SB 1 Accelerates Repairs on State Route 78
By Ana Gomez Salcido
Caltrans will improve 71 lane miles on State Route 78 from Flora Vista Street in Escondido to West Haverford Road in Ramona and from just east of Magnolia Avenue in Ramona to Wynola Road in Julian through funds from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
“State Route 78 in San Diego County is an important east-west corridor and commuter route that is especially crucial to our outlying rural communities,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “SB 1 funding for this project allows crews to make the long-lasting repairs needed to sustain a reliable and safe transportation system for the users who depend on this route.”
More than 1,300 trucks daily use this segment of SR-78 and 28 percent of those trucks have five or more axles that contribute to road deterioration.
“Without this SB 1 funded project, the pavement would continue to deteriorate, which would directly impact travelers and result in costly maintenance repairs in the future,” said Caltrans District Director Cory Binns. “Moving people and goods through this corridor is critical, as the five major cities intersecting State Route 78 are growing with more people living and working in the area than ever before.”
This $12.5 million project, has been awarded to Calmex Engineering Inc. who will remove and replace old pavement to restore the roadway and will add safety improvements, including high visibility road markings. Work started the week of July 9 at westbound SR-78 and Haverford Road in Escondido, and will take place daily Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. until the project is completed in the fall. The work will require reducing SR-78 to one lane in one-mile segments and may temporarily block some driveways.
This weekend, crews will close one lane of State Route 78 at Magnolia Avenue in Ramona to Old Julian Highway to crack sealing and chip sealing activities. The daytime closures will continue Monday, August 27 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday Aug.28 through Thursday Aug. 30, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Daytime work will continue as needed after the Labor Day holiday.
During the closures, crews will work in two-to-three mile segments along the eight-mile construction zone. Construction personnel with flags will direct drivers one direction at a time through the single open lane.
Signs will be posted to alert motorists of the upcoming work. Motorists could experience delays up to 15 minutes at the closure points and are advised to allow additional travel time to reach their destinations and Be Work Zone Alert.
The work schedule is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment or materials, or construction-related issues.
SB 1 provides an ongoing funding increase of approximately $1.8 billion annually for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the state highway system. SB 1 funds will enable Caltrans to fix more than 17,000 lane miles of pavement, 500 bridges and 55,000 culverts by 2027.