad tracks.

The new design will improve safety. Annual train traffic through the project area includes 1,820 Metrolink commuter trains, 3,120 Amtrak intercity trains and 4,368 Union Pacific trains.

“This crossing has been identified by Caltrans as a priority grade-separation location due to the repeated accidents involving trucks and cars being struck by trains,” said Darren Kettle, executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission.

“Due to this corridor’s significant role in freight movement throughout the region, the Ventura County Transportation Commission has nominated Rice Avenue for inclusion in the National Freight Network," Kettle said. "It is because of the safety concerns and efficient freight movement VCTC in partnership with Caltrans applied for this grant.”

“The safe movement of goods and people is priority one,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Carrie Bowen. “This is great news for the farms, port commerce and commuters. We look forward to developing this project.”

Another Swarm: Pre-Spring Cleaning of I-105/I-405 Interchange, Hawthorne

Caltrans will deploy nearly 100 maintenance (white and yellow hardhats) and community service workers (orange hardhats) to perform “swarm” maintenance on Sunday, February 21 in closed sections of the Glenn Anderson Freeway (I-105)/San Diego Freeway (I-405) Interchange from 5 a.m. to noon.  Crews will remove litter and graffiti, trim trees, clear weeds, repair guardrail and irrigation, and clear drains and culverts.  Motorists should expect delays.  Signed detours will be in place.

The closures will occur at the following locations:
  • Westbound I-105 to northbound I-405
  • Westbound Century Boulevard to northbound I-405
  • Northbound I-405 Manchester Boulevard on- and off-ramps
  • Two lanes that connect to the Manchester Boulevard slip ramp
Usually crews only have a short closure window within the I-105/I-405 Interchange due to high traffic volumes.  By increasing the window to seven hours and placing several personnel into one closure, crews will be able to accomplish several tasks all at once to maximize their efforts and reduce costs.

Previous swarms:
East LA Interchange (5/10/60/101), Feb. 13, 2015
Swarm at the 5 and Dime, Sept. 30, 2013

During the City of Los Angeles’ Sixth Street Bridge demolition over US 101 from February 5 to February 7, Caltrans seized the opportunity to perform several maintenance tasks in the closure, saving tax payers thousands of dollars, and reducing the need for future closures.  Working in closed sections of freeways and highways, especially with the support and protection of the California Highway Patrol, the chance of injury to motorists and Caltrans employees is significantly reduced. 

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Repairs Begin For Washed Out Sections of San Gabriel Canyon Road (SR-39) in Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Caltrans has begun repairs to several storm damaged sections of San Gabriel Canyon Road (SR-39) 11 miles north of Azusa.  The highway has been closed to public access since January 6 at East Fork Road.  

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.  

To open the highway, Caltrans will rebuild washed out slopes and clear the sediment/debris basins and drains.

Previous post: San Gabriel Canyon Road (SR-39) Closure in Angeles National Forest, January 20
Expected work hours:  Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
No permitted access will be granted to the construction zone or locations beyond the closure during and after work hours. 

The public and other interested parties should contact Caltrans District 7 Public Affairs and Media Relations at 213-897-3656 or visit:

Questions about the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument (camping, hiking, trails, etc.)? or (626) 574-1613. 

O’Donnell Construction Inc. of San Dimas, California was awarded this $2 million contract.  This project is expected to finish in early April 2016.  This contractor will make the initial repairs and respond to protect the highway in this section during heavy storms. 

Ventura County Star Visits Solimar Burn Area Project

Contractor crews clearing debris and boulders from culvert next to Pacific Coast Highway
"The recent brush fire has not compromised the stability and integrity of the slopes," said David Jang, branch chief of Caltrans' Office of Geotechnical Design.

Ventura County Star Reporter Cheri Carlson and Photographer Juan Carlo joined Caltrans Public Information Officer Patrick Chandler for a tour and update at the Solimar burn area repair project on Thursday, February 11. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fast View of "101 Slow Jam"

Demolition of the Sixth Street Bridge over US Highway 101 (aka "101 Slow Jam") was completed this past Sunday morning about four hours ahead of the 40-hour schedule ... which also meant ending the 2.5-mile freeway closure ahead of schedule. (The collective "YAY!" from motorists was heard all the way to PCH.) The 84-year-old Sixth Street Viaduct has to be replaced due to chemical deterioration. The new bridge is expected to be completed in 2019. (More info here.)

To prepare for the new structure, a tremendous amount of demo work was completed in a very short amount of time—a feat best appreciated through time-lapse video. The Caltrans Graphics Unit had its cameras in place from beginning to end to capture this fast view of "Slow Jam"—the entire bridge demo in a little over seven and a half minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, February 8, 2016


Caltrans will close the Hill Street off- and on-ramps from north- and southbound SR-110 on Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles Annual Golden Dragon Parade. 

A special event permit was issued to the chamber.  Motorists should anticipate delays along the parade route during event. 

Happy Lunar New Year!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Paramount Boulevard Bridge Revisited For Final Restoration Above SR-60 in Montebello

Caltrans will begin the final restoration of the Paramount Boulevard bridge above the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) by realigning and upgrading two cloverleaf ramps to current standards, constructing sidewalks, and adding pedestrian ramps that meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards. Additionally, three retaining walls will be constructed along the westbound on- and off-ramps, and along the westbound on-ramp near the intersection of Paramount Boulevard and Neil Armstrong Street. 
This week: The Paramount Boulevard off- and on-ramps to and from east- and westbound SR-60 will close 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday, February 1 to Friday, February 5 so construction crews can begin installing concrete barriers (K-rails). 

Expected work schedule for the project:
Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On- and off-ramps will occasionally close 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

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. 

In 2011, the Paramount Boulevard Bridge was demolished and rebuilt under an emergency contract after a gasoline tanker fire on the freeway below severely damaged the bridge.  The new bridge, built to modern standards, was opened to the public in May 2012.  The new bridge is wider than the original bridge that was built in 1967.  Once this project is completed, the flow of traffic and safety will be enhanced, congestion reduced, and it will accommodate future traffic demands.
This $6.2 million project was awarded to Powell Constructors of Fontana, California.  The project is expected to finish by January 2017.  This project is funded by the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Fund.  
Dec. 2012 when Paramount was demolished.

Paramount demolished. 

Please Be Work Zone Alert.