Updates on Common Road Questions

Updates on Common Road Questions

Road Questions Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comRequest for road repairs are one of the most common requests that come in to our office. Some of the roads have long histories of challenges and others were damaged severely in the winter storms over the last few years. Recently, we’ve received multiple requests for updates on Buena Vista, Trout Gulch, Valencia and Hazel Dell, so I wanted to provide an overview of what’s happening on these streets.

Valencia Road

Valencia suffered some of the most significant damage during the storms from two years ago. As the damage occurred as part of a federally-declared disaster the repairs need to follow a number of steps to happen – from the initial emergency declaration to a survey of the work to a submission of initial costs and proposals for approval by the federal government, to environmental review and eventually bidding and construction.

Road Questions Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comWhile our county was the first to submit for these claims over two years ago much still needs to be done. While lower Valencia’s major project was completed here is an update on the other damage from the upper part.

Some significant milestones were reached including geotechnical and survey work was completed (design has been initiated). Here is where we are now on these two damage sites:

Post Mile (PM) 0.34 —Biological evaluations for this site are nearly complete, and a submission to Caltrans for environmental clearance is in process. Detailed design is underway, and Public Works anticipates requesting approval to advertise for bids in early summer 2019 and commencing construction in the fall.

PM 2.43 — Earlier this month, instabilities at the site remobilized resulting in additional subsidence of the southern portion of the site. County personnel are closely monitoring this site and have installed some protection measures and utilities have been moved to the uphill slope. Due to the changed site conditions the repair scope has grown. Public Works is working with Caltrans to modify the project scope. Submission of environmental permits are anticipated later this spring with a target of construction in late summer. It is likely construction will involve two phases with the intention to implement phase 1—stabilizing measures in 2019 and phase 2—permanent repairs continuing into 2020.

Trout Gulch Road

Road Questions Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comTrout Gulch is another area that suffered significant damage during the storms a few years ago (and continues to have challenges from recent rains). There are multiple projects on Trout Gulch and given some of the site similarities they are being packaged together to ensure they are completed faster (and for less cost).

Similar to Valencia, these repairs are also part of the state and federal emergency process and subject to the same steps and guidelines for repair that often take longer than we would like. Some areas on Trout Gulch were recently down to one lane for initial geotechnical work for these repairs.

Trout Gulch between PM 3.05 and 3.08 the estimated $571k in damage has the survey compete and the geotechnical completed. Trout Gulch at PM 2.36 (about $135k in damage) now has all initial approvals are now complete and design studies are about 35% complete. For the damages at PM 1.16 ($620k in damage), PM 1.18 ($432k in damage), PM 1.90 ($888k in damage), PM 1.85 ($699k in damage) the surveys are in process as are the geotechnical work is completed.

For PM 1.16, PM 1.85, PM 1.90 and 2.74 design Studies are 35% complete (this is one grouping of repairs based on type of damage). For PM 1.18, 1.90, PM 2.36, 3.03, 3.13.

Design studies are also 35% complete (another grouping of repairs).

PM 2.53 — Design work is 35% complete, however, Public Works are currently waiting to hear back from Cal OES and FEMA regarding necessary design/scope changes. We’ve had longer than anticipated response times from our federal partners and have been working actively with our federal delegation (Congressman Panetta, Congresswoman Eshoo, Senator Harris and Senator Feinstein) on helping with the delays. All of the offices have been very responsive and are advocating for a faster process from our federal partners.

Hazel Dell Road

Plans are in development to repair seven locations on Hazel Dell Road that were damaged during the January and February 2017 storms.

These locations are PM 2.00, 2.08, 2.13, 2.16, 2.21, 2.37 and 2.58. Biological evaluations for these sites are nearly complete, and the study will be submitted to Caltrans soon for environmental clearance.

This environmental review process is anticipated to be complete by the end of this summer, after which right-of-way acquisitions will commence. Detailed design is underway, and Public Works anticipates requesting approval to advertise for these projects in early 2020 and commencing construction in summer of 2020.

Buena Vista Road

Buena Vista faces a number of challenges including drainage and heavy equipment use from refuse trucks and agricultural. Currently, we are in the planning stages of a project near the landfill (which has some of the largest issues for drainage and road condition).

The funding will come from the recently enacted refuse truck impact fee. It will take some time to build up enough funds from this fee to do the extent of work needed, which includes roadway resurfacing and significant drainage improvements. Public Works anticipates that these repairs will occur in 2021.


As always, I appreciate hearing from you. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at 454-2200.

2 Responses to "Updates on Common Road Questions"

  1. Robert Dutton-Jones  April 22, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    What is happening with Browns Valley Road? It has to be the most “studied road” in the world as it has been closed for many years.

  2. Frank Rimicci  April 23, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Hello Zach. I was wondering if You golf? If so try driving from Varni Rd to Spring Hills golf course down Pioneer Rd. Then, imagine You have to drive that route every day to get to work or take kids to school. Utter torture! These roads should be outright abandoned as it is near impossible to avoid damage and swerving drivers. Are You aware of any plans for repairs? Please dont remind Me of the financing issues as I am well aware of the funding shortfalls and yes I voted for measure D..


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