Main Street Roadwork Friday, August 10th

IMG_0253Just a heads up that you may want to avoid traveling on Main Street tomorrow (Friday, August 10) from 9 am to 1 pm.  We are conducting pavement testing all along Main Street from Highway 20 to the north Bypass interchange.  There will be lane closures.  Expect 15 minute delays as we move the equipment around.

This is part of the process to get ready to repave Main Street.  The downtown sidewalk project is ahead of schedule and expected to be completed by the end of October.  The paving and sidewalk improvements are components of the Rehabilitation and Relinquishment of Old Highway 101 from Caltrans to the city of Willits.

Thanks for your patience as we work to improve Main Street.

Sherwood Road work starts up again Friday night, August 10

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Nighttime work at the Sherwood Road/ Hwy 101 intersection on will start on Friday, August 10th.  One-way traffic control will be in effect 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. weeknights.  This round of nighttime work is planned to go through Friday, August 17.  Motorist should expect 15-minute delays.

Project Background:

The Sherwood Road Realignment Project will improve the function of this high traffic volume intersection.  This project involves realigning the existing Sherwood Road intersection.  Currently, Sherwood Road intersects old U.S. 101 at a horizontal angle with a 12% grade, with two 12 foot lanes, no shoulders, and short left and right turn pockets. The project will re-align Sherwood Road to intersect old U.S. 101 perpendicularly, add a 4-foot wide right shoulder and include an 8-foot wide vehicle pullout along the east side of the road, include a retaining wall along the west side of the new road, reduce the grade on Sherwood Road to 10%, increase the length of the left and right turn lanes on
Sherwood Road from about 15 feet to 200 feet, and improve the signalized intersection with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.

After much deliberation, a tree in poor health in front of Savings Bank of Mendocino County will be removed

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For the last two weeks Caltrans and the City of Willits have been trying everything possible to keep this tree (pictured above)  located in front of Savings Bank of Mendocino County at 145 South Main Street.  Sadly, today it was decided by both parties that it is in the best interest of safety to remove this tree.

This process started on July 11 when the certified arborist was on-site monitoring during the concrete curb/asphalt removal activities around this segment of the Downtown Sidewalk project.

The contractor’s aborist recommended that the tree be removed due to the removal of three large roots in the way of the sidewalk construction.  It was determined that the tree will lose at least 30% of its stability.

Following the tree removal protocol, the City of Willits and City Planner, Dusty Duley were notified. The City reviewed the arborist report and decided to try and see what could be done to keep the tree.  The city hired a second arborist to review the tree.  Their arborist evaluated the tree and came to the similar conclusion.

Both arborists have said in order to avoid the inevitable risk of tree failure causing damage to infrastructure or pedestrians, the removal of this tree is recommended.

The tree is scheduled to be removed Wednesday, July 25.

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown Sidewalk Update:

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6-21-18The new sidewalks on Main Street are looking good!

Five segments have been completed so far. Work is moving along ahead of schedule.

Granite Construction and Caltrans crews have really appreciated all the nice comments and support of the merchants and people of Willits. Merchants have even brought the workers ice cream and burgers to thank them. One business decorated his TPAR, (Temporary Pedestrian Access Route) with beautiful flowers and colorful fabric.

Thank you for your patience. Support your community by shopping local during construction. #willitsshoplocal

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Sherwood Road Nighttime Work Starts Monday, July 16

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Nighttime work at the Sherwood Road/ Hwy 101 intersection on will start on Monday, July 16th.  One-way traffic control will be in effect 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. weeknights. Motorist should expect 15-minute delays.

Project Background:

The Sherwood Road Realignment Project will improve the function of this high traffic volume intersection.  This project involves realigning the existing Sherwood Road intersection.  Currently, Sherwood Road intersects old U.S. 101 at a horizontal angle with a 12% grade, with two 12 foot lanes, no shoulders, and short left and right turn pockets. The project will re-align Sherwood Road to intersect old U.S. 101 perpendicularly, add a 4-foot wide right shoulder and include an 8-foot wide vehicle pullout along the east side of the road, include a retaining wall along the west side of the new road, reduce the grade on Sherwood Road to 10%, increase the length of the left and right turn lanes on
Sherwood Road from about 15 feet to 200 feet, and improve the signalized intersection with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.

Two trees in poor health to be removed in Segment #9 of Sidewalk Project

house dr paintsseg 9

On Thursday, July 5, the certified arborist was on-site monitoring during the concrete curb/asphalt removal activities around two street trees in Segment #9 of the Downtown Sidewalk project.

Tree #1 is located on the east side of Main Street/Hwy 101 south of Sherwood Road and north of State Street.  Tree #1 is near the old Starchild Chocolate storefront.  This tree had a significant amount of browning/dead leaves and branch tips

Tree #2 is located south of State Street and North of Commercial Street on the east side of Main Street/Hwy 101. This tree is in front of The House Doctor Paints store.  This tree was in poor health with decay observed in some of the branches and a large old wound with decay on the trunk.

It was identified that the new curb will need to be installed through almost the center of Tree # 1’s trunk.  Removal of the existing concrete sidewalk and curb around Tree # 1 also exposed a large anchor root that was running parallel to the existing curb that will need to be cut for the installation of the new curb.

During the removal of the concrete sidewalk and curb around Tree # 2, a significant amount of small feeder roots and a number of larger roots were exposed and severed.  Further, the existing curb was deeper than typical and the tree was found to lack anchor roots down to sub-grade on this east side of the tree due to the presence of the
deep curb. When the curb was removed, the entire tree shook, indicating potential instability and a structural integrity concern.

The arborist determined these two trees needed to be removed.

Following the tree removal protocol, the City of Willits and City Planner, Dusty Duley were notified. The City reviewed the arborist report and agreed with the recommendation to remove the two trees.  They city said they appreciated the effort from Caltrans and Granite to work carefully around the trees.

Both trees are scheduled to be removed Tuesday, July 10.

From the arborist’s report:

Recommendations:

Since the new curb alignment will need to cut though the base of Tree #1, this tree will need to be removed.

Due to the significant loss of feeder roots, the potential impacts to the structural integrity of the tree from the curb removal and the presence of existing decay in the tree trunk, it is recommended that Tree# 2  be removed. Since the tree is already unhealthy from the past trunk damage and subsequent decay that spread through the trunk, the impacts from the ground disturbing activities will put too much additional strain on the tree to recuperate in the long term and in order to avoid the inevitable risk of tree failure causing damage to infrastructure or pedestrians, the removal of this tree is recommended.

 

 

 

 

One tree to be removed in front of Willits Taco House

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On Tuesday, June 12, the certified arborist was on-site monitoring during the concrete curb/asphalt removal activities around three street trees.  These trees are located on the west side of Main Street/Hwy 101 south of Sherwood Road, in front of the Willits Taco House.

Two of the three trees were determined to be able to survive the excavation work required for the new sidewalk and curb.  One tree (tree #2) needed a number of large structural roots to be removed to allow enough room for the sub-grade of the new curb and sidewalk. It was determined that this tree would not survive the severed roots.

Following the tree removal protocol, the City of Willits was notified and City Planner, Dusty Duley came out to the site to review the trees.  The City reviewed the arborist report and agreed with the recommendation to remove tree #2 due to the fact that the structural integrity of the tree has been comprised and will pose a hazard to the public.

Tree #2 is scheduled to be removed Friday, June 15.  There are plans to designate a landscape area at that location to give the opportunity for planting more trees and/ or plants at a later date.

From the arborist’s report:

“During the removal of the asphalt sidewalk and curb around Tree # 1, a minimal amount of small feeder roots were exposed.  During the excavation down to sub-grade for the curb, many small feeder roots were exposed and severed. During the excavation down to sub-grade for the sidewalk only one tree root that was less than 1 inch in diameter was severed and a minimal amount of small feeder roots were severed. No large anchor roots were exposed.

During the removal of the asphalt sidewalk and curb around Tree # 2 a large quantity of small feeder roots were exposed. During the excavation down to sub-grade for the curb, a number of large structural roots were exposed and needed to be severed to allow room for the installation of the new curb.

During the removal of the asphalt sidewalk and curb around Tree # 3, a minimal amount of small feeder roots were exposed. During the excavation down to sub-grade for the curb and sidewalk, only a few small feeder roots were exposed and severed. No large anchor roots were exposed.

Recommendations

Due to the significant loss of feeder roots and the severing of a significant amount of very large structural roots during the excavation activities, it is recommended that Tree # 2 be removed. The cutting of the large roots may impact the structural integrity of the tree and the cut has opened up a wound across a large surface area of the tree root.  It is highly likely that the wound will open the tree to infection and disease and the potential for the tree to recover is slim. In order to avoid the inevitable risk of tree failure causing damage to infrastructure or pedestrians, the removal of this tree is recommended.

The impacts to Tree # 1 and Tree # 3 due to the excavation activities to sub-grade were minor. As such, these two trees are not recommended for removal and their survival is fully expected.”

 

 

Work on Sherwood Road Realignment Project Begins June 4

WillitsMeeting_03042014One of the final pieces to the relinquishment agreement between Caltrans and the City of Willits is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 4. The Sherwood Road Realignment Project will improve the function of this high traffic volume intersection.

The first order of work will be vegetation removal on the hillside next to Sherwood Road. The tree removal will occur at night between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. in order to reduce impacts to traffic. One-way traffic control will be in effect with short delays.

Willits Flowers embraces “Safety Orange”

IMG_0150Willits Flowers owner Wil Gonzalez has decorated his TPAR, (Temporary Pedestrian Access Route) with beautiful flowers and colorful fabric.

Wil posted on social media:

“Good thing I love SAFETY ORANGE!!! Tearing up the sidewalk in front of Willits Flowers. Give us a TPAR ( Temporary Pedestrian Access Route ) and we will decorate it!!! Wheee…Give me lemons…”

“We ARE Open… The work team has been as helpful as possible. Thank you City of Willits and Cal-Trans.”

 

Special Tree Contract Provisions

trees 5-29-18trees 2x 5-29-18Last week it was determined by a certified arborist that two trees had to be removed on Main Street in front of Chase Bank and JD Redhouse.   It was determined that these trees were not in good health before the sidewalk work started.  So far there have been five “Existing Trees to Remain” identified in the three sidewalk segments currently under construction. We were able to work around three of them.  In fact, two of those are the large trees located at 316 S. Main St. (the old environmental center) and 414 S. Main St. (across from Peter’s Sushi).

Did you know that there are special tree provisions in our contract with Granite Construction?

Anytime there is work planned around any of the Existing Trees To Remain (ETR) a certified arborist has to be on site observing to see if the scope of work will cause damage to the these trees. We work very carefully around these trees.  Sometimes we can alter the specifications to accommodate the trees and still adhere to the building codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For example, the width of the sidewalk has to be a minimum of 4.2 feet.   We are able to do some field fitting around these trees to reduce the sidewalk width down to the minimum to give more room for the tree planters.

We are working hard in the field to make sure we have compliance with ADA regulations and room for the trees that the arborist deems as healthy.