Company:
OCTA
Status:
Awarded
Awarded:
Construction Project of the Year
Additional Files
Additional Information

Please see the attached recommendation letter from Hamid Torkamanha, OCTA Project Manager, for your consideration of the The I-5 / Avenida Pico Interchange Project for the 2018 ASCE Orange County Branch Project Award.

I-5 HOV Improvement Project between Avenida Pico and Avenida Vista Hermosa

Project Location:

San Clemente, CA

Project Description:

The I-5 / Avenida Pico Interchange Project is the first of three contiguous segments to widen 5.7 miles of the I-5 freeway to provide for a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction of travel.  In addition to the widening of the I-5 freeway, the project horizontally realigns the freeway by 52 feet to the west of the existing centerline, raises the grade approximately 9 feet at Avenida Pico, and replaces the existing Avenida Pico UC. The westerly shift of the freeway required the construction of three MSE walls. The first MSE wall (RW181) is along the left shoulder of the south bound on-ramp has a length of 755 feet with a maximum height of 30 feet. The second MSE wall (RW183) is along the left shoulder of south bound I-5 south of Avenida Pico UC and has a length of 605 feet with a maximum height of 34 feet. The third MSE wall (RW193) is along left shoulder of the south bound I-5 north of Avenida Pico UC and has a length of 768 feet with a maximum height of 37 feet.

Avenida Pico was widened by approximately 40 feet and horizontally realigned to replace the existing curvilinear alignment with a tangent section through the limits of the interchange.  This will improve the overall operations and the safety of the interchange. The widening of Avenida Pico west of the I-5 freeway will be along the south side of the street and will accommodate 2 west bound thru traffic lanes. The east bound has 2 dedicated left turn lanes, to the north bound I-5 onramp, 3 thru traffic lanes and a dedicated right turn lane to the south bound I-5 on-ramp. The widening of Avenida Pico east of the I-5 freeway will be along the north side of Avenida Pico and required the construction of a Ground Anchor Retaining Wall (RW190). The length of the wall is 798 feet with a maximum height of 37 feet, and will accommodate a dedicated west bound right turn lane, for the north bound I-5 onramp.  The new Avenida Pico configuration has 2 west bound thru traffic lanes 2 west bound dedicated left turn lanes for the south bound I-5 on-ramp, and a dedicated right turn lane to the North Bound I-5. The East bound Avenida Pico will accommodate 3 thru traffic lanes, 2 left turn lanes to the Northbound I-5 on ramp and one dedicated right turn lane to the Southbound I-5 on ramp.

Project Justification:

The project was designed to be constructed in two major Stages. Each stage had four sub-stages. During construction all lanes on both the freeway and Avenida Pico remained open to traffic during peak demand hours. In Stage 1, the existing median barrier is was removed and the north bound and south bound traffic is was shifted to the east to allow for the construction of the new south bound freeway lanes and median; retaining walls, RW 181,  RW 183 and RW 193; the west half of the new Avenida Pico UC; and the new south bound off-ramp and on-ramp. In Stage 2 the south bound and north bound traffic is was moved on to the new south bound freeway lanes and median to allow for the construction of the new north bound freeway lanes, the easterly half of the new Avenida Pico UC, and the new north bound off-ramp and on-ramp. The Avenida Pico widening and construction of retaining wall, RW 190, were are also constructed during Stage 2.

Some of the issues that arose during the construction of the project and the methods used to resolve them are as follows:

Bridge Settlement and Pile Driving Operations:

The construction contract required that the new bridge abutments have a 15-foot-high earthen surcharge placed on them and that the abutments be allowed to settle for 90 days or until there is no settlement observed for a 14-day period. The contract also placed a restrictive window on pile driving operation due to the bird nesting period that occurs from February 15 to September 15. Due to various weather delays and construction delays the end of Stage 2 settlement period and pile driving operation for the easterly half of abutment no. 2 would fall within February 15 to September 15 nesting season window which would result in a 100-day delay to the construction schedule. To avoid this the CT Structure Representative working with the Design Engineer and the Contractor, developed an alternative settlement method for the Stage 2 abutment no. 2. In lieu of waiting until the completion of Stage 2 demolition of the east half of the existing Avenida Pico UC to place the 15-foot earthen surcharge the team purposed to remove the existing bridge slope paving and pour a 14-foot-high by 16-foot-deep mass concrete slurry block under the existing Avenida Pico UC and extending the settlement period to 120 days. This alternative allowed for the Stage 2 abutment settlement period to be moved up in Stage 1 and allowed for the pile driving operations to started in December 2016 and completed in late January 2017 and avoid the significant delay due to the environmental restrictions.

Final Paving and Temperature Requirements:

The contract specified the final cap for the I-5 freeway pavement be a Rubberized Hot Mix Asphalt Open Graded (RHMA-O) for its noise reduction properties. RHMA-O has 60° F minimum temperature requirement, but as scheduled the final paving cap would not occur until the nights in winter months when the temperature average is below the require 60° F temperature.which This could have resulted in a two to three months delay in to the completion of the construction. Working with the Caltrans Material staff and the Contractor we were able to develop an alternative material to use for the final cap for the I-5 pavement. In Lieu of using RHMA-O we proposed the use of a Hot Mix Asphalt Open Graded (HMA-O) with a polymer modified binder. The HMA-O mix has the same noise reduction properties as the RHMA-O, but the revised HMA-O mix has a minimum temperature requirement of 50° F which is below the average winter night time temperatures for the San Clemente area and . This allowed us to complete the final paving cap without any delays to the construction completion date.

These are just couple examples that exemplifies the innovative thinking that was the team’s approach to the construction of this project.

Why the I-5 / Avenida Pico Project Should Win:

The project was completed on time and under budget. There were many issue that arose during construction that could have resulted in significant delay and costs, but due to the team’s commitment to partnership and their innovative approach, potential obstacles to delivery were identified early on.  The team developed cost effective, creative alternative methods to complete the required work without delay or significant cost to the project.  The project team never lost sight of the ultimate customers of their work. Every effort was made to minimize the impact of the construction on the traveling public and the neighboring communities. The team was responsive to community feedback.  The aesthetic treatments on the bridge and retaining walls were adjusted through the construction period to develop context sensitive solutions that satisfied the communities adjacent to the project.

Special Circumstances:

Caltrans and the Jacobs team worked closely with the contractor and local stakeholders to keep all parties informed of detours and provided advance notification to businesses and residents in the area.  Outreach efforts included a website, e-mail blasts, newspaper and radio advertisements, and mail notices that provided updates of the ongoing construction activities.  Several community meetings were also held to keep the public informed at every stage of the project.

Project Attachments:

Please see the attached recommendation letter from Hamid Torkamanha, OCTA Project Manager, for your consideration of the The I-5 / Avenida Pico Interchange Project for the 2018 ASCE Orange County Branch Project Award.

Award Citation::

The I-5 / Avenida Pico Interchange project consisted of the vertical and horizontal realignment and widening of the I-5 freeway and ramps, the horizontal realignment and widening of Avenida Pico, and various retaining walls and drainage improvements.

Suggested Award Summary:

The I-5 / Avenida Pico Interchange Project consisted of the vertical and horizontal realignment and widening of the I-5 freeway and ramps, the horizontal realignment and widening of Avenida Pico, and various retaining walls and drainage improvements. The I-5 freeway was widened to provide for an HOV lane in each direction and auxiliary lanes for all the Avenida Pico ramps, improving freeway operations. The I-5 freeway was raised 9 feet to increase sight distance and flatten freeway grades. Avenida Pico was widened to include dedicated turning lanes for the freeway ramps and straightened to improve operations and safety.

CEC

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