By: Pacific Corrugated Pipe Company
This $58 million Caltrans state highway project was in the planning process since 1988 and is the largest project to be completed in the county in over 50 years. The primary project objectives were to increase safety and operational efficiency and in order to reduce high fatality rates on an existing roadway due to its curvy design and also wildlife versus car accidents occurring in Lake County. This was accomplished by expanding the highway from 1 lane moving in each direction with no center divider and minimal shoulders to 2 lanes moving in each direction with a new grassy median and wider shoulders. In addition, the new design took out much of the curves and added other safety elements that were designed to specifically address the project objectives.
What made this project so unique and worthy of nomination, in addition to its sheer size (required over 150 tons of steel), was the wide array of steel product options that our industry has to offer. This project required the use of different types of steel materials, gages, diameters, lengths, and design solutions. Regarding the materials, this project required galvanized and polymer coated drainage pipe used primarily in the center divider. This material ranged from 8 to 16 gage. Further, the size requirements went from 8″ diameter through 36″ diameter pipe of varying lengths. In addition to a multitude of couplers, fittings, risers and other accessory items, this comprehensive project included polymer coated arched pipe and a large structural plate arch solution as well.
Speaking of structural plate, due to the high frequency of wildlife versus car incidences, the new design included Lake Counties first ever “Critter Crossing.” This 12′-11″ x 11′-2″ x 260′ arched solution was not only a functional safety asset to the project but also added visual and “animal welfare” appeal to the project. In the end, this project was completed on budget and before the deadline, so all project participants were thrilled with the outcome.