“Coronageddon” has been underway for a few months now.
A few months ago the CPH (California Highway Patrol) closed the the 91 Freeway in Corona area so crews could finish removal of a bridge. This is part of a plan to widen the freeway in this area.
The closure lasted 55 hours and was nicknamed “Coronageddon.” This would help to give people a way to remember what was going on. The closure began at 9 pm and lasted through the weekend. The are covered was a 6 mile stretch between the 15 and the 71 freeways. They did manage to finish early and the congestion was quite low with the open communication.
The work done was on the Maple Street Bridge, which was demolished and in it's place put a support structure for and eventual ramp.
The $1.4 billion project began in 2014 for the vital link between Inland Empire communities and Orange County.
Steve Robinson is a contractor for Quickel Construction, a Southern California-based paving company. Last summer he received a request from a local Irvine HOA named Trailwoods asking him for pavement speed cushions, never hearing of such a thing he wasn't sure how to respond.
He hit the web and did some research, finding all he could about these speed cushions. After doing his due diligence he decided to go with Traffic Logix as the brand of choice. He especially was sold by their interlocking tongue and grove system. He knew that rubber units would be better suited than products of another material, especially since there needed to act together to hold the weight of the vehicles.
He relayed the information to his customers at Trailwoods and they took his advice. The speed cushion delivered on their promise, reducing the speeds of the vehicles in the area to a safe level. After this experience with his customer Steve started promoting these speed cushions and other products to his other customers. They were more than enthusiastic after purchasing them as well. The upside of using these cushions doesn't stop at their speed reduction. They are also made of 100% recycled tire rubber from trucks. This rubber would otherwise have been garbage added the the landfill.
Quickel Construction has sold cushions to three more southern California HOAs since the Trail Woods purchase last summer. Mr. Robinson plans to continue to promote the Traffic Logix cushions in the future. "They're effective in slowing cars down," he commented "and that's just what the HOAs want to do."
With the price of rubber being significantly less to keep and maintain than asphalt this solution is becoming quite a bit more popular. The increases in the cost of asphalt has made it very expensive for cities to add speed bumps the traditional way. These rubber cushions have allowed them to make these changes quickly to ensure safety.
With the big 4th of July weekend coming up Southern California is expecting nearly 2.5 million drivers to hit the road. This will be the highest number of active drivers in this area since 2002. With the recovery of the economy and gas prices, this may only be the beginning.
It will be very important to be safe this weekend when driving with this mass number of cars on the road.
On the latest report released by the National Transportation Organization they talk about the the highway system in Southern California turning 60. Covered in this report are the "Challenges to Its Ability to Continue to Save Lives, Time and Money." The report went on to state that this traffic system was the most congested in the nation. This collection of freeways is said to carry 19,000 vehicles per lane mile every day, by far the most in the nation. Another more daunting fact is that they are also the second most deteriorated road structures in America
The only state with roads in worth shape belonging to Hawaii.
"Eighty-five percent of California’s urban Interstates are congested during peak travel times, the highest rate in the country," a summary of the report also says. "The state also has the highest rate of daily travel per lane mile on its interstates."
California has avoided correcting these problems for years for one simple reason, the cost. The longer they wait the more the bill keeps rising.
Had they taken steps of preventative maintenance the roads would be in better shape but this simply has not happened.
It's bad business for California to shut down roads even if the roads are bad. The cost is then shifted to the consumer in the form of damage to tires, suspension and lost revenue to goods delayed in traffic.
The rport found that the roads in this condition cost drivers "$1,031 each year in additional vehicle operating costs."
"In California there's a $59 billion, 10-year backlog of road repair and maintenance for state highways," Will Kempton, executive director of nonprofit group Transportation California, says
"The culmination of overdue infrastructure maintenance and lack of capital investment into California’s transportation infrastructure will continue to define our metropolitan cities and paint the state in a negative light among locals," says Tom Holsman, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of California. "Gridlock is at an epic high and travel in California will only increase in the coming years. It is imperative a viable solution for funding is not only met but sustained."