Monday, December 31, 2018

I-210 Pavement Rehabilitation Project Nears Completion

As 2018 comes to an end, so too does the I-210 pavement rehabilitation project in the cities of Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge and Glendale/La Crescenta. Earlier this month crews poured the last amount of concrete on I-210 and began to apply final striping onto the highway. 

Last concrete panel repair on the mainline of the I-210 for the project 
Although crews have completed the work on the pavement of the travel lanes, the contractor still has a few items to complete before the project is finalized, including:
  • Striping
  • Landscaping
  • Removing K-rail
  • Testing the new tunnel lighting system
  • Installing guardrail on several ramps and connectors
  • Installing traffic loops
  • Installing overhead signs on existing structures (Full closures may occur for this item).
  • And other small miscellaneous contract items. 
All of the remaining work is subject to weather conditions. The apply final striping on the road, the temperature of the highway needs to be 50 degrees or above. 

Here are photos of some of the recent activity and completed work on the I-210 Pavement Rehabilitation project: 
The contractor has scaled down their work site on the I-710 stub
The concrete stockpile that was stored on the I-710 stub has been removed from the work site
Center median is 100 percent completed

    Newly installed tunnel lighting system

    Six-inch wide thermoplastic paint is being used for final striping

    Newly installed guardrail and stamped concrete at westbound I-210 Angeles Crest on-ramp

    "Smart" crash cushion with a newly constructed concrete barrier and paved asphalt shoulder

    NB Orange Grove - paved on-ramp with new striping, concrete barrier, and tunnel lighting control building

    New overhead signs on northbound SR-2

    Ramp and lane closures will still occur during the project duration. 
    Motorists are advised to view current traffic conditions by visiting 

    Caltrans reminds drivers to be "Work Zone Alert" and to "Slow For The Cone Zone."

    To find out more about the project, visit our website: 

    Monday, December 24, 2018

    State Route 23 Opens to Public Between SR-1 and US-101 with Lane Restrictions

    State Route 23 Opens to the Public Between SR-1 and US-101 
    with Lane Restrictions 

    MALIBU / THOUSAND OAKS - The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces State Route 23 is now open to the public between State Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) and US-101.Flagging operations permitting one direction of travel at a time will be in effect within these parameters while work continues.
    SR-23 has been closed to the general public since early November due to the Woolsey Fire. The long-term closure was required to permit repairs by Caltrans contractors and utility companies, to provide a safe work area for workers, and to clear debris and drains to restore the roadway to a safe condition for the public. On December 11, the section from Decker School Rd. to lower Mulholland Dr.was opened to residents only.
    Flagging operations permitting one direction of travel at a time will be in effect at various locations between SR-1 and US-101 while work continues at any time during daylight hours, seven days per week, except for holidays. Expect delays. Repair work and lane restrictions will continue for an unknown duration. Inclement weather may require full road closures. Motorists with the option should continue to use alternate routes until further notice. 

    The following work will continue:
    ·      The contractor is completing installation of the final length of new 31” tall guardrail with metal posts today. Additional minor guardrail work may continue for several days. 
    ·      Frontier Communications continues to install new line to residences, after which Verizon will begin necessary repairs. 
    ·      Replacement of rock screen and application of hydroseed will be necessary for erosion control on embankment slopes.
    ·      Geologists and engineers will review the possibility of replacing some storm drains. 
    Caltrans and our partners CHP, LASD, L.A. County Fire, L.A. County Dept. of Public Works thank the residents and the public for their patience and understanding.

    Thursday, December 20, 2018

    Caltrans District 7 Crew Shines as My Neighbor’s Keeper

    Responding to a request for help in early November, a Caltrans District 7 maintenance crew helped save three California Parks and Recreation homes along Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) as the Woolsey Fire came barreling down the Santa Monica Mountains.

    Big Sycamore Maintenance Supervisor Bob Dressler directed his crew to use a Caltrans 3,000-gallon water tanker truck to wet down vegetation surrounding the parks’ homes, which neighbor the Big Sycamore maintenance yard at the Los Angeles/Ventura County line.

