Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Caltrans issues update on south county road projects

SOUTH LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Caltrans said Thursday that striping and other improvements along two south county highways will take place this fall.

The highways in questions, Highway 29 and Highway 175, are the locations of two rubberized chip seal projects that have many south county residents up in arms due to safety and quality concerns.

The projects, totaling $2.1 million, are located along 12 miles of Highway 29 from the Lake/Napa County lines to the Coyote Creek Bridge and 8.5 miles on Highway 175 from Cobb to Middletown.

Caltrans and local officials – along with representatives of the contractor, International Surfacing Systems of West Sacramento – held a public meeting Oct. 12 to address those concerns, a gathering which Supervisor Jim Comstock organized, as Lake County News has reported.

On Thursday Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbie issued a report that explained that the paint for final striping on the roads has been tested and certified, which should allow all of the striping – including crosswalks – to be completed by the end of this month, weather permitting.

Comstock said reflectors were put down on the chip sealed highway portions on Wednesday, and the piano key-style crosswalks throughout downtown Middletown were being painted Thursday.

A white substance had been visible pooling on the sides of Highway 29 last Sunday during a rain shower. Frisbie said it was temporary paint markings – put down to show where permanent markings belonged – that washed off, although Comstock said he saw the substance in areas where no temporary markings had been placed.

Comstock said during the recent rain he saw a lot of water on the newly resurfaced roadways. “That's not going to increase traction when you have standing water.”

Concerns brought by local residents at the Oct. 12 meeting included the rough, 1/2-inch aggregate chip seal being put down over recently paved areas at the Hidden Valley Lake entrance and the entrance to Twin Pine Casino.

Frisbie said loose aggregate that collected in the highway's centerline rumble strip has been removed with vacuum sweepers. Work to smooth areas on Highway 29 near Twin Pine Casino and Butts Canyon Road are scheduled to be completed by mid-November, he added.

Caltrans District 1 Director Charlie Fielder told community members at the Oct. 12 meeting that the project areas would be repaved late next spring or early summer. His deputy director, Mark Suchanek, said the road work would resemble the new paving on Highway 29 outside of Lakeport.

Frisbie's Thursday report held to that time frame from the updated paving.

Caltrans also plans to have an open house next spring prior to the new road construction in order to present the projects to the community, Frisbie said.

Instead of an open house, “We'd rather have a pavement truck,” said Comstock.

Comstock said he's still getting feedback about the Oct. 12 meeting.

“People are pleased we had the meeting,” he said. “They're less than pleased with Caltrans.”

However, be believes Fielder is sincere in trying to address the community's concerns.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at , on Facebook at and on YouTube at .

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