Orange County Branch Newsletter

Celebrating 63 Years of Service

August 2018

President's Message

"Doing Politics" is Good for Your Career

I’ve said it, and I’ve heard many of my peers - “I don’t do politics”. 

I was younger then, and I had different priorities.  I’m not saying they were the right priorities, but as a younger adult, I didn’t see the benefit of researching each candidate for every office listed on an upcoming ballot, never mind every bill and proposition.  I had my full share of excuses – I haven’t lived here that long, I’ll be moving again in a year or two, I’m not educated enough on the issues to take a side, etc. 

I still dislike the political climate surrounding major elections, but I now appreciate the importance of educating myself on key issues and taking an active part in the future of my community and profession.  It is sad to see how few of us vote, especially given the emotions I see shared on social media after the polls are closed.  If you are too busy (or too lazy) to learn about the topics, evaluate options, and vote, then you shouldn’t have time to write blogs, tweet, or make videos (while driving) about how messed up the “system” is and how you can’t believe a particular measure was passed or person was elected.

Political issues have a far-reaching effect, much more than just how much sales tax you will pay on your next shopping trip and whether the store will have plastic bags for you to carry away.  Engineers impact, and are impacted by, all aspects of the political landscape.  The newly elected city council member, mayor, legislator, or governor may support infrastructure funding, or may oppose future local development.  The proposed tax measure may provide crucial funding for transit and roadway improvements, or may include stipulations that stifle progress.  All are important issues that influence future and ongoing infrastructure and development projects, and may directly affect the engineering profession – such as professional licensing requirements or liability limits. 

As engineers, we have a first-hand point of view of our infrastructure, its capacity and condition, as well as what is required to improve and maintain it.  Our friends, family, and neighbors often get their information from one-sided sources focusing on data and sound bites that support their position, while ignoring others.  As engineers, we learn to evaluate problems from all aspects, considering the costs and benefits of various options and selecting the best course of action.  Practical well-thought out decisions are in everyone’s best interest, but too often decisions or elections are based on partial truths and which side can buy the most airtime.  You may not be ready to go on a Sunday morning talk show this weekend, but there are countless news outlets, publications, websites, and people available to help.  I recommend using more than one, if not several, as sources may have leanings, even if they are not always blatant. 

ASCE is one of the valuable resources for educating yourself on government affairs.  The LA Section Newsletter includes a legislative update in each edition, along with great articles from ASCE leadership and members.  The Region 9 Issues and Advocacy page provides news updates along with links to tools and training, including the ASCE Key Contact Program.  If you are not aware of what Key Contact is, please click the link and sign up.  It is very quick and provides an efficient way to reach out to elected officials about hot issues important to the civil engineering community.

In Orange County, we are extremely lucky to have branch leaders, past and present, who are passionate about government relations and have been highly active in engaging our local and state-level elected officials. Many of our past presidents continue to serve at the section, region, and society levels, along with motivated branch members who contribute through government relations and legislative committees.  Steven King, Past-President of the OC Branch and current LA Section President-Elect, is heavily involved in government relations and was recently the chair of the LA Section Legislative Committee.  Elizabeth Ruedas, our current President-Elect, is very active with government relations committees at all levels of ASCE.  She is an amazing advocate for our Orange County Branch members and is another great resource on the latest policies and legislative actions. I am sure she won’t mind if you ask her about it next time you see her.

Whether it is the repeal of SB-1, local inclusionary zoning measures, or a state legislator will vote on infrastructure funding, your opinion matters.  This is especially true when you have the education and background to critically evaluate what is on the ballot and help our family, friends, and peers better understand the options. Don’t just be a bystander … be engaged on what happens in your community and the government actions that may influence your livelihood as a civil engineer.   