    Video shot at the time shows huge flames cresting the nearby mountaintops, heading on a downward path toward PCH. The Caltrans crew tapped the parks’ water supply to fill the tanker truck two or three times to spray the properties. 

    It helped that the homes — residences for state park managers who oversee Point Mugu and Leo Carrillo State Parks — sit on the beach side of PCH. A few apartment buildings were lost but it could have been worse.

    “We often work hand in hand,” Dressler said, referring to his Big Sycamore crew and the next-door parks’ staff, including his friend, Angel Alba, a project manager who handles park maintenance.

    With fire, heat and wind swirling on the mountainside, the Caltrans crew watered down the area until authorities forced everyone to evacuate the premises — a normally scenic spot with ocean and mountain views.

    According to Dressler, the Big Sycamore crew was prepared for emergencies because they had the tanker truck, backhoes, plows and other equipment on standby to respond where needed.

    Dressler offered high praise for his team: Vincent Rhoads, equipment operator II, Cristian Salazar, equipment operator II, Jose Ruiz, equipment operator II, David Rodela, equipment operator II, Harold Bogner, highway maintenance worker, and Sean Smith, highway maintenance worker. He noted his crew was outstanding during the Woolsey and Hill Fires, as were all Caltrans District 7 workers.

    The fires erupted about a half hour apart on Nov. 8, burning from Thousand Oaks to Malibu, with the larger Woolsey Fire extending until full containment on Nov. 22.

    “If it wasn’t for Bob and his efforts, we would have lost more homes,” said Alba, who asked for Dressler’s help. “Thank you guys a lot. Caltrans is great.” 


    Wednesday, December 19, 2018

    A Portion of SR-23 in Woolsey Fire Burn Area is Open to Residents Only

    A Portion of SR-23 in Woolsey Fire Burn Area is Open to Residents Only

    A portion of State Route-23 is now open to residents only between Decker School Rd. and lower Mulholland Dr. above the city of Malibu. Flagging operations permitting one direction of travel at a time will be in effect within these parameters while work continues. (Map below).

    Heading north on SR-23 from SR-1:

    CLOSED: SR-23 from SR-1 to Decker School Rd.

    OPEN to residents only: SR-23 from Decker School Rd. to lower Mulholland Dr. (Accessible via
    SR-1 to Encinal Canyon Rd. to SR-23.)

    CLOSED: SR-23 from lower Mulholland Dr. to upper Mulholland Dr.

    OPEN: SR-23 from upper Mulholland Dr. to US-101.

    Vehicles will not be able to travel Mulholland Dr. from SR-1 across SR-23 to Kanan Rd.
    SR-23 between SR-1 and upper Mulholland Dr. within the Woolsey Fire burn area has been closed to the general public since early November. The closure on the south end at SR-1 was implemented by and has been maintained by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The closure on the north end at upper Mulholland Drive was implemented by and has been maintained by the California Highway Patrol. The new closures at Decker School Rd. and at lower Mulholland Dr. are now also maintained by CHP.

    SR-23 will remain closed from lower Mulholland Dr. to upper Mulholland Dr. until further notice to allow further work by utlity companies and by Caltrans.

    The roadway remained closed primarily to provide utility companies a safe and unrestricted work space. Southern California Edison and Frontier Communications have been replacing poles, cable and line across steep terrain and on extremely narrow slopes

    As of Friday, December 7, a Caltrans contractor has been replacing guardrail. The critical guardrail at the south end of the closure near SR-1 will be replaced first and the contractor will work northward to replace all guardrail up to upper Mulholland Dr. This is expected to take up to six weeks.

    Much of the rail is intact, but most of the wooden support posts were burned. The current 27” tall guardrails will be replaced by 31” rails and the wooden posts will be replaced with metal posts. Caltrans engineers and geologists will determine if additional guardrail is required.
    Cranes with stabilizer arms for the utility companies and for the guardrail contractor require the full space of the roadway lanes.

