Friday, October 20, 2017

Making repairs when Mother Nature strikes: The La Conchita Bike Path

Earlier this month, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) crews made critical repairs to part of the La Conchita Bike Path in Ventura County.

Over the course of four days, workers restored the surface to a 30-foot section of the bike path that washed away, and put in new fencing on the path's northbound side.

From Oct. 10 to Oct. 13, Caltrans crews replaced a 30-foot section of the La Conchita Bike Path that washed away during winter storms in February.
Section of La Conchita Bike Path near Mussel Shoals that washed away during winter storm.
The two-way bike path opened in fall 2014 , and runs parallel to U.S. 101 and Pacific Ocean from just south of Mobil Pier Road in Ventura County to Casitas Pass Road in Santa Barbara County.

The bike path was part of a $102 million Caltrans project that began in spring 2012, and included the construction of a six-mile carpool lane, a pedestrian undercrossing in La Conchita, and other drainage and landscaping improvements.

Area where La Conchita Bike Path and new carpool lane is located on U.S. 101.
When Mother Nature Strikes

But earlier this year, a series of February storms that brought record rain to the region damaged multiple locations along U.S. 101 from the Main Street on-ramp in Ventura to the Ventura/Santa Barbara County line.

The slides prompted full closures on U.S. 101 as Caltrans crews and other partnering agencies like California Highway Patrol and the Ventura County Fire Department worked to maintain safe access to an essential route along the California coast.

The storms not only damaged part of the La Conchita Bike Path and U.S. 101, but also caused sinkholes, debris flow and erosion damage.
Director's Order

In order to prevent any long-term closures or disruptions to U.S. 101, more than $3 million in emergency funding was requested to complete necessary repairs, including work on the La Conchita Bike Path.

Other work included repairs to sinkholes, clearing and reconnecting drainage systems, and stabilizing slopes.
Sinkhole that formed following winter storms.

The request for the work was done through what is called a Director's Order. It allows Caltrans to expedite critical work during an emergency by making exceptions to the normal contract bidding process.

An emergency could be an unexpected event, like a storm, flood, fire, earthquake, or other natural disaster that causes damage to or threatens any state-owned structure such as a bridge, dam or other highway facility.

Anytime there is an unexpected event that causes damage to our state's highways and freeways, there are measures in place for Caltrans to act quickly, and work to make our state's transportation system safe and accessible to the millions of Californians that use them.