The Elkhorn Road Emergency Storm Damage Repair Project in Monterey County wins a National American Public Works Association (APWA) Project of the Year Award for Disaster/Emergency Construction/Repair projects less than $5 Million. Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 5, wins a National American Public Works Association (APWA) Project of the Year Award for Disaster/Emergency Construction/Repair projects over $5 Million but less than $25 Million.
Elkhorn Road Emergency Storm Damage Repair: Winter storms battered the Central Coast of California in January and February of 2017. In February, cyclone force winds ripped through the Monterey-Salinas area, shredding trees, blocking lanes of Highway 101, and wreaking havoc throughout the County. This new winter storm added a new vocabulary word to area residents: bombogenesis. This rare occurrence of a bombogenesis is a mid-latitude cyclone that drops in surface barometric pressure by 24 or more millibars in a 24-hour period, which means intense downpours along with extremely strong winds battering the area.
Infrastructure and roadways in Monterey County suffered greatly with over $30 million in total damages. Elkhorn Road was one of the roadways severely affected and catastrophically damaged in multiple locations by the storms. The heavy storms led to culvert failure and the road above it started to crumble, becoming severely compromised. The damage also included mudslides, failed road embankments, roadway pavement that cracked and slid off the embankment, heavy silt and vegetation in roadside ditches, and damaged culverts which led to undermining from water flows through the underlying road subgrade. The $1 million emergency roadway work was completed within the allowed emergency permitting timeframe. The extensive emergency repair work included stabilizing failed slopes, reconstructing failed roadway pavement, removing silt from the north ditch, replacing damaged culverts, constructing new intakes for the existing culverts, and extending the culverts to eliminate erosion and destabilization of the fill slope adjacent to the road. The roadway repair was successfully completed with special care and attention paid throughout the process to comply with all emergency permitting as well as state and federal emergency funding regulations.
MNS’ Government Services Team provided full services including Project Management, Design Engineering, and Construction Inspection Services.
Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge: Highway 1 through Big Sur is designated as an All-American Road and an American National Scenic Byway. Roads designed within this program are all unique. However, State Route 1 is considered one of the crown jewels. The views along this beautiful highway include majestic cliffs that plunge to the beach hundreds of feet below. From seeing migrating Humpback whales to standing above the fog, Highway 1 provides amazing visual experiences.
A landslide, due to heavy rains which began in early January 2017, caused major damage to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 in Monterey County. By February 15, the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge was determined to be beyond repair and needed replacing. At that point, Highway 1 access to the community of Big Sur was cut off from the north but also from the south due to rock slides near Lucia and Gorda. Caltrans immediately jumped into action to replace the bridge as quickly as possible. Remarkably, the new $24 Million single-span steel girder bridge was built and opened to the public just eight months after the original concrete structure was condemned, a process which would normally take about eight years. Constructing the actual structure across the canyon presented the unique challenges of working across a deep canyon, dealing with an active landslide occurring within the canyon, and needing to accomplish construction rapidly. A “launch” process, which had never been done previously for the state highway system in California, was chosen to handle all of these challenges.
MNS provided Construction Management Services to Caltrans on this project.