Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Pleasant Valley Road Interchange in Oxnard, Ventura County

by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 12/2006

District 7 received four honors for Construction Engineering, the Environment, System Operations and Transportation Innovations.

District 7 received four “Excellence in Transportation” awards honoring the best of California’s transportation projects which were presented at the November 6 District Staff Meeting conducted by Doug Failing, District 7 Director.  This competition, now in its 21st year, is held annually by the California Department of Transportation to recognize excellence in transportation design, construction, traffic operations, maintenance, planning and improvements throughout California.

One of the winners in District 7 is a Ventura County project called the “Pleasant Valley Road Interchange,” which won in The Highway (Rural) category. The Environment award went to the “I-5/Santa Clara River Bridge Bat Habitat,” the System Operations category winner was District 7’s Intelligent Transportation System and the “Route 710 Long Life Pavement Reconstruction” took the Transportation Innovations award. 

"These four projects are great examples of the exceptional work that this District is capable of doing.  With the passage of the new bond measure, the public has told us that we must continue to do great work," said Doug Failing. 

Pleasant Valley Road Interchange,” submitted by Construction Engineering Management, won for a category that highlights excellence in alignment and design, preservation of the environment and native vegetation and the use of innovative materials or processes.

The new Ventura County interchange was initiated to improve traffic flow on historic State Route 1 in Oxnard to accommodate the growing commerce through Port Hueneme.  Along with other port access improvements, the interchange reconstruction provides a more direct truck route to U.S. 101 and expands access in and out of the port.   An existing over-crossing bridge was demolished at Pleasant Valley Road and replaced with a new, wider bridge with access ramps to north- and southbound SR-1. Two new connector bridges over SR-1, a 180-meter long Gabion Retaining Wall and various concrete channels were constructed to facilitate drainage of the flat terrain to eliminate flooding issues during the rainy season.

In the System Operations category, District 7’s unique Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) was submitted by the Division of Operations and its contractors Crosstown Electrical and Data Inc. and CT&F Inc.  The criterion for this category includes operational improvement, cost saving, improved and innovative transportation system, performance, procedure, material or equipment and has wide applicability.

Using new technology, an Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) integrates recurrent/non-recurrent incident detection, verification, incident response, planned events of freeway management, and field element operational control. With ITS, Caltrans District 7 leads the way in freeway transportation systems development, and with other internal and external partners, develops, integrates, implements, and supports an end-to-end traffic management system.

The “I-5/Santa Clara River Bridge Bat Habitat,” submitted by the Division of Environmental Planning, secured its win by creating a new habitat for approximately 3,500 Mexican freetail bats following demolition of their home underneath the bridge. When the bat colony was discovered in 2002, bridge demolition was postponed until the winter migration.  While they were away, temporary “bat caves” were constructed on the nearby Old Road Bridge, which served as home until the winter of 2004, when the new bridge and permanent habitat were finished. For more information and photos on this bat habitat, see the November 2006 issue of “Inside Seven” for the feature article entitled, “Extreme Makeover; Batcave Edition” by Judy Gish.

The Division of Construction and the California Highway Patrol submitted the I-710 Long Life Pavement Reconstruction Project. The criteria  involves solution driven and integrated approaches to improve mobility using new and improved products, materials, procedures and processes that are immediate and responsive, practical and deployable.  This segment of the Long Beach Freeway, located between the Pacific Coast Highway and the San Diego Freeway (I-405), began construction in 2001 and was completed in November 2004.

In pursuit of its mission of improving mobility across California, District 7 employed an innovative traffic-staging plan, new Asphalt Concrete Long Life Pavement (ACLLP) materials and an intense public awareness campaign to reconstruct 2.9 miles of an aging six-lane urban freeway that is the lifeline to the Port of Long Beach and responsible for accommodating some of the busiest commuter and port traffic in the world,” said Scott McKenzie, Chief, Office of Construction, Field East, who was responsible for submitting the project for award consideration.  “We have taken the lessons learned on this project and applied them to the next portion of the Long Beach freeway, but on a much grander scale.  Eight 55-hour closures of the freeway were performed on the original project and the new project will have about 40 full closures.”

The following people received a certificate for their award-winning contribution to excellence in transportation: 

The I-5/Santa Clara River Bridge Bat Habitat:   Team members Ron Kosinski, Paul Caron, Michael Klima, Barbara Marquez, Gregg Erickson, Greg Farr, Jagdish Patel, Alahkaram Sharifi and Greg Tatarian of Wildlife Research Associates.

Pleasant Valley Road Interchange:  Team members Ghassan Dagher, Mohammad Toutounchian, Aythem Al-Saleh, Charles Ton, Safwat Salahieh, Ron Rehwald, Joseph S. Tehrani, Tom Brown, Maria Quinonez, Kurt Lehnhardt, Ralph Wong, Steve Novotny, Bob Thorpe, Dan Murdoch, John Sanchez, Richard Paul, Ceaser Hernandez, Karine Partamian, Daisey Vergara, Dahlia Persoff, Roy Fukumoto, Gary Kevorkian, Stacy Tran, Payman Hatam, Jerrel Kam, Loi Lam, Timothy Tieu, Paul Hsu, Dara Loeung, Gajraj Tyagi, Solange Filipoff, Victor Ponce, Steven Trieu, Kevin Mai, Marissa Tran, Adel Girgis, Mumbie Fredson-Cole, Larry Quang.

Intelligent Transportation System:  Team members Sameer Haddadeen, Frank Quon, Hassan Mannaa, John Yablonski, Darek Chmielewski, Roger Banos, David Padilla, Newton Armstrong and Robert Cooper and Clyde Gallegos of CT&F Inc., and Wendy Parker of Crosstown Electrical and Data Inc.

I-710 Long Life Pavement Reconstruction Project:  Team members Scott McKenzie, Nazem Moussa, Massod Akbarian, Murray Mun, Amjad Obeid, Judy Gish, Albert Yu, John Vasiliades, Alex Perez, Grish Biglarian, Mario Gutierrez, Mario Staats of the CHP and Bruce Flatt of Excel Paving.

Intelligent Transportation System Team I-5 Santa Clara River Bridge Bat Habitat Team I-710 Long Life Pavement Reconstruction Team Pleasant Valley Road Interchange Team