There is a small city at Pitkin’s Curve

All the following photographs were taken by Rock Knocker on May 11, 2010. He promised me he would go every month or so, with his hard hat and vest, and take more so we can all follow this amazing engineering feat, which started construction November 30, 2009, and is predicted to take four years.

Few of us could ever hope to get shots like this, and even fewer would ever get permission to do so. Thanks, Rock Knocker!

And it looks like this:

Small City

It even has its own Motel 6:

Motel 6 - We'll leave the light on for ya

Not that I’d want to stay there, even with the view!

Here is the new city from a longer perspective:

The View from above

My internet has gone wonkers on me this evening, and I have quite a few more photographs to post. I will have to add them tomorrow, as I have reached my patience limit tonight.

The two work platforms (and no, it is not the start of the bridge construction, that will be a while coming) are depicted here:

North and South Work Platforms

Here is the south work platform:

South Work Platform

Here is the north work platform. Note the people for perspective. That is a 150 TON crane sitting on the platform!

North Work Platform

This post is a “work in progress.” I will be uploading more photos as the internet goddess allows.

South Platform, looking north
North Platform, looking South

This “box” is 50 feet by 50 feet. Inside you see a remotely operated excavator. It has the drill on, and the plan is to drill a number of 5 ft. square holes, to an unknown depth, which will then provide support columns to anchor the south end of the bridge. This 50×50 foot box will then be filed completely with 5 ft. of cement.

This is the head honcho on this project. Rock Knocker told me his name … but I failed to write it down.

Tomorrow, I will post some Cal-Trans photos of the slip out in 2000 which lead to this project. I am also searching for the rendering of the project, which I have seen, and participated in (along with the rock shed at Rain Rocks) as part of the Aesthetic and Design Committee.

Rock Shed & Bridge at Pitkins near Limekiln

Cal-Trans just issued the news release quoted below. Also, while I haven’t received a release on them, there are two other on-going projects I have witnessed. One is just south of Packard/3 Palms beach. It involves a one-way stop light. Another project is north of Ragged Point. Last I saw, it did not have a signal light, but news reports in SLO papers indicate one will be installed.

Date: Monday, November 30, 2009
District: 5 – Santa Barbara, SLO, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties
Contact: Janet Newland or Colin Jones
Phone: (805) 549-3461 or (805) 549-3189
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAJOR BRIDGE AND ROCKSHED PROJECT BEGINS ON HIGHWAY 1 SOUTH OF LUCIA

MONTEREY COUNTY – Roadwork will begin this week on the Highway 1 Pitkin’s Curve Bridge and Rainrocks Rockshed. The project will install a 620-foot long bridge and protective cover on Highway 1 just south of the town of Lucia.

During the first stage of the project the roadway will be relocated closer to the hillside and one-way flagging operations may be in effect from 8 am to 4 pm Monday though Friday. By spring, a temporary traffic signal will be in place so one-way traffic control will be in effect 24/7.

The project will protect motorists and the highway from falling rock and slides. The contractor for this $29 million project is Golden State Bridge of Martinez, California. The project requires four years of construction time; however, it will go through several winter seasons so completion may be extended depending upon severity of the weather.

“We are thrilled to break ground on a project that will significantly enhance the long-term stability of the coast highway,” said District 5 Director Rich Krumholz.

Caltrans reminds motorists that “we’re here to get you there.”

For more information on you can call the toll-free project hotline at (888) 836-0866 or visit http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/projects/pitkins/index.htm.

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