Big Sur Information

•March 4, 2017 • 87 Comments

Header Photo, #FergussonFire, 6/15/17 by Brandi Plaskett

IMPORTANT, READ THIS FIRST!!

THERE IS NO DETOUR ON THE COAST. #HIGHWAY ONE CLOSED FROM SALMON CREEK TO GORDA TO ALL VISITORS. ALL THOSE CAUGHT WITHIN THE CLOSURE WHO CANNOT PROVE RESIDENCY ARE GETTING TICKETS, IF YOU COULD GET PAST THE GATE GUARDS.

#NACIMIENTO ROAD IS EXTREMELY NARROW (ONLY 1 AND 1/2 LANES IN MANY SPOTS), NO GUARD RAILS, NO SERVICES, NO CELL RECEPTION, AND EXTREMELY  DANGEROUS, GIVEN THE HORRIFIC TRAFFIC, MUCH OF WHICH IS DRIVING TOO FAST AND IN THE CENTER OF THE ROAD. ONE HEAD-ON COLLISION WITH INJURIES THUS FAR.

STARTING AUGUST 2017, NO CAMPING WILL BE ALLOWED ON NACIMIENTO-FERGUSSON FROM THE LITTLE BRIDGE ON THE EAST SIDE (MM 10.5) TO HIGHWAY ONE. FINE IS $5000 AND/OR 6 MONTHS IN JAIL.

NO CAMPING ALLOWED  ON HIGHWAY ONE, EITHER, AND NO CAMPFIRES ANYWHERE.

*********************************************************************

#MUD CREEK – AS OF 5/4/17 MUD CREEK COMPLETELY CLOSED IN BOTH DIRECTIONS TO ALL BUT BOATS AND HELICOPTERS. The big slide began on 5/19 and continued all that weekend. NEW EXPECTED OPENING – END OF SUMMER 2018

#PAUL’S SLIDE – OPEN WITH ONE WAY TRAFFIC SIGNAL

#PEIFFER BRIDGE TO OPEN IN OCTOBER.

*********************************************************************

New page of Interactive Highway Map with Mile Markers and slide names is to the right, under “Pages” first one *Big Sur Interactive Maps… if the following link doesn’t work. *Big Sur Interactive Slide Maps will answer any questions you may have about where something is in relation to something else.

MY DIRECT EMAIL IS: kwnovoa@mac.com

(Size for any header photos you may wish to submit it is 760×151 pixels.)

Bridge Inspection Report, 9/19/17

•September 19, 2017 • 4 Comments

This is the bridge inspection report for the little bridge on Nacimiento-Fergusson, nick-named by local truckers (Windsor) as 10-mile bridge, since it is 10 miles from Highway One. You will note that it was inspected in February of this year, just before the increased usage by large trucks began. I am hoping it will be inspected again once the bridge opens. There is a 6  page written report and then 11 photographs are attached. I am not qualified to interpret this information for you, but perhaps a reader can help with your questions.

IMG_3210

IMG_3211

IMG_3212

IMG_3213

IMG_3214IMG_3215

IMG_3216

IMG_3217

IMG_3218

IMG_3219

IMG_3220

Highway Closure Update, 9/18/17

•September 18, 2017 • 2 Comments

HIGHWAY 1 UPDATE – Monday, Sept. 18:

Highway 1 in Monterey County continues to provide 35 total miles of Hwy. 1 to the public from south of Gorda (PM 10) to just south of Pfeiffer Canyon (PM 45.5), accessible only via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. State Route 1 remains closed from north of Salmon (just south of the Ranger Station (PM 3) to just south of Gorda (PM 10) due to the Mud Creek event. State Route 1 south of Salmon Creek is accessible via State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo County, past Ragged Point to Salmon Creek.

REMINDER: Travelers CANNOT travel the entire length of Highway 1 but local businesses are open on both sides of the closure points at Pfeiffer Canyon and Salmon Creek.

