Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bypass lanes play key role in I-5 Roadway Rehabilitation Project

If you're one of the tens of thousands who drive on Interstate 5 through the Santa Clarita Valley every day, you probably noticed the major changes underway to improve your commute.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is working with a contractor to remove concrete slabs and construct new pavement on nearly 16 miles of I-5 between State Route 14 (Antelope Valley Freeway) and Lake Hughes Road.in Castaic.
One strategy being utilized to reduce the impact of construction on traffic is adding new temporary bypass lanes.

To create a bypass lane, one lane of traffic is shifted to the opposite side of a freeway, allowing the same amount of lanes in each direction to stay open during construction while also providing drivers a safe way to travel through the work zone.

"Based on my experience with two projects (using a bypass lane), we can shorten the project duration of completion," Caltrans resident engineer Daniel Widjaja said.

Starting in Dec. 2017, new temporary bypass lanes were added on both northbound and southbound I-5.

On northbound I-5, one of four lanes has been shifted to what is normally the inner southbound shoulder near Valencia Boulevard before returning to the northbound side near Rye Canyon Road.

On southbound I-5, one of four lanes has been shifted to what is normally the inner northbound shoulder near Lake Hughes Road, and returns to the southbound side near Hasley Canyon Road.

Traffic going against the bypass lane will remain the same, and the work zone is blocked off with concrete barriers, commonly known as "K-rails."

Drivers are protected from traffic in each direction by K-rails and the existing median barrier.

According to Widjaja, the bypass lane allows the contractor to perform work safely at all hours.

"It is only certain hours that they allow (Caltrans) to close two or more lanes," he said. "Very limited for the contractor. On the other hand, bypass lanes utilizing a k-rail, they all can work day and night.

The bypass lanes are only temporary, and will remain in place for the duration of the work in the area.

A third traffic pattern on southbound I-5 between Calgrove Boulevard and State Route 14 consists of two lanes on each side of a work area in the center of the freeway.

The speed limit is 50 miles an hour in this area, and 55 miles an hour in the rest of the construction zone.

The $171 million project is anticipated to be completed by summer 2019.

We appreciate the public's patience and understanding as we continue to improve our transportation system, providing a smoother, safer and more efficient ride for drivers.

Drivers will be seeing more of these roadway rehabilitation projects thanks to Senate Bill 1, which allows Caltrans to fix 17,000 additional miles of pavement statewide over the next decade.

Friday, February 9, 2018

I-210 Pavement Rehabilitation Project nearing completion

By this summer, more than three years of roadway improvements to the Interstate 210 (Foothill Freeway) corridor will come to fruition.

The $148.5 million project replaces and repairs pavement for a 9.7 mile section of I-210 from the La Crescenta-Montrose area of Los Angeles County to Pasadena.

The life of the pavement is 40 to 50 years, ensuring a smooth ride for drivers in the decades to come, and reducing the need for further maintenance.

Here are a few updates on closures and project work happening over the next few weeks:

  • Eastbound Foothill Boulevard on-ramp
The eastbound I-210 Foothill Boulevard on-ramp was closed the night of Feb. 6 for crews to pave the roadway across from the ramp. Drivers can continue down Foothill Boulevard and take the Berkshire Place on-ramp off Oak Grove Drive, or use the Angeles Crest Highway on-ramps. The ramp will be closed through February, and is anticipated to reopen the second week of March.

The eastbound Foothill on-ramp is closed for paving work through February
  • Eastbound Angeles Crest Highway on-ramps
Both eastbound Angeles Crest Highway on-ramps were reopened the morning of Feb. 7. Drivers are encouraged to use these ramps as alternate to the Foothill Boulevard on-ramp.

Eastbound Angeles Crest Highway on-ramps are now open following
paving work across from the ramps
  • Future Eastbound on-ramp closures
Starting the night of Feb. 20, the eastbound Arroyo Boulevard/Windsor Avenue on-ramp and Lincoln Avenue off-ramp will be closed to pave the ramps and roadway across from the ramps. The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of March.

Drivers who normally get off at Lincoln Avenue should exit at Arroyo Boulevard. Drivers needing access to eastbound I-210 from Arroyo Boulevard can use the Berkshire Place on-ramp off Oak Grove Drive, past Devil's Gate Reservoir and before the entrance to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  • East to East I-210 connector at State Route 134
The east to east I-210 connector has been closed overnight during the week since Jan. 29 for crews to install lighting in the connector's two tunnels. The closures are from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday. The closures will go on for about four months. Crews will also be working during the day behind K-rail, which won't require any closures, but drivers should use caution and be work zone alert.

Crews will close the east to east I-210 connector to
install lighting in two tunnels.

  • Westbound I-210 connector to California/Del Mar Boulevards
Intermittent closures will continue during the week on the westbound I-210 connector to California/Del Mar Boulevard exits. The closure is from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Friday, but we anticipate the work to be completed as soon as Feb. 16.

The westbound I-210 connector to California/Del Mar will be
closed intermittently during the week from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Westbound I-210 Bypass Lane
The bypass lane on westbound I-210 between Lincoln Avenue and Foothill Boulevard was closed Jan. 22. Crews removed the temporary concrete barriers (commonly known as "K-rails") used to protect drivers in the bypass lane from eastbound traffic, returning westbound traffic to its original traffic pattern.

A temporary bypass lane on westbound I-210 was closed Jan. 22.
The K-rail will stay up on the eastbound side, keeping this portion of I-210 with three lanes of traffic until at least May. This is in place so crews can continue paving operations for on/off-ramps and roadway across from the ramps further east toward Pasadena.

The project is in the fourth and final stage, and is on track for completion this summer.

We appreciate the public's patience and understand as we make necessary upgrades to our transportation system, and allow for the efficient and smooth movement of traffic through the heavily traveled I-210 corridor.

For more information about the project, visit here.