Sunday, 14 July 2024

Major summer road projects to take place around the county

LAKE COUNTY – Several large projects will be under way on area highways this summer.

Caltrans reports that three safety projects – near Walker Ridge east of Clearlake Oaks, east of Robinson Rancheria in Nice and at the intersection of Highway 29 and Spruce Grove Road near Lower Lake – will be continuing in the months ahead.

The Walker Ridge Safety Rehabilitation project is located about 10 miles east of Clearlake Oaks on Highway 20 and is expected to be completed in July.

It's the largest summer highway project in Lake County, said Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbie.

The project was awarded in September of 2006 to Argonaut Constructors of Santa Rosa, Frisbie said.

Frisbie said the project is realigning curves, and installing drainage and wider shoulders in that area, which has seen several major vehicle collisions – some of them fatal – over the last two years, as Lake County News has reported.

The high number of collisions in the area triggered an investigation, and the safety project resulted, said Frisbie.

“The main emphasis of that was to increase the site distance and make those curves not quite as severe so we could improve the safety,” said Frisbie.

Frisbie said Caltrans recently completed pavement testing in the area, using a towed trailer skid tester that is pulled behind a vehicle. He said the test involves wetting the pavement and applying brakes to the trailer to check friction on the roadway surface.

“It did not reveal any deficiency in the pavement,” he said.

Week before last, transverse rumble strips were installed across the eastbound lane of Highway 20 near speed advisory signs in the Walker Ridge area, said Frisbie.

He said the goal is that the rumble strips will draw drivers' attention to the 35-mile-per-hour speed advisory signs and slow down as they go through the area. The California Highway Patrol has determined that speed on wet roadways was the cause of many of the crashes in the area.

Frisbie said a passing lane terminates in that area, and Caltrans believes that speed may be an issue there because people are attempting to pass before the lane ends.

“Possibly that is causing them to approach that downhill at a higher speed that they should,” he said.

So sometime in the next few weeks, as soon as striping crews are available, Caltrans will restripe the passing lanes, reducing the number of lanes to one at the crest of the hill.

“We're still going to be continue to evaluate other things that can be done to improve the safety,” he said.

In other road projects, Caltrans reported that the Robinson Rancheria Safety project, located between the communities of Upper Lake and Nice on Highway 20, is on schedule.

Frisbie said the existing highway had very narrow to no shoulders. Contractor Argonaut Constructors of Santa Rosa is widening the highway and providing eight-foot shoulders. Caltrans expects the project to be completed this fall.

The final project is the Spruce Grove Road Safety Project between C Street and Clayton Creek Road outside of Lower Lake, said Frisbie. The contract will be awarded in June, with completion anticipated in the summer of 2010.

Frisbie said the Spruce Grove Road project will add left turn lanes and lighting to the intersection to

improve its safety.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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