With the change in season, we hope you have a spring in your step now that Spring breaks are over, the clocks have been set ahead and it’s time to spring into action. Whew!
Seriously, though, there’s a lot to be excited about. District 7 has two new deputies: Mark Archuleta is Deputy of Construction and Ali Zaghari is Deputy of Operations. We are very happy to have two such experienced and knowledgeable additions to the executive staff. Unfortunately for us, we are losing Maintenance Deputy Dan Freeman, who is retiring at the end of April after 30 years of exemplary Caltrans service. So, once again we will be looking at another vacancy.
In this issue of Inside 7, we take a look at the latest news on the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project. This project is significant in every way. The massive structure will cost $1 billion but is expected to be worth much more than that by keeping the Port of Long Beach competitive well into the future. It also is design/build construction, which will add to our expertise in that type of project. We look forward to watching the new bridge soar over the port, creating another distinctive southern California landmark.
Checking in with Maintenance, another article takes readers along on a precast concrete demonstration project on the westbound side of I-210. A couple of very enterprising supervisors have developed a new tool and technique that makes installation much easier, potentially revolutionizing the way concrete is repaired in the future.
We also take a look at the I-5/SR-14 direct HOV connector project. The completed structure is monumental in size and scope. But getting there was not without its challenges. Fortunately, the Caltrans Construction team surmounted all of them with exceptional patience, ingenuity and partnering skills.
Elsewhere, construction is proceeding smoothly on the U.S. 101 carpool lane from Mussel Shoals in Ventura County to Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County. This project will provide motorists with the first carpool lane on U.S. 101 in all of southern California and we are sure it will provide welcome congestion relief to commuters in that area and to all those who use the route.
Of course, one project that has been a major focus is the improvement of the I-5 corridor, both in the north and south areas. In this issue, we explore how people are coordinating and partnering to make that endeavor a success.
Last, but not least, we are taking to the road on our bikes to participate in CicLAvia on April 21. For those who might not be aware, CicLAvia is an event encouraging strolling, biking, playing and exploring the city free of cars. Since it began in 2010, CicLAvia has quickly become Los Angeles County’s most popular public event, consistently attracting more than 100,000 participants. This year, I will be riding and welcome all Caltrans employees to meet at the District Office Building where we will set off together from downtown to the beach.
Hope to see you there.