Tag Archives: Caltrans

INYO RUN OFF

Inyo County Agencies unite to battle massive run off projected from record snowpack.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Amanda Parsons at LADWP, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is working proactively to prepare for the arrival of anticipated massive runoff water resulting from this year’s near record snowpack in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. These efforts are in partnership with Inyo County, the Inyo Sheriff’s Department, Bishop Police Department, Cal-Trans, Southern California Edison and others, as a member of the Inyo County Interagency Emergency Preparation team.

Work to prepare for the anticipated high water flows began in late February. The efforts have been assisted by an Emergency Declaration from the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles to allow LADWP to take immediate steps to protect infrastructure and aid in managing flood waters while also protecting public safety. Inyo County issued a similar declaration.

To maximize the beneficial use of runoff water to the fullest extent, LADWP is spreading water throughout the aqueduct system to replenish local groundwater aquifers. Current spreading is moderate and will increase as runoff occurs in larger quantities later this spring and summer. LADWP is also maximizing flows in the LA Aqueduct by lowering reservoirs to create more storage space for runoff water and supplying the City of Los Angeles with aqueduct water in place of purchased water and groundwater wherever possible to manage excess flows. Further, LADWP crews are hard at work preparing, cleaning, and repairing water conveyance ditches, spreading basins, sand traps, and other facilities located on City of Los Angeles property, areas controlled by LADWP, and along the Los Angeles Aqueduct, in order to manage the anticipated runoff. 

Water that exceeds what can be spread to recharge local aquifers and which does not make it into the LA Aqueduct system will end up on the Owens Lakebed, the natural terminus point for waters flowing down the Owens River. Once there, it will add to the existing 30 sq. miles of saline brine pools and is expected to cause significant flood damage to dust control infrastructure managed and constructed by LADWP over the past 17 years. These measures, spread over nearly 50 sq. miles of dried lake, have effectively reduced dust pollution in the area by 96 percent. Damage to these dust control areas may result in increased air pollution that could threaten the health of the public after the runoff evaporates in 12 to 18 months.

LADWP is also concerned by the potential of water overflow in and around the towns and communities of the Eastern Sierra and is actively providing assistance in preventing and controlling runoff that could impact the public. Emergency assistance will be provided on lands throughout the valley should flooding threaten the property of a partner agency or the public.

“Inyo County is no stranger to emergencies and disasters,” Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze said. “Our resilience comes from a strong unified command made up of local, state and federal agencies as well as a public that is proactive in emergency preparedness. We continue to be grateful for our strong working relationships with our allied agencies, including Department of Water and Power, as well as with our residents.”

In order to keep the public informed of the steps being taken to manage runoff to the greatest extent possible and minimize the impact to dust control measures, LADWP will issue regular updates of its runoff management efforts.

Emergency Runoff Management Activities undertaken by LADWP as of April 11, 2017, include:

 

Water Spreading

Pleasant Valley to Tinemaha Reservoir –      23,500 acre feet (AF)

Tinemaha Reservoir to Haiwee Reservoir – 7,600 AF

South of Haiwee Reservoir –                         5,200 AF

 

Total Spreading Water                                    36,300 AF

 

Maintenance and Construction Activities

Mono County

 

·         Crowley Lake will be lowered to 80,000 AF to make room for anticipated runoff. Current level – 107,000 AF

·         Completed Long Valley Dam and spillway inspections (Work will be ongoing)

·         Snow removal to better access Long Valley Reservoir Dam (Complete)

Currently very little work is being conducted in the Mono Basin due to heavy snow. Equipment is planned to be staged at critical structures and areas likely to see high water conditions, such as Lee Vining Intake and Rock Creek sand trap at Toms Place. This will take place once site conditions allow.

 

Pleasant Valley Reservoir to Tinemaha Reservoir

·         Applied for variance from Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams to raise Pleasant Valley Reservoir water level (Complete)

Work to repair and upgrade existing spreading ponds and diversion structures in the Laws/Five bridges area include:

·         Reinforce and increase size of pond berms to increase spreading capacity and durability. Installing additional head walls and diversion pipes and culverts to provide greater flexibility during spreading operations (90% complete)

·         Preparing to raise portions of patrol roads adjacent to the canals to provide additional free board and greater conveyance capacity in both the Upper and Lower McNally Canals. This work will provide the ability to spread over 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the nearby spreading ponds or to spreading areas located further downstream (Project starting this week)

·         Preparing portions of the McNally Canals East of Hwy 6 to accept water by mowing and cleaning (Complete)

Work on canals, ditches and ponds in the Bishop area include:

·         Cleaning the George Collins and the A.O. Collins Canals and repairing/replacing diversion and spreading structures (Complete)

