Project Spotlight: Highway 50 Camino Safety Project

By: Pacific Corrugated PIpe Company

slotted drain pipe highway improvement highway safety project

Like many agencies throughout the country, Caltrans DOT is committed to completing several highway safety projects due to lower traffic created as a result of the COVID pandemic. One of these highway improvement projects was on State Highway 50, a stretch of highway located in near Placerville, CA which is located about 45 miles east of Sacramento. As DOT projects go, this project mostly followed along the lines of normalcy.

We say “mostly” because, in addition to widening a stretch of highway, adding a new under-crossing, installing general drainage and installing a median safety barrier, it also called for the installation of over 5,100 lineal feet of slotted drain pipe. Not just any slotted drain pipe but 5,150 lineal feet of 18″ 10 gage slotted drain pipe with a 6″ trapezoidal grate. When Pacific Corrugated Pipe Company received this request, we thought that an obvious mistake occurred in the specifications. Surely, 14 gage was needed, maybe even 12 gage, but 10 gage? After extensive discussion with the contractor and the Caltrans team, the 10 gage was confirmed and so the challenge began.

slotted drain pipe highway improvement

slotted drain pipe highway improvement

Due to the heavier gage steel, more strength was required to close the gaps with more force to allow for the welding of the grates. Like any other process, this became second nature over a period of time and only slowed down production time minimally. Product was shipped to the site as the slotted drain pipe production was completed. However, this was interrupted when the 220,000 acre Caldor fire erupted in the general area of this project. The fire not only delayed the project for several weeks but also cost the contractor a couple pieces of equipment to the fire.

Finally, additional CMP items were needed to complete this project which included 1,060 lineal feet of 18″ galv. 12 gage CMP; 47- 18″ dimple bands; 298- 18″ slotted bands; 54- 18″ 22 degree 10 gage elbows and one 18″ 12 gage tee. So, while there were plenty of challenges associated with this $55 million project, it was successfully completed and we were able to enhance some of our internal processes. Ultimately, we completed the project with no safety, quality or installation issues. On to the next DOT challenge.

slotted drain pipe highway improvement

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