    Multple sections of roadway within the closure were subject to flooding and mud slides during two rain storms in early December. A separate contractor is clearing all debris from the roadway shoulder and from all storm drains. Caltrans geologists have recommended two types of erosion control for the slopes:

    1. Hydroseed, which is seed combined with a binding agent that is sprayed over the terrain.

    2. Rock screen, which is similar in appearance to chain link fencing and is secured with long shafts driven deep into the ground. The exisiting rock screen in multiple areas within the closure performed well, but will also be replaced in case the integrity of the metal was compromised. Geologists will determine if additional rock screen is required.

    Caltrans, CHP, LASD, L.A. County Fire, L.A. County Public Works Dept., and the utility companies have been meeting regularly to determine when it will be safe to open the roadway to the public.The priority is to make the roadway safe for drivers and vehicles. The duration of the hard closure remains unknown. Caltrans and our partners thank the residents and the public for their patience and understanding.

    Please watch for updates on Twitter at


    Wednesday, December 5, 2018

    Caltrans Completes Repairs to I-5 and SR-118 Interchange in Pacoima

    Caltrans Completes Repairs to I-5 and SR-118 Interchange in Pacoima

    On a rainy January morning in the San Fernando Valley community of Pacoima, a big rig truck traveling north on Interstate 5 (I-5) to westbound State Route 118 (SR-118) interchange slammed through a concrete barrier on the overpass, hit an overhead sign structure and came to rest on the center median of the northbound I-5. The accident completely shut down the northbound I-5 lanes and caused extensive damage to the highway.

    Our maintenance division responded immediately to the incident to make emergency repairs after the truck was hauled away. Crews battled the elements as they made temporary repairs to the damaged roadway and cleaned diesel fuel from the lanes to prevent the highway from being slick. Shortly before 4 p.m., Caltrans completed the emergency repairs and opened the highway just in time for the rush-hour commute.

    Under a Director’s order, Caltrans District 7 began making permanent repairs in October and November to the northbound I-5 and westbound SR-118 connector. As part of the project, the northbound I-5 and SR-118 connector had to be fully shut down between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. for 10 nights. Our contractor completed the repairs in early November, restoring the highway to current standards.

    Caltrans reminds drivers to be “Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone” when they drive near a construction zone or while workers are making repairs on our roads. Motorists are advised to plan ahead, and check real-time traffic information using the Caltrans QuickMap, or by downloading the QuickMap app for free on any iPhone or Android device.

    Friday, November 30, 2018

    New Norwalk Blvd. Off Ramp from Northbound I-5 is Open!

    The new Norwalk Blvd. off ramp from northbound I-5 is open to the public after a four month closure. The ramp is part of a project to add lanes to I-5 through Norwalk and to reconstruct the I-5 interchange at Norwalk Blvd.

    Where the ramp meets Norwalk Blvd., there are three lanes: left turn to San Antonio Dr; right turn onto Norwalk Blvd.; or straight to Imperial Highway.

    Photos below:



    Tuesday, November 27, 2018

    Caltrans Dedicates Fallen Workers Memorial

    Caltrans Fallen Workers Memorial Interchange 
    Honors Highway Workers Who Lost Lives in Line of Duty

    Earlier this month, Caltrans held a ceremony to dedicate the Foothill Freeway (I-210) and Golden State Freeway (I-5) interchange as the Caltrans District 7 Fallen Workers Memorial Interchange.

    Video of the dedication ceremony. 

    State Assemblymember Luz Rivas, who authored a resolution to memorialize the interchange stated, “The Caltrans District 7 Fallen Workers Memorial Interchange honors the legacies of those who lost their lives building, maintaining, and operating one of California’s most valuable assets: its transportation system.” 

    Since 1921, Caltrans has lost 189 employees statewide. Thirty-three of those employees killed in the line of duty worked in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. 

    “The District 7 Fallen Workers Memorial Interchange, dedicated to those who served California as transportation professionals and made the highest sacrifice, will serve as a reminder to California drivers that we must continually recommit ourselves to safety,” said Caltrans Chief Deputy Director Ryan Chamberlain. “When you choose to speed, text, or drive under the influence, you are not only putting your life at risk, you are also putting others in serious danger.”

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, highway construction and maintenance work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Nationally, drivers and passengers account for 85 percent of the people who are killed in highway work zones. These numbers don’t include the close calls highway workers experience daily.

    Family members and colleagues of fallen workers write messages on the back of the memorial sign. 

    “The newly-named interchange helps us keep our fallen colleagues’ memories alive and keep in mind the tremendous loss that their loved ones have suffered,” said Caltrans District 7 Director John Bulinski. “This is an opportunity to remind ourselves that it is everyone’s responsibility to help keep our highway workers safe by slowing down, paying attention and moving over when amber lights are flashing.”

    Caltrans will invest $54 billion in state highway and local roads across the state by 2027 due to Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. SB 1 will upgrade 7,700 traffic operating systems and fix over 17,000 miles of pavement, 500 bridges and 55,000 culverts or drains. That means that motorists will encounter even more highway work zones and must stay alert for construction and maintenance workers and equipment.

    Drivers can dramatically improve safety in work zones by slowing down, reducing distractions such as talking on the phone or texting, and dedicating all attention to the roadway. Motorists are also required by state law to move over a lane when safe to do so, or slow down when approaching vehicles with flashing amber warning lights.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2018

    Rye Fire Repairs Completed on I-5 and State Route 126

    Caltrans has completed repairs on Interstate 5 and State Route 126 in Santa Clarita following the Rye Fire, which burned more than 6,000 acres in northern Los Angeles County beginning on Dec. 5, 2017.
    A crew works to prevent erosion near I-5 and State Route 126 in Santa Clarita.

    Caltrans completed the $1.1 million contract at the end of October. 

    The range of work included repairs to fire damage to the roadside facilities and support slopes, and protecting the highway from post-fire erosion of the support slopes. 
    Repairs underway on I-5.

    The contract included repairs to fire-impacted drainage systems, the fire-damaged wood posts of metal beam guard rails and fire-damaged roadside signs.

    Fire debris was cleared from drainage facilities. Support slopes were stabilized using hydroseeding and fiber rolls to limit erosion from rain.

    Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in Los Angeles County due to the effects of the Rye Fire.

    The wildfire destroyed six structures and forced a four-hour closure of I-5 in both directions as a precaution due to shifting winds that pushed the flames in unpredictable directions. More than 1,300 homes were evacuated. The fire was fully contained on Dec. 12, 2017.

    More than 1 million vehicles a week travel on I-5 (the Golden State Freeway) in the Santa Clarita area, reflecting its importance as an essential route for transporting goods between California's Central Valley and the Los Angeles metro region including the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as its importance for business and leisure travel and commuters.

    Crews work along the connector ramp from westbound State Route 126 to northbound I-5.

    The damage on the slopes of I-5 occurred along the northbound side of the freeway from Rye Canyon Road (approximately post mile 54.1) to Hasley Canyon Road (approximately post mile 56.6). Damage along the slopes of State Route 126 was along the westbound side of SR-126 at the northbound I-5 on-ramp connector (approximately post mile 5.6 to 5.9).

    The project included fire repairs and protecting highways from post-fire erosion of the support slopes on I-5 and State Route 126 in Santa Clarita.

    How Do We Build Sound Walls?

    Sound walls are the large block walls along the shoulders of our interstate highways and freeways that provide a sound barrier from traffic noise and a visual barrier from traffic to local residents and businesses. How do we build them?

    First a traffic barrier rail is constructed. A rebar frame for the rail is built and then a form is placed over the frame to pour concrete:

    Then the form is removed to reveal the concrete traffic barrier:

    Then cinder blocks are delivered:

    The first two rows of the sound wall are constructed with special high pressure blocks for increased support and safety. The arrow in the photo below indicates the special type of block to the workers:

    Then the workers begin assembling the wall by securing the blocks over the rebar frame:



    On many of the walls, "pilasters" (decorative columns) are constructed to create an aesthetically attractive wall for the communities and residents:

    Until the wall is complete: