State Route 62 Embankment Restoration Project

  • San Bernardino County, California
  • District 08-SBd-62 (PM 124.0/ 142.0)
  • EA 08-1G010 PN 0815000106

Project Description:

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) proposes to restore storm eroded embankments with rock slope protection (RSP) and concrete aprons, and install rumble  strips at ten (10) desert wash locations on State Route 62 (SR-62) from 1.76 miles west of U.S. Route 95 (Post Mile [PM] 124.0) to 0.25 mile west of Parker Dam Road (PM 142.0), in San Bernardino County, California.

Existing Facility:

State Route 62 (SR-62) is an east-west highway beginning at the Interstate 10 (I-10) interchange near Palm Springs and continues east through the cities and communities of Desert Hot Springs, Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, and Earp, terminating at the California-Arizona state line, located on the Colorado River. SR-62 was constructed in the 1940s at grade, and across numerous desert washes.

The existing facility within the project limits begins 1.76 miles west of US 95 near Vidal Junction at PM 124.0 and continues east where it ends 0.25 mile west of Parker Dam Road at PM 142.0 near the community of Earp. Within the project area, SR-62 is a two-lane highway with one lane in each direction. The existing lanes are 12 feet wide, with outside shoulders that vary from one to two feet wide.

The project area is within a primarily undeveloped and sparsely populated area of the Sonoran Desert. No residences or businesses are located within this area with the exception of a few businesses at Vidal Junction.

Project Background:

A Project Initiation Proposal (PIP) was prepared by the Caltrans District 8 Office of Maintenance to obtain approval for the development of a Small Capital Value Project (SCVP) Project Initiation Document (PID) to construct a water embankment protection system at ten desert wash locations along SR-62. The PID was approved on March 3, 2016 and the project is now programmed in the 2018 SHOPP.

Purpose and Need:

The purpose of this project is to restore storm eroded embankments with 11 rock slope protection (RSP) sites at ten desert wash locations along SR-62. The project would restore the facilities to their original condition prior to damage caused by flash flood events, and would reduce the number of road closures needed for maintenance workers to conduct repairs.

During heavy rains and flash flood events, water runoff at the wash locations flows across the roadbed. This has historically led to closures of SR-62 due to flooding, debris on the road, and moderate roadway damage. There is a need to reduce the number of road closures that result in motorist delay, exposure of maintenance workers to traffic, and increased maintenance costs.

There have been a total of 20 events that have generated maintenance work orders on SR-62 for roadway damage between January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2015. On July 8, 2014, an intense rainstorm occurred in the low desert area and caused erosion and undermining along SR-62. As a consequence, emergency project 08-1F6604 was issued for SR-62 in the amount of $1,250,000 as a temporary repair measure until permanent damage restoration could be carried out.