Highway 1 Repairs Near Myers Grade
Highway 1 near Meyers Grade Road, Sonoma County
Road under one-way traffic control until late March 2021
Four Retaining Walls Damaged by Fire
As work nears the final phases of the project, Caltrans has discontinued the use of electronic traffic signals to manage one-way traffic control at the work site. If traffic control is necessary, workers will use flags to manage traffic. Switching to a manual means of traffic control became permanent on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, after most of the retaining walls repairs were completed and the road was repaved.
By using flaggers to control traffic, Caltrans can significantly reduced the physical length and duration of the closures. The traffic signals are located over a half-mile apart. Flaggers can reduce the length of the one-way control to several hundred feet, allowing traffic to clear much more quickly.
One-way traffic control will no longer be in place during weekends.
In late August 2020, the Myers Fire swept along the northern Sonoma coast, damaging four retaining walls on Highway 1 near Meyers Grade, a road connecting to the highway between Jenner and Fort Ross.
Shortly after the fire, Caltrans inspectors assessed the fire damage and implemented one-way traffic control to allow for the repairs that they knew would be necessary.
The road continues to be under one-way traffic control and will remain so until repair work is completed, probably at the end of February 2021. The walls are located on a stretch of highway slightly over a half-mile long. Three of the four walls can be repaired onsite. A fourth wall was damaged badly and must be replaced.
For the first month, traffic was controlled manually, using flaggers to direct vehicles through the construction zone. In mid-October, Caltrans installed traffic signals to manage one-way traffic control. The signals are automated, using pavement sensors and timing mechanisms to optimize traffic movement. Given the length of the construction zone (0.6-miles), motorists should expect five-minute delays.
Since bicyclists frequent the highway, Caltrans has also installed a push-button on a traffic pole, allowing extra time for cyclists to travel between signals. The button is well-marked.
During some weekends, when traffic is heavier and less predictable, Caltrans uses flaggers to minimize traffic backups.
Wall #1 (see diagram) was most severely damaged by the flame and will be replaced. Exploratory drilling was completed in September to aid with the planning of a new wall. Caltrans finished the design of the new wall in early November. The resident engineer on the project estimates that the new wall will be completed by the end of January 2021, at which time one-way traffic control will be ended.
Caltrans will repair walls 2-4, replacing scorched timbers and metal damaged by the fire. You can view the progress of construction in the photo gallery.