Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Caltrans reports that Walker Ridge roadway project is completed

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The Walker Ridge project while it was under way. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.


 


WALKER RIDGE – A project to increase safety along a stretch of Highway 20 that has been the scene of several crashes over the last few years – some of them fatal – has been completed, Caltrans reported Wednesday,


The Walker Ridge curve improvement safety project in southern Lake County began construction in the fall of 2006, according to Caltrans.


“This project showcases Caltrans’ dedication to use context sensitive solutions, even in rural settings,” said Charlie Fielder, Caltrans District 1 director. “It also shows our commitment to improving highway safety while preserving the environment.”


The area had seen several major crashes in one particular downhill stretch near mile post marker 44.19, across from the old Turkey Run and Abbott mines, as Lake County News has reported.


The project made several improvements to increase safety year-round, officials reported.


Those improvements included improved drainage, widened shoulders, installation of radar speed signs, replacement of a tight 25 mile per hour curve with a gentle 55 mile per hour curve, and repaved 3.5 miles of highway with a top layer of open-graded asphalt for improved winter traction.


Caltrans reported that, of all the improvements, the most eye-catching is a tie-back retaining wall which is 380 feet long and varies in height from five to 50 feet. The wall is anchored, or tied back, to the hillside by steel cables grouted into 201 holes drilled up to 141 feet deep into solid rock.


The wall was aesthetically treated by spraying the surface with concrete, hand sculpting a rock texture, and then staining to match existing rock outcroppings.


During construction, impacts to the environment surrounding nearby Grizzly Creek were avoided or minimized, Caltrans noted. Measures were also taken to reduce impacts to native oak and elderberry, and oak seedlings were planted to replace oak trees which had to be removed.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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