Drivers will soon be able to enjoy uninterrupted trips on on Marin County’s Highway 1 once Ghilotti Construction completes repairs on the serious damage caused by storms on December 11th.
MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) — Drivers will soon be able to enjoy uninterrupted trips on on Marin County’s Highway 1 when crews complete repairs on the serious damage caused by storms on December 11th.
KTVU went to the repair site where a wall literally has to hold back a mountain. For the last 6 weeks, 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, Caltrans and its contractor Ghilloti have been repairing an 80-foot section of the highway near the Muir Woods.
It was not overrun by a December landslide, but instead was undermined by stormwater flowing under the road and washing the earth underneath away, causing what’s called a slip out.
“This is a lifeline for the coastal communities of Muir Beach, Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, Bolinas,” said Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus.
Highway 1 may be better known as the legendary Pacific Coast Highway. One the nation’s most important tourist routes, it gives visitors from all over the world breathtaking views of coastal California.
“That’s why we’re working so quickly to get this road repaired and opened back up again because we know people rely on it,” explained Haus.
As with other emergency projects such as the many Devil’s Slide closures, Caltrans was able to cut red tape to bring repair crews and their equipment in.
“Normally it would take six to eight weeks. We had the permit within a couple of days,” said Haus. Nonetheless, filling a gap and paving it over on an extremely high and steep mountain side took time and the right materials.
Crews set two foot wide steel beams more than 20 feet into the ground to hold a wooden wall, forming the barrier. Porous lava rock fills the hole allowing water to be channeled into a safe drainage system.
This is proven technology and this should last indefinitely unless, of course, Mother Nature decides it shouldn’t last indefinitely.
And anyone can see in the many previous repairs all along Highway 1, such slides and slip outs are not unusual. Caltrans has to be prepared for such inevitable issues along the PCH. This project will be completed in early February.
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