27 September 2009

Costs of Carbon Canyon Road Improvements

In recent weeks, two new CalTrans projects have been underway on the Orange County portion of State Highway 142 (Carbon Canyon Road,) both managed by District 12 based in the county.

The first, which appears to be largely completed, is a drainage improvement project on the north side of the road, adjacent to westbound lanes, which seems to have involved scraping away some of the bottom of the hillside, trenching, installing drains and other work. This is just west of Olinda Village as the highway descends towards the regional park and Olinda Ranch. The area involved is at the base of a nearly sheer wall of the hills where landslides and falling rocks have been a regular hazard for as long as the road has existed on that section. According to a "Tentative List to Advertise" issued at the beginning of this year, the estimated cost for this work was $280,000.

The second project is the installlation of a new traffic signal, along with sidewalk construction and minor road improvements at Olinda Village. This FTIP (Federal Transportation Improvement Program) project has a total project cost of $644,000, with 10% of this coming from local funds and the remaining $579,600 coming from federal funds granted to CalTrans for project administration. There have been posts already dealing with this project, which is still in the early stages with concrete posts for the signals installed. The signs put up on Carbon Canyon Road indicate a late spring 2010 completion date.

Meantime, a small drainage project has just been finished on the Chino Hills side. A concrete trench has been placed on the south side of the highway, next to eastbound lanes, just east of Canon Lane to direct runoff into a drain that then goes under the roadway and off into Western Hills Golf Course and, presumably, the channel for Carbon [Canyon] Creek, which runs through the golf course. The shoulder of this area, which usually does floor during moderate to heavy rainstorms, has also been paved with asphalt. This work has been handled by District 8 in San Bernardino County.

It is always good to see improvements, like the drainage projects, being undertaken. The installation of the signals, again, while understandable for the folks in Olinda Village, will slow, to some degree, traffic on the highway, but the real effects probably will not be seen until other signals are installed in Chino Hills at Canon Lane and Canyon Hills Road, as planned (though unlikely to happen for some time to come.)

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