·         Cleaning, mowing and repairing diversion structures on the Rawson Canal (Complete)

·         Cleaning, mowing and repairing diversion structures on the Ford Rawson Canal (Complete)

·         Cleaning and mowing Bishop Creek Canal (Complete)

·         Modifying irrigation ditches off Bishop Creek to maximize spreading potential (Complete – Additional work will be needed over the summer months to remove aquatic vegetation to maintain capacity in the canal)

·         Filling Farmers Ponds, located on the West side of Hwy 6, and installing new culvert and diversion structures to convey water to the ponds located on the East side of the highway (Complete)

Round Valley area work includes:

·         Hand crews cleaning all open diversions on Horton Creek and Lower Rock Creek (Complete –  Work will be ongoing in the area with both equipment and hand crews cleaning ditches, installing culverts and diversion structures to maximize spreading potential.)

Big Pine area sand trap and diversion structure work includes:

·         Cleaning the Baker Creek sand traps, diversion structures and ponds (50% complete)

·         Cleaning and mowing the Big Pine Canal (Complete – Further work will be needed throughout the summer to maintain capacity once aquatic growth begins to restrict flows.)

·         Tinemaha Creek and Red Mountain Creek diversions cleaned and marked. (75% complete – Further work will be needed to direct flows into existing catch basins and spreading ponds located in the adjacent areas.)

Tinemaha Reservoir to Haiwee Reservoir

·         Repairing/rebuilding spreading basin infrastructure (70% complete – Able to spread in excess of 200 cubic feet per second at this time)

Work in the Black Rock Ditch area includes:

  • Rebuild/repair/replace culverts, check structures and distribution pipes (Complete)
  • Clean and/or repair distribution channels (70% complete)

Work in the Stevens Ditch area includes:

·         Mowing, cleaning and adding spreading culverts (Complete – Currently at 50% of capacity)

·         Prepare Thibaut area ditches and berms (Complete)

Work to prepare the two canals located east of the Owens River to divert imminent flow into the LORP includes:

·         Clearing McIver Ditch from East of Goose Lake to south of Mazourka Road (100% complete. Currently flowing 15 cfs during Owens River pulse flow. Evaluating additional work for maximum flows and spreading.)

·         Clearing the Eclipse/East Side Ditch from Mazourka Road to south of Owenyo area (100% complete – Currently flowing 13 cfs during Owens River pulse flow. Evaluating additional work for maximum flows and spreading.)

Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA) work includes:

  • Cleaning the Unlined section of the LAA (75% complete – Cleaning will be needed throughout runoff season)
  • Cleaning the Lined section of the LAA to the Alabama Gates (100% complete – Cleaning will be ongoing as needed)

Equipment Staging

  • All requested heavy equipment has been rented and received based on forecast needs. Equipment is performing preparation tasks, will be staged during spreading and cleaning operations.

Work to prepare the Lower Owens River Project (LORP) intake includes:

  • Cleaning the Forebay (Complete – Will need to be cleaned throughout the year.)
  • Cleaning the measuring section (Complete)
  • Jetting the Langeman Gate area (Complete)
  • Cleaning the LORP tail bay and 100 Yards downstream (Complete)

Continually preparing the alluvial fan creek diversions west of the LORP:

  • DWP lands:                                          95% complete
  • Bureau of Land Management areas:  70% complete
  • Forest Service areas.                                     100% complete

Owens Lake

 

·         Armoring of berms, northwest area Owens Lake (Work not yet commenced, in purchasing for contract award)

·         Construction of new trenches northwest area of Owens Lake (5% complete)

 

 Lower Owens River Pump-back Station (Pump-back Station) work includes:

·         Placement of temporary barriers, gravels, sandbags and related components around the Pump-back Station to protect it from inundation (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

·         Widen the path of water within the Lower Owens River across from the Pump-back Station through creating a temporary channel allowing for greater conveyance of water. This temporary measure is intended to prevent ponding of the water in the vicinity of the Pump-back Station and decreasing the potential for water elevation rising in the vicinity of the Pump-back Station (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

Lower Owens River Temporary Flow Modification work includes:

·         Placement of temporary barriers and related components to redirect the water away from the Corridor 1 Road and the T36 DCA northern berm. This temporary measure is intended to prevent inundation and damage to the existing managed vegetation area in the T36 DCA (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

·         Modify the east bank of the Owens Lake Delta and tamp down the existing vegetation (tulles) along east side of the Owens Lake Delta to improve water conveyance capability and create a preferred pathway (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

Western High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Pipeline work includes:

·         Temporarily securing in place about 825 feet of the irrigation supply lines from T36 dust control area (DCA) to T37 DCA. This measure is intended to prevent the existing three, 18-inch-diamater plastic pipelines from potential floatation and damage (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)   

Zonal Mainline work includes:

·         Placement of temporary plastic lining and related components to protect the Zonal Mainline from damage due to inundation and erosion of the slope of westerly berm road, the Brady Highway, from wave action due to high winds (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

South of Haiwee Reservoir

·         As of 4/2/17, LADWP has discharged a total of 4,600 from the Los Angeles Aqueduct at three locations: Rose Valley south of Haiwee Reservoir, Freeman Wash west of Ridgecrest, and Cameron Wash north of Mojave.   