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ASCE OC Branch Events

Annual Golf Tournament

It was another record year for the 2018 ASCE OC Golf Tournament on June 22.  Maybe not on the scorecards, but the 132 golfers were 26 more than last year’s record attendance. It was once again a beautiful day for golf at the Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, CA. The morning started with a warm welcome at the reception table, hot breakfast sandwiches and coffee, and some loosening up on the driving range. Then teams gathered at their carts for the shotgun send-off, where the players who represented local civil firms, public agencies, and product/service vendors went out to show off their game, win some prizes, and make some friends on the course. We wrapped up the event by recognizing the top performing teams, raffling off prizes, and enjoying a great lunch.  

 

Thanks to the great work of our Golf Tournament Committee led by OC YMF President, Chuck Karunathilake, golfers were treated to food and drinks, opportunities to check out Teslas prior to teeing off, win a Camaro with a hole-in-one, fire a golf-gun, participate in a raffle with prizes including golf equipment totaling over $1,000, Angels tickets, smart-home accessories, Oak Creek Golf Club memberships, and a few bottles of adult refreshment. The Oak Creek staff once again provided a great venue and made sure the day progressed smoothly for the players and our volunteers.

 

While all of us had fun, many of the golfers performed well enough to talk some trash on the course and even earn some recognition during the lunch. 

This year’s winning teams and contest winners were:

  • 1st Place (Net): Parsons (Kim Strassner, Steve Lees, Kevin Michalski, Tim Hoang)
  • 2nd Place (Net): WKE (Rafael Anaya, Joseph Carbajal, Diane Vu)
  • 3rd Place (Net): Kimley-Horn, Cox, Majestic Realty, City Ventures (Tyler Holst, Jeff Hull, Michelle Thrakulchavee
  • 1st Place (Gross): EBSD (Michael Dunbar, John Kennedy, Andy Komar, Doug Reinhart)
  • “Closest to the Pin” Hole #3 Winner – Nate Forrest (4’)
  • “Closest to the Pin” Hole #11 Winner – Aaron Bishop (4’-1”)
  • “Closest to the Pin” Hole #17 Winner – Zach Mitchell (3’)
  • “Longest Drive Ladies” Hole #15 Winner – Jan Candela
  • “Longest Drive Ladies” Hole #15 Winner – Rick Walsh
  • “Straightest Drive Ladies” Hole #13 Winner – Monica Oki
  • “Straightest Drive Men” Hole #13 Winner – Kamyar Dibaj

Didn't see your photo? CLICK HERE to view more event photos on our Google Drive!

We had several generous sponsors who helped make the tournament successful, including C-Below, who sustained the margarita station tradition helping thirsty golfers continue through the rounds. Our tournament sponsors are shown on the picture below:

 

On behalf of the ASCE OC Board and our fellow Branch members, I’d like to extend our thanks to our Annual Sponsors and Golf Tournament Sponsors.

We would also like to give special thanks to:

  • Chuck Karunathilake – Golf Committee Chair
  • Jason Fix, Jared Lindo, Ravi Shah, Sarita Lemons, Peace Maari, Kathereen Shinkai, Josue Vaglienty, Ashlyn Alexander,
  • All the volunteers from ASCE OC Branch, ASCE OC YMF, and ASCE Student Chapters  

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ASCE OC Geo-Institute

Visions for a Geotechnical Future

The Orange County Geo-Institute Chapter hosted a May dinner meeting in Irvine, CA featuring a presentation by Mr. Silas Nichols, P.E., Principal Geotechnical Engineer, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). 

Mr. Nichols’ presentation focused on broad research topics and deployment efforts led by FHWA and its partners that are intended to reshape the geotechnical landscape.  Technical discussion included current state of knowledge and developing methodologies for post-grouting drilled shafts, design methods for large diameter open ended piles, and scour evaluation for soil and rock.  The meeting was well-attended by practicing engineers, academics, and students.

ASCE Orange County Branch and the Geo-Institute would like to extand a warm thanks to Mr. Silas Nichols, P.E. for his wonderful presentation.

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ASCE OC YMF - Mentorship Program

Call for Mentors for 2018-2019 Program

By Marlo Maynigo

Are you an experienced professional with 10 or more years of experience looking to pass on your knowledge to the next generation of leaders? ASCE Orange County hosts an annual Mentorship Program for the encouragement and development of its members and our future leaders. The program will pair young professionals (protégés) with an experienced civil engineer (mentor) in the local OC Branch. Benefits for mentors include, but not limited to, being able to guide and empower future civil engineering professionals, motivate and inspire future leaders, and enhance leadership and mentorship skills. 

We are currently in need of mentors, so please apply if interested!

Applications due by August 24, 2018)

ASCE OC Mentorship Program: Application for Mentors »

Event information, mentoring handouts, and Mentorship Program contact information can all be found on our website at http://www.asceoc.org/committees/professional_development/mentorship 

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ASCE OC Younger Members Forum

Speaker Series: The Complete Engineer - Unlocking Your Potential

By Anne Girtz and Guillaume Iradukunda

The 2018 ASCE OC YMF Speaker Series was held at Tetra Tech’s Irvine office, on four consecutive Tuesdays starting May 1. The theme of the 2018 Series was “The Complete Engineer: Unlock Your Potential”. These interactive sessions aimed to provide young professionals insight on the valuable and desirable non-technical skills which can help them “unlock their potential” in the workplace.

 

Learning Agility Leadership: How to Adapt & Thrive in Change

The first session was a workshop-style seminar led by Maricel Perez-Lovisolo, with the topic of Learning Agility. With today’s “whitewater change” in the world, all engineers must learn to deal with this volatile and unpredictable change and how it impacts their workplace and careers on a daily basis. Those who are able to learn, adapt, apply, (and repeat) are those who will succeed and become learning agile, effective leaders. Five factors of a learning agile person were presented: mental, results, self-awareness, people, and change agility.

 

Creativity Wanted, No Experience Necessary

The May 15th session was given by Rob Himes who spoke on the value of creativity in the workplace. As we advance in our careers, “thinking out of the box” becomes more difficult, but the innovation that comes with creativity is the key to success for both individuals and teams. It is important to find a harmony in the workplace for those strong in innovation and those whose strength lies in creativity.

 

Communication: Good Practices, Approaches and What to Avoid

Ernesto Chaves from Metro Transit held an interactive session on Communication. Through sharing his own experiences of a self-proclaimed “introvert”, Ernesto gave examples of effective communication skills in order to become an effective communicator and leader. The session ended with a roundtable on the group’s experiences in challenging communication situations, and lessons learned from those experiences.

 

 

Personal Branding, Pie, and Planning: Essential Ingredients for Career Success

The final speaker of the Series was Elizabeth Ruedas, current ASCE President Elect. Elizabeth has used various platforms to hone her “brand” in as an engineer and educator. She facilitated a discussion on communication styles and networking, and encouraged attendees to use online platforms to develop their personal brand. In the end, it is not what you know or who you know that matters, but who knows you.

 

The Speaker Series was again one of the YMF’s most well-attended events, with over 100 attendees over the four weeks. Thank you to our speakers, sponsors and all attendees; we look forward to seeing you at next year’s Series!

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ASCE OC K-12 Outreach Committee

Engineers Represent at Russell Elementary Career Day

By Janna Lee and Jenny Mital

When you were in 6th grade, what did you want to be when you grew up? A pilot? A nurse? An athlete? Few people answer “a Civil Engineer.” To make students aware of engineering as a career option, we presented to five 5th and 6th grade classes at Russell Elementary’s first annual Career Day.

Most students at Russell Elementary have no engineering friends or relatives, so we started with a basic overview of the Civil Engineering disciplines and the education requirements. We followed up with details on our daily jobs: office life, fieldwork, and dispelling the notion that engineers work in lonely isolated cubicles and do boring math all day. The highlight of the presentation involved an interactive demo of a water quality best management practice (BMP). Janna had prepared flower pots with soil and a variety of “pollutants”: sesame oil, paprika, oregano, and corn starch. Student volunteers added pollutants to storm water, which was then filtered by the BMP.

“Wow, it looks like a milkshake,” was the best description of the polluted water, followed by “I’d drink that,” in response to the filtered water, which was blissfully free of the cornstarch and paprika cloud. Jenny followed up with some pictures of flooding and flood damage to show the students the problems that flood control engineers try to prevent and solve. Lastly, Janna closed the presentation with the message to work hard in school and dream big, and the kids were rewarded for their attention and questions with some well-deserved candy.

Engineering outreach events give students a chance to meet real engineers and might open their eyes to their future profession, or inspire them to become the first in their family to go to college. Any student or professional with a Civil Engineering or related background is welcome to volunteer. Email [email protected] to get involved. Or if your child’s school wants an engineering speaker or activity, get in touch! 

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ASCE OC Younger Members Forum

Illumination Foundation Meal Service Event

On April 27th, 2018, the ASCE OC Branch and YMF joined together with the Illumination Foundation to provide a meal service to those at the Recuperative Care Center in Midway City, CA. The Recuperative Care Center is a 24-hour shelter for homeless individuals who have been recently discharged from a local hospital and are recovering from various medical conditions with no place to go. During our community service event, we catered a full course meal for them. On the menu, we had Vietnamese fried rice, banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), egg rolls, fresh fruit, and cookies for dessert for the entire shelter. After dinner, we played a few rounds of Bingo and gave out prizes to add some fun to their Friday evening. It was so wonderful to see the smiles on their faces throughout the evening.

It really warmed our hearts being able to do something so meaningful for the people at the Recuperative Care Center and for those around us. We love that we are a part of an organization like ASCE, whose purpose is to uplift, support, and to be positive influences on those in our community. We truly had a blast during this meal service event and would love to do this again in the future. We look forward to the next community outreach events to come!

ASCE OC Younger Members Forum

Ronald McDonald House - Breakfast Meal Service

By Evelyn Tran

Members from ASCE OC Branch and YMF hosted a breakfast meal service on June 16th at the Ronald McDonald House located in the City of Orange. Ronald McDonald House is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The organization has about 364 houses worldwide. The main purpose of these houses is to give families with children who have serious illnesses or injuries a place they can call home while undergoing treatments at nearby hospitals. Each house provides families with home-cooked meals, bedrooms, and playrooms at little to no cost.

The breakfast meal service began at 7:00 AM and ended at 11:00 AM. We were divided into groups to help with the cooking. One group was primarily responsible for making buttermilk pancakes and banana pancakes. Another group was in charge of cooking bacon, sausages, and scrambled eggs. We provided turkey bacon, two different kinds of sausages, and two different kinds of scrambled eggs to give families different alternatives. Fruits such as banana, oranges, and apples are served along with juices. Everyone also cleaned and washed the dishes after.

During the meal service, we get to eat together with families that were staying there to learn more about their stories. They were very nice and appreciative of what we had done. Knowing that we are making a difference in our community makes us very happy. We had an amazing time cooking and serving. Please join us at our next volunteering event!

To learn more about the Ronald McDonald House, please visit: https://www.rmhc.org/


ASCE OC Younger Members Forum

Mammoth Ski Trip

By Per Tvedt and Michelle Magee-Lopez

A successful trip to the mountain does not start when you roll into Mammoth Village, Big Bear or any other resort. That was the saying when I was younger that would translate into something like “Fools in the mountains”.  The saying was so common; there was a television show about it. That is why our yearly trip to the mountains offers a unique opportunity for everyone, from the most seasoned skier to the not so seasoned skier. There is no need to chase the storm or scout out the best deals for shopping, lift tickets or lodging by your lonesome!  No worries…these details are sorted out, a combined effort by all branches in the section, preparations begin months in advance. Epic conditions can still be had, by praying to the snow gods. Feeling like you’re not the mingling type? The large group of people increases the fun, and it is an awesome opportunity to meet people from other branches in the LA Section. Information about lift tickets, rentals and other advantages flow freely as well, so all you have to worry about is leaving at the right time. I strongly suggest carpooling. It is always a good idea to pack along your favorite drinks and snacks, not many savory dining options on the way toward the mountain.

When we arrived in Mammoth, the rental office was closed. After making brief contact with the LA YMF chairperson, we grabbed the right envelope with keys and parking passes on the office door and checked into our assigned condo. The place was well equipped and moving in was a breeze. My friend Jake and his party arrived shortly after, and soon after that people from the nearby condos showed up for a meet and greet. We relaxed and enjoyed the surroundings and talked about our unique professional experiences in a relaxed atmosphere. During the first night in the mountain it is important to curb your enthusiasm and get an early night sleep.  Remember you are at an altitude that reaches far above 10,000 feet at the top of the mountain, listen to your body and give yourself time to acclimate.

Relative high temperatures were expected for the next day, and we wanted a taste of the nights grooming effort in the morning, the early bird catches the corduroy. What a day! Snow came late this season, but I have to admit that it is amazing how the crew was able to keep up the mountain. The sunny day ushered in perfect conditions, hardly any wind. We knew we were in for a real treat. Conditions were amazing the first three hours, after which it got a bit heavy. Oh well, time for a beer!

We skied out of Canyon Lodge, with easy access to the gondola.  The gondola works well as transportation between the condo and the slopes.  With the mix party of skiers, and not so skiers, it is also a perfect way of meeting during lunch. Sometimes you can get lunch faster even by taking the gondola down to the village and have lunch there in less time and with shorter lines. There is so much to do, and we shaved half an hour off full lift time to avoid the crowd getting off the mountain, at the market, and in the Jacuzzi. Just perfect!  We got supplies at the local grocery store after taking shopping requests.  Although we took a little time out to supply up, there was no worry about missing out on any other activities available. This coincided with the time when everyone was hanging out, sharing food and drinks in a somewhat organized fashion, it was low key and delightful.

During our first night out, we visited the Mammoth Brewing Company. The theme was different than I remembered; it must have changed owners at least three times since I had begun visiting the Mammoth resort. It has always been a favorite among the local population.  When we arrived, we took a glimpse of the massive line to order food. At first glance, the line seems a bit overwhelming but you had to ask yourself why people remained in that massive line? Believe me, there was a good reason! Coincidentally, the line for food was conveniently located next to the bar. It’s safe to say that the long wait was eased by a variety of excellent beers on tap.  The restaurant appears to be a favorite among the locals, as well as a great spot for families to dine out after hitting the slopes.  In an instant, the place transformed from a restaurant into a nightclub, and with a very entertaining live band to boot, and the food…well worth the wait!

The second day of skiing is when we try to ski and hang out with new and old friends from the previous night’s networking. It was another amazing day, and time to take a lot of pictures. The mountain is usually a lot colder this time of year, but spring conditions are always welcome, even in February. I skied in the group of five with all different levels and try to catch up with the rest of the people during breaks. Saturdays are usually the big night out, and a couple of my friends headed down to Lakanuki, in order to reserve tables. This is another place to turn into a nightclub from a family restaurant on the secret handshake.

Getting to Lakanuki late is rather expensive. At the time Jake, Michelle and I got there it was $20 cover, $5 wardrobe, and a huge line to get in with maybe an hour to go before closing time. We ended up at a brewery instead. When the brewery was shut down for a private party, we ventured into “local territory”, the area where the locals hang out. We eventually found this place that used to be an Irish pub and found it very welcoming.  After chatting it up with the locals, we even got an exclusive invitation to the private party at the brewery we just left. Unfortunately, me and my short memory was in charge of the password.

Sunday is leaving day, and always a bit sad, but there are still opportunities to take advantage of in the area.  The local hot springs are very popular, and there is fishing and golfing just in case there is not enough snow to take out the snowmobile. There are outlets and areas for shopping for you bargain hunters. There are a variety of activities that would be perfectly suited to cap off an amazing outing. The longer you stay the less traffic you are likely to encounter on the way home. Still expect a five hour drive and make sure you are ready for the day after. See you next time on the mountain!