Mud Creek (PM 8.9)
Mud Creek had a major slide on Saturday, May 20, 2017, losing 5 million cubic yards of material. Caltrans continues with its plan to realign the existing terrain. The projected timeline to safely open to public traffic is late-summer 2018 at an estimated cost of $40 million.

There is currently no public access through the Mud Creek area since this remains an active construction zone.

Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6)
Paul’s Slide is still active but the 24/7 one-way reversing traffic control with flaggers has been replaced by a traffic signal and temporary guardrail (k-rail) in the centerline.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge [PCB] (PM 45.52)
The bridge construction continues with diaphragm concrete pouring and prep work continues for the bridge deck pour this Friday night, Sept. 22. NOTE: Daytime work will be light on Friday during daytime hours as the concrete pour will take place overnight—there will be noise all night into Saturday, Sept. 23. The opening of the new bridge is scheduled in mid-October.

PM 8.9 Mud Creek--North Cut-Seatrain 9.15.17PM 8.9 Mud Creek--South Beach 9.15.17

Mud Creek, Photos by Madonna Construction

PM 21.6 Paul's Slide 9.13.17PM 21.6 Paul's Slide-2 9.13.17

Paul’s Slide. One can see the water still flowing and the cracks in the hill. I drove through this Friday, and it was still moving. Pebbles were falling and a spotter was watching. The k-rail was not up, nor were the signals referenced above – still flaggers. If any of my shots came out, I will post tomorrow, shot through the windshield as I was driving.

PM 45.52 PCB Diaphragm Reinforcement 9.15.17PM 45.52 PCB--Diaphragm Pour-1 9.15.17

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. Rock Knocker noticed that none of the rebar was epoxied, as was done on the land bridge at Pitkin’s Curve, to protect it from corrosion. I asked Kyle Evans to check as to why that was not done. This is what he was told:

“Epoxy coated rebar is what we call it. We are not using any on this bridge. There is no immediate threat of corrosion to the rebar here. But looking several years ahead the concrete bridge deck will probably be treated with polyester resins that act as a long term sealant, frequently used by CalTrans to weatherproof concrete structures.”

 

Photos of Mud Creek, 9/18/17

•September 18, 2017 • 1 Comment

These were taken last Friday, the 15th by Rock Knocker. I’ve made them into a slide show because there are 21 photos total. One of the spotters told Rock Knocker that when the rains start, the work will stop. I have not confirmed that with the Cal Trans spokesperson, but would certainly understand if that is the case.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sunday Photo, 9/17/17

•September 17, 2017 • 7 Comments

Just one, a glorious one, taken by Ken Daughters at Molera.

IMG_3156

 

Bridge Progress by Kyle Evans

•September 14, 2017 • 9 Comments

Bridge Photos from 9/11/2017 (The bridge will be slightly further along now then when I was down there on Monday but no major changes happened since then)

I went down to the bridge to check on the progress and get some updates.

The project is moving along very nicely. The crew is sticking to a mid October opening and working very hard to get it done as fast and as safely as possible.

The rebar across the deck is almost done. This also includes bolts in place that will be used to attach the guard rails. Once the rebar is done and some pieces of concrete are poured near the abutments they can schedule the concrete pour for the bridge deck. The Bridge deck will vary from 9 inches thick all the way up to 14 inches thick but the majority of it will be 10 inches thick. A total of 450 cubic yards of concrete will be poured for the bridge deck.

The engineers designed the girders with enough strength that if later on they want to refinish the bridge without removing any of the old decking they can pour another road surface on top of the old deck and the bridge can take the extra weight. I will have to confirm but I believe up to another 4 inches can be added across the whole bridge.

Concurrently with the iron work across the deck of the bridge the crew is building forms at each abutment for special concrete blocks that will connect in between each of the girders and serve to add sheer strength to the bridge. This concrete will prevent the bridge from changing from a rectangle to a trapezoid (as one of the crew members explained it to me). This concrete will be approximately 6 feet thick and go from the bottom of the girders to the top. It will not attach to the abutment in any way. The bridge will remain “floating” on its cushion of rubber.

These sheer walls will be the next concrete to be poured and must be completed before the bridge deck can be poured.

They are using an interesting technique if I remember correctly called compression sand forms where small wood boxes were built (shown in photo #3) and sand was compressed into them then the wood forms were built on top of these wood boxes full of compressed sand. Once the concrete is poured, and cured, and the forms are ready to be removed instead of fighting them all they have to do is clip the wire holding the wood boxes together and the sand inside just falls away leaving nothing holding the wood forms up. Then they just pull the wood forms out easily.

I could see looking down at the abutment that the polyurethane foam was installed on the abutment. It looked to be approximately 4 inches thick and it had a thin masonite board covering it in between it and the bridge. This foam if you recall makes up the expansion joint for the bridge to be able to expand and move in varying temperatures.

In photo number 4 you can see the structure of the bridge from inside in between the girders. The wood forms that will hold up the concrete and the red metal brackets that hold up the forms will all be taken out once the concrete is poured and cured. The metal cross beams will remain.

Underneath the bridge I can see many pen marks and notations everywhere. There are supervising engineers constantly inspecting the work looking for anything that isn’t quite right and marking it for further examination.

When I look at the plates holding the massive girders together I can see a seemingly random selection of bolts that are circled with pen. These are the bolts that were tested to ensure the proper tightness was achieved. Similar to how they test a random selection of bolts from each lot to make sure they meet manufacturing spec.

In the last photo you can see the bolts on the cross braces are not actually all the way tight yet. This is because the girders need to be able to move relative to each other. As the weight from the concrete bears on them they move and shift and if they are tightly fixed to each other this could throw the bridge off balance. Instead they leave the bolts on the cross braces only partially tightened for now then once the concrete is poured they go back and tighten the bolts up to spec.

You can see a mark on the bolt end and then two more marks on the cross brace. This tells them where the bolt started rotationally and where it needs to end up to be considered tight.

As I suspected concrete trucks will be coming soon. In the next few days they will pour the concrete for the sheer walls at the north and south abutments then towards the end of this month it will be time to pour the concrete for the bridge deck.

I can’t wait to see a solid surface on this bridge! It is coming together.

I went back recently and looked at some of my past posts. It was really interesting to kind of relive the construction process.

Cheers Everyone. More updates to come.

Caltrans Central Coast (District 5)

IMG_3196

IMG_3198IMG_3199

IMG_3200

25th Annual Jade Festival Postponed

•September 12, 2017 • 1 Comment

Once again the BIg Sur Jade Festival will need to postpone its date of Oct. 6-8, 2017. Yesterday’s statement by Cal Trans Public Information Officer, Susana Cruz put the opening of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge as the middle of October. Since our festival is the first weekend of October we will not have that access which is required for our permit to operate.

We haven’t made a new date, although we’ll be looking at May again. If we choose May, we won’t have the southern access open through Mud Creek and that creates challenges for the porta potties to be delivered as well as many of our volunteers and musicians.

If we choose the following October we expect that the south access of Mud Creek will be open and we’ll be back to a fully open highway.
,
Mother Nature has her way and anything can happen, as we are well aware of, and we must always defer to her whims but for now, those are our choices. We’ll be making that decision soon and let you know the outcome.

If you have a preference, please let me know.

Regretfully,
Lisa Gering

Fire East of Soledad

•September 11, 2017 • 4 Comments

2:30 pm – KION reports:  SOLEDAD, Calif. – Multiple fires have been sparked in South Monterey County.

According to Soledad Fire officials, a two acre fire was likely started by lightning strikes just after 2p.m. Monday.

Currently, they are fighting the blaze by air and ground.

There are reports of another fire also sparked by lightning in King City.

Strong thunderstorms made their way through Gonzales and towards Salinas just after 2 p.m. Lightning and gusty winds over 40 mph and small hail are possible as the storm rolls through.

2:15 pm – I can see it from the 101. It is behind the first ridge, maybe in the Pinnacles. I will look for further. Cal Fire is just off the 101 trying to figure out how best to get there.

 
%d bloggers like this: