Aggressive Strategy Will Reduce Impact Of Closing State Route 78 At Scissors Crossing
Feb 28, 2007
SAN DIEGO – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and contractor MCM Construction have struck a deal that will greatly reduce the number of days State Route 78 will be closed to construct safety upgrades on the San Felipe Creek Bridge near Scissors Crossing.
The plan calls for closing the highway in both directions at that location from Monday, March 12 through mid-afternoon on Friday, March 23. Barring delays due to weather, the bridge would be re-opened to traffic about six weeks earlier than specified in the original contract.
"As a result of fine tuning the complexities of this project, both sides have agreed on a plan that should work for most people," said Caltrans Deputy Director of Construction Armando Garcia. "In addition to maintaining a safe bridge, we get the construction finished within the requirements of federal environmental law, and the public gets its highway back in less than a dozen days." He added that the closure will avoid spring break for most schools and include just one weekend – normally the most traveled days of the week for this stretch of road.
To carry out this aggressive strategy, the contractor will work around-the-clock and receive an incentive of $500,000, bringing the total price tag of the safety upgrades to $4.75 million. The upgrades include work on the bridge abutments, rails and decks.
On the other hand, the contractor will be penalized $100,000 the first day and a subsequent $20,000 per day for the following six days if the work is not completed in time. If the project goes into the last weekend of March, there will be an additional penalty of $120,000.
The detour for the project is the only available alternate route in the immediate vicinity, and motorists should evaluate whether it is the right choice for them. Drivers are also encouraged to check a map to explore other routes to their destination in the Desert Region and beyond. Either way, motorists can expect adding at least an hour to their typical travel time.
The detour will take motorists heading east toward Borrego Springs and Ocotillo Wells off SR-78 at San Felipe Road. They will then travel on to Montezuma Valley Road, to Palm Canyon Drive and Borrego Springs Road and back to SR-78.
Drivers heading west will reverse the detour – Borrego Springs Road, to Palm Canyon Drive, to Montezuma Valley Road and San Felipe Road and back to SR-78. For more information on this project and other state transportation improvements, please log on to www.dot.ca.gov/dist11.
Lynne Cory firstname.lastname@example.org
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Caltrans District 11
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