Local News

Citing the 73 Toll Road as a “Congestion Reliever,” S&P Global Ratings Upgrades San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency Senior-Lien Bonds to A-

By Sarah Swensson King

IRVINE, CA (Aug. 13, 2018) – In a continuing trend that underscores the strength of the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ financial picture, S&P Global Ratings announced they have raised its rating of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency’s (SJHTCA) senior-lien toll road refunding revenue bonds and junior-lien toll refunding revenue bonds to A- and BBB+, respectively, with a stable outlook.

The upgrade by S&P follows recent rating upgrades for the San Joaquin Hills and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agencies’ bonds by Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings in July 2017.

S&P reported the Agencies’ Board of Directors and management staff as reasons for the strong enterprise risk profile noting very strong management and governance, evidenced through an experienced management team with good board oversight.

“S&P Global Rating’s upgrade of the 73 Toll Road’s senior-lien bonds to A- is an exciting and strong indicator that The Toll Roads of Orange County are financially healthy and prepared to provide a valuable transportation option for drivers into the future,” said Fred Minagar Chair of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency and Laguna Niguel Councilmember.

“I am proud of the steadiness the Board of Directors and management staff have shown.  It is because of the visionary leadership of past Boards that we can celebrate another financial achievement today,” Minagar said.

“The road’s market position is strong, in our opinion,” the S&P report states.  “It operates in an area with a population that is road-network reliant; thus its role as a congestion reliever with surrounding free alternatives that are among the most heavily-trafficked and congested in the country, leads us to believe that [it is] becoming a virtual requirement for drivers who depend on time savings.”

The San Joaquin Hills and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agencies are two joint powers authorities created to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s 51-mile toll road network – the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads.  The Toll Roads have been providing a choice for drivers for more than 20 years and the tolls collected are used to fund debt service issued to construct the system, operations and capital projects. Currently, more than 330,000 daily transactions are recorded on the 51-mile toll road system that represents 20 percent of Orange County’s highways and is the largest toll road network in California.

Local News

Development of A Class IV Bikeway

Much of the Pacific Coast from Palos Verdes to Pacific Palisades has a popular off-street Class I bicycle trail that is used by millions of beach visitors and residents annually.  Bike access to the King Harbor in Redondo Beach was a significant gap in the facility for many years. 

There was no beachfront to place a trail upon, so the route was served by traditional Class II bicycle lanes along Harbor Drive from the Redondo Beach Pier to Hermosa Beach, covering about ¾ mile.  The on-street segment was discouraging to beach cruiser bicyclists, with many turning back to the north upon seeing the beachfront trail end at the Hermosa/Redondo city limit. Many others rode their bicycles northbound along the wrong side of the street to avoid crossing automobile traffic at each end of the gap.  The disappointment in the design of the facility was shared by city and merchants in the pier commercial area.

CLOSING THE GAP-A HIGH PRIORITY

In 2011 a group of cities joined to conduct the South Bay Bicycle Master Plan.  Improvements to the King Harbor gap were rated as the single most important and high priority new facility in this plan.  The City of Redondo Beach responded by searching for funding to make improvements.  The bicycle world and the State of California were beginning to talk about developing a new class of bicycle facility, which has come to be known as a Class IV bikeway, a separated bikeway, or a cycle track. This could be provided along Harbor Drive if space occupied by car lanes could be used to make space for a bikeway - a concept commonly referred to now as a ‘Road Diet’. 

Before Photo at Herondo Street/N Harbor Drive

After Photo Concept at Herondo Street/N Harbor Drive

By 2013, Redondo Beach was awarded a modest amount of funding for the bikeway from a State program.  Some additional funds were available from a development contribution.  The City circulated a design RFP and retained Stantec to help deliver the project, including concept refinement, public outreach, and final design.  Early in the process, it was determined that two of the four roadway travel lanes were not needed, and that a two-way bike facility along the water side of Harbor Drive would provide the best connection to existing trails, north and south.  The next step was to obtain public approval and the blessing of the City Council.

PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND OUTREACH

The once-popular concept immediately became controversial.  Potential users of the facility did not attend workshops and meetings because the project had been approved a few years before.  But motorists and nearby business owners came to the meetings and argued that the travel lanes were needed and that the bikeway should be built along the waterside of the restaurants and businesses that line the harbor.  The waterside concept had been dismissed as being very costly, disruptive to businesses, and undeliverable within a few years.

Based upon the filtered public input, the City Council considered abandoning the project due to controversy and lack of public support.  Many council members were elected to their positions after the plan was initially approved and could not see that there was support.  It became necessary to work with the South Bay Bicycle Coalition to get more supporters to public meetings, express support for the project as portrayed, and secure approval to construct.  Graphics were prepared to illustrate various concepts and the project was ultimately refined and re-approved. 

Preferred Concept with a 2-Way Cycle Track (Class IV Bikeway) on the South Side of N. Harbor Drive

FINDING OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE

While funding was available only for an interim facility, City leaders decided that the design of the facility should be of high quality, consistent with efforts to revitalize the Harbor area north of the Pier. The project was transformed into a full complete streets/streetscape project, including full reconstruction of the roadway, using mostly new construction materials, rebuilt traffic signals and street lighting, access ramps, landscaping, aesthetic features, and amenities. 

A small welcome park was added at the north end of the project where Redondo and Hermosa Beach meet and where users can relax and enjoy some shade.  This park and adjacent reconstructed parking lot provided opportunities to incorporate additional sustainable features such as porous pavers and landscaping.  The park area was formerly a parking lot but became available when back-in angle parking was introduced on Herondo Street, allowing the parking supply near the beach to remain.  This back-in angled parking was a new concept for the city and its visitors, but the safety benefits of improved visibility of bicyclists was quickly recognized and embraced.

Welcoming City entry with reconstructed parking lot and pocket park

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

The total project costs escalated to over $5.3 million for this ¾ mile segment of the bike path with the decision to expand the project scope and include aesthetic treatments.  Dedicated funding was less than $1 million, but the city decided that they would find a way to fund the project based upon its promise for the area. 

Construction posed some challenges.  Full reconstruction of the roadway required much of it to be closed to traffic for extended periods.  Construction was scheduled to avoid the heavy summer months of beach usage, but there were still unique challenges.  The City’s annual Superbowl 5K/10K run traditionally begins along Harbor Drive, but the street was not in shape to support the thousands of runners.  The solution was to reverse the traditional direction of the course, so that runners completed their circuits along Harbor Drive and did not pour onto the street in crowds for the start of the event.  There were other construction challenges due to the age of the existing infrastructure, shallow and undocumented sub-structures, and heavy use of the beach area, even during the off season.

The contractor was able to complete 99% of the work and open the street and bikeway to traffic on schedule, Memorial Day of 2015.  Bicyclists discovered the new facility, embraced it, and began to use it in large numbers, especially on summer days and weekends.  Many marveled at the distinctive green pavement coloring that ran for most of the length of the bikeway.     Others greeted the new welcome park and quickly figured out how to use the new bicycle traffic signals, where the route crossed three heavily used streets leading to waterfront uses.

ENJOYED BY ALL

The Class IV bikeway is finishing its 4th summer season and continues to be heavily used.  Summer day use has been estimated at well over 3000 bicyclists and annual usage approaches 1 million per year.  Users include cyclists of all types, ages, and abilities.  Even though the Class I bikeway on the sand in Hermosa Beach ends at the Redondo City Limit, bicyclists no longer stop and turn away from Redondo Beach.  The increased traffic from the bikeway and the aesthetic improvement along the roadway have helped to revitalize businesses in the Harbor area, attracting a hotel and new restaurants.  Summer weekend traffic has not been adversely affected, in fact local congestion at the Harbor/Herondo intersection has been eased through modernization of the traffic signals and construction of a pedestrian refuge island, resulting in improved operation for the heavily used crosswalks.

Truly a Complete Street where users of the Class IV bikeway include cyclists of all types, ages, and abilities