Monday, December 11, 2017

On Route 33, a Winter Pause in Construction

Looking south at the Caltrans project on State Route 33 in Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County.
In Los Padres National Forest about four miles north of Ojai, Caltrans is building a $6 million project to protect State Route 33 from erosion damage.

The location in rural Ventura County is adjacent to the North Fork Matilija ("mah-TIL-uh-haw") Creek, where Caltrans is working to stabilize a slope that was severely undermined by erosion.

The project involves construction of a 500-foot-long wall, called a soil nail wall, along the streambed to prevent damage to the roadway.

Beginning in December 2017, construction is temporarily suspended for the duration of the winter season due to restrictions in the project environmental permits. Work is scheduled to resume in spring 2018.

During the winter break, Route 33 in the project area has only one lane open for traffic. The current condition of the roadway does not accommodate two lanes.

Temporary traffic signals allow northbound and southbound vehicles, on an alternating basis, to use the single available lane through the construction area.

In preparation for the winter shutdown, Caltrans relocated temporary concrete barriers (“K-rail”) to provide space on the shoulder of the highway for bicyclists to travel safely through the area, which is popular among recreational users and widely known for its scenic beauty.

In spring 2017, Caltrans began working at the location to stabilize the slope.
C.A. Rasmussen Inc., of Valencia, is the contractor on the project, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2018. The project is being built on Caltrans right of way.

The project on State Route 33 is approximately four miles north of the city of Ojai.