June, 2015 Update to Willits City Council

WILLITS BYPASS PROJECT
2015 CONSTRUCTION SEASON
JUNE 2015 UPDATE

 

The following is a summary of the construction activities that have been completed up to June 20, 2015

  • Contractor has completed approximately 70 % of work on the project.

Southern Segment (Beginning of Project to Center Valley Road) – STA”A”96+00 to 149+00 (3.3 miles):

The south interchange.

The south interchange.

  • Repair of winter storm damage to slopes is complete.
  • Haehl Creek realignment and fish passage improvement work is complete.
  • Final excavation and grading at the south interchange is in progress. Paving may be complete in October 2015.
  • Right and left bridges for 101/20 Separation are complete, except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grooving. These items of work will not begin until late in 2015 or early 2016.
  • At Haehl Creek, right and left mainline bridges and southbound off-ramp S101/W20 Connector Bridge foundations and abutments are complete. Superstructure construction is in progress at all three, and will be completed in October 2015.
  • Northbound onramp E20/N101 Connector Bridge is complete, except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grooving.
  • East Hill Road Undercrossing Bridge is complete except for concrete barriers, joints, and deck grooving.
  • North Haehl Creek Bridge is complete except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grinding.
  • Pond relocation at Rutledge property is complete.
  • Embankment and grading between shell lane and Center Valley Road is in progress. Paving may be complete in October 2015.
  • Baechtel Creek Retaining Wall is complete. Concrete barrier, backfill and embankment will be completed in 2015.
  • Erosion control materials are being monitored and maintained at all locations. Final erosion control work will be completed in September and October, 2015

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Willits Bypass Update to City Council – Project 2/3 completed

CT_logoCaltrans provided the following written update to the Willits City Council for their April 22 meeting:

WILLITS BYPASS PROJECT
2015 CONSTRUCTION SEASON
April 2015 UPDATE

The following is a summary of the construction activities that have been completed up to April 17, 2015

  • Contractor has completed approximately 67% of work on the project.

Southern Segment (Beginning of Project to Center Valley Road) – STA”A”96+00 to 149+00 (3.3 miles):

  • Repair to winter damage slopes near the south interchange is complete.
  • Construction of crossover detour for northbound freeway traffic to U1 line is complete.
  • Haehl Creek realignment and fish passage improvement work is complete.
  • An active treatment system has been installed and is being operated during storms to remove turbidity from storm water run-off.
  • Right and Left bridges for 101/20 Separation are complete, except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grooving. These items of work will not begin until late in 2015 or early 2016.
  • Haehl Creek Bridge foundations and abutments are complete.  Due to a short work window and temporary suspension of Corps permit in June 2014, work on Haehl Creek Bridges is suspended and will resume in June 2015, and be completed in October 2015.
  • Northbound onramp E20/N101 Connector Bridge is complete, except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grooving.
  • East Hill Road Undercrossing Bridge is complete except for concrete barriers, joints, and deck grooving.
  • North Haehl Creek Bridge is complete except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grinding.
  • Pond relocation at Rutledge property is complete.
  • Baechtel Creek Retaining Wall is complete. Concrete barrier, backfill and embankment will be completed in 2015.
  • Embankment between Haehl Creek and Center Valley Road started, but is suspended until summer 2015.
  • Erosion control materials are being monitored and maintained at all locations.

Continue reading

Supplemental Funds for the Willits Bypass Project

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Flatiron West, Inc. employees placing concrete on a section of the viaduct on January 6, 2015.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) went before the California Transportation Commission (CTC) on December 10, 2014 to request $64.7 million in supplemental funds to complete the construction of the Willits Bypass project.  The funds were unanimously approved.

One of Caltrans’ many goals is to responsibly manage California’s transportation assets.  In order to keep the community informed to the greatest extent possible, the following is a synopsis of issues surrounding the necessity for additional funding.  The project has encountered numerous challenges during the first two years of construction which have increased costs and delayed completion of the project by approximately two years.  The following have contributed to the $64.7 million in supplemental costs.

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Caltrans and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff meet at the project worksite on January 28, 2014.

Environmental Regulation

Due to unforeseen circumstances, some permitting agencies added additional requirements after project bid opening.  Some of the changes included, stricter bird survey protocols, increased mitigation, Oil Well Hill borrow site final permit delays, temporary permit suspension, and increased erosion control measures including the installation of an active water treatment system at the south interchange.  Caltrans personnel are also assessing a potential redesign of the north interchange. Continue reading

Eliminating invasive blackberry on Willits Bypass mitigation parcels

image012aLetters were recently sent to three local tribes in Mendocino County notifying them of a need to use herbicides to remove non-native invasive Himalayan blackberry plants from Willits Bypass mitigation parcels.  Caltrans had anticipated using manual methods to eradicate 32 targeted invasive plants growing on mitigation parcels.   Included in those targeted plants is Himalayan blackberry, but the accelerated time schedule negotiated with the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) as part of the reinstatement of a permit no longer makes this possible.  It would require a minimum of 5 to 7 years to eradicate the invasive Himalayan blackberry growing on 67 acres using manual methods, but Caltrans does not have that long to complete the establishment of native plants to meet our commitments to the Corps. Continue reading

Caltrans goes above and beyond bypass mitigation requirements in the Little Lake Valley

A logjam along Outlet Creek mixed with accumulated trash.

A logjam along Outlet Creek mixed with accumulated trash.

Last fall (2013), Caltrans Maintenance crews and Environmental staff, working with California Department of Fish and Wildlife staff, removed log jams in two areas along Outlet Creek to the north of the Willits Bypass Project area. The logjams totaled about 400’ in length, and the cleanup required hundreds of cubic yards of logs, brush, and trash to be removed from the streambed. The logs and other woody debris were then ground up into mulch by a large grinder brought onsite to be used for the bypass project. It is likely these logjams had prevented fish from reaching spawning grounds within the Little Lake Valley for years.

A logjam forming a dam along Outlet Creek.

A logjam forming a dam along Outlet Creek.

Continue reading

October 2014 Willits Bypass Update To Willits City Council

Caltrans staff provided a written update to the Willits City Council on October 22 on the status of the Willits Bypass.  The complete text is provided below.

WILLITS BYPASS PROJECT

2014 CONSTRUCTION SEASON

OCTOBER 2014 UPDATE

The south interchange, looking southwest towards existing US Highway 101

The south interchange, looking southwest towards existing US Highway 101

The following is a summary of the construction activities that have been completed up to October 17, 2014 (Refer to Attachment No. 1 for Project Map).

  • Contractor has completed approximately 50% of the work.

Southern Segment (Beginning of Project to Center Valley Road) – STA”A”96+00 to 149+00 (3.3 miles):

  • Rock blanket on excavated slopes (U1 slope) is complete.
  • Construction of crossover detour for northbound freeway traffic to U1 line is complete.
  • Haehl Creek realignment and fish passage improvement work is complete.
  • 101/20 Separation and Haehl Creek Bridges foundations are complete, abutments are complete, 101/20 superstructures anticipate November 2014 completion. Due to short work window and temporary suspension of Corps permit in June 2014, work on Haehl Creek Bridges is suspended and will resume next June 2015 and be complete in October 2015.
  • Northbound onramp E20/N101 Connector Bridge is complete, except for concrete barrier rails.
  • North Haehl Creek Bridge is complete, work on approaches is suspended until spring 2015.
  • Pond relocation at Rutledge property is complete.
  • Baechtel Creek retaining wall is complete, backfill and embankment will be completed in 2015.
  • Embankment between Haehl Creek and Center Valley Road started, but is suspended until 2015.
  • Erosion control is being installed at all locations.

Continue reading

Traffic Changes on South End of Willits Bypass Project; Expect Major Delays on US Highway 101

willits_bypass_detour

 

HOURS UPDATED

On Thursday, October 9, traffic on US Highway 101 on the south end of the Willits Bypass Project will be diverted to a long-term detour.  In order to tie the detour into the existing highway, one-way traffic control with a pilot car will be in effect from 4AM 2AM to 9PM on Thursday only.  Motorists should anticipate major traffic delays which could reach one hour or more during peak traffic times, with southbound traffic on US Highway 101 backing up into the northern end of Willits.  Continue reading

Latest Willits Bypass Update to the Willits City Council

Caltrans staff provided a written update to the Willits City Council on September 24 on the status of the Willits Bypass.  The complete text is provided below.

WILLITS BYPASS PROJECT
2014 CONSTRUCTION SEASON
SEPTEMBER 2014 UPDATE

IMG_9699

At the south interchange looking north across Haehl Creek.

The following is a summary of the construction activities that have been completed up to September 18, 2014
(Refer to Attachment No. 1 for Project Map).

  • Contractor has completed approximately 48% of the work.

Southern Segment (Beginning of Project to Center Valley Road) – STA”A”96+00 to 149+00 (3.3 miles):

  • Rock blanket on excavated slopes (U1 slope) completed.
  • Construction of crossover detour for northbound freeway traffic to U1 line continues.
  • Haehl Creek realignment and fish passage improvement work is started and will be completed by the end of September 2014.
  • 101/20 Separation and Haehl Creek Bridges foundations are complete, abutments are complete 101/20 superstructures anticipate November 2014 completion. Due to short work window and temporary suspension of Corps permit in June 2014, Haehl Cr. Structures will suspend then resume next June 2015 and be complete in September 2015.
  • Northbound onramp E20/N101 Connector bridge is complete, except for concrete barrier rails.
  • North Haehl Creek bridge is also complete, work on approaches will begin this week.
  • Pond relocation at Rutledge property is complete.
  • Baechtel Creek retaining wall is complete.

Continue reading

Caltrans Provides Willits Bypass Project Update to Willits City Council

IMG_9276On Wednesday, July 23, Caltrans Project Manager Mauricio Serrano and Senior Resident Engineer Geoffrey Wright provided the Willits City Council with a Willits Bypass Project update.  The update included the following:

The realignment of Haehl Creek and fish passage improvement work has begun and is anticipated to be completed by mid-September. Continue reading

Corps Lifts Permit Suspension on Willits Bypass Project

CT_logoPress Release:

Today’s Date:          July 10, 2014
District:                     1 – Eureka
Contact:                    Phil Frisbie, Jr.
Phone:                      (707) 441-4678

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CORPS LIFTS PERMIT SUSPENSION ON WILLITS BYPASS PROJECT

EUREKA – After Caltrans committed to accelerate work on the extensive mitigation for the bypass project and develop a plan to add additional mitigation to compensate for delays in beginning the mitigation work, today the US Army Corps of Engineers lifted the permit suspension for the Willits Bypass Project.

The Willits Bypass Project will relieve congestion, reduce delays, and improve safety for both traffic and pedestrians along U.S. Highway 101 through Willits in Mendocino County. This $210 million project, now under construction, is primarily funded ($136 million) by Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond.

For the latest information about the Willits Bypass Project, please visit willitsbypass.wordpress.com.

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