·         Working on reestablishing the Maclay Highline, which diverts LAA water to the Pacoima Spreading Grounds (20% complete)

·         Structuring the Power Plant One Slide Gate to place water into San Francisco Creek (Currently pursuing permits for this).

 

To request runoff preparation assistance, please contact Greg Loveland by emailing gregory.loveland@ladwp.com or calling 760–872-1104.

CALTRANS LITTER REMOVAL

The Caltrans annual litter pickup day is this week.

Posted by Seth Conners

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is joining forces with California Highway Patrol, City of Bishop, County of Inyo and volunteers Thursday, April 13th for the annual California Statewide Litter Collection, Enforcement and Beautification Day in an effort to increase public awareness on the volume and cost associated with removing trash along state highways.

According to Florene Trainor at Caltrans, litter in California is an ongoing problem, which results in significant economic, social, and environmental costs.  Litter is aesthetically displeasing, presents a range of threats to human and ecologic health, and affects the quality of life for the citizens throughout California.  Litter increases the risk of personal injury to our employees, the threat of fire by discarded cigarettes along the State Highway System, the spread of diseases in our communities, and can threaten wildlife and pollute California’s waterways.  These impacts are real.

Last year, Caltrans spent $76.5 million on litter removal throughout the State Highway System.  Almost 153,000 cubic yards of litter (about 9,562 garbage trucks) were collected and disposed.

Maintenance crews will be picking up litter in counties serviced by Caltrans District 9 on Thursday, April 13th and also on Thursday, April 20th.  Residents in Inyo, Mono and eastern Kern counties will see crews working on highways and freeways throughout the day removing litter and debris discarded by the public. Highway message boards will remind motorists “Don’t Trash California.”  Please be attentive of extra workers on the highway picking up trash and remember to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

The public can help by participating in the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) Program.   The Adopt-A-Highway Program provides an avenue for individuals, organizations, or businesses to help maintain sections of roadside within California’s State Highway System.  More than 120,000 Californians have cleaned and enhanced over 15,000 shoulder-miles of roadside.  Participation allows the public to adopt sections of highway for beautification projects, such as litter removal, vegetation control, graffiti removal, and tree and shrub planting. 

For more information on the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway Program, please visit www.adopt-a-highway.dot.ca.gov or call Tom Scott, District 9 Adopt-A-Highway coordinator, at (760) 872-5202.

NIHD NEWS

NIHD has a new Chief Nursing Officer

Posted by Seth Conners
According to Barbara Laughon at NIHD, veteran registered nurse Tracy Aspel, perhaps best known in the community for her role in establishing the Rural Health Clinic alongside Dr. Stacey Brown, is now Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Chief Nursing Officer.
Prior to being named CNO, Aspel served as Director of Nursing Practice and Interim CNO. As Chief Nursing Officer, Aspel is responsible for overseeing and coordinating NIHD’s nursing team and its daily operations.
“Tracy has a strong rapport with our nurses and has earned the respect of NIHD’s entire team for her tireless dedication to improving healthcare outcomes whether as a nurse, at the RHC or as an administrator,” said Dr. Kevin S. Flanigan, NIHD’s Chief Executive Officer. “She also brings a strong leadership ethic to this position, which will well serve the District, its nurses, and ultimately its patients.”
Aspel served as the RHC Director for 14 years before stepping into a nursing administrative role a little over a year ago. She was asked to be the Acting Chief Nursing Officer in 2016. Dr. Flanigan said Aspel more than proved her abilities to take on the demanding role in a full-time capacity.
“I love this hospital and our community,” Aspel said. “I have worked the majority of my career at Northern Inyo, where I have gotten to provide nursing care to my neighbors and be a part of an amazing team. Nursing is a wonderful career, where what you do matters each day. “
Aspel and her husband, Greg, live in Bishop and have two daughters.
In another leadership change, Maria Sirois, NIHD’s Chief Performance Excellence Officer, announced her resignation effective March 17 after three years of service. Sirois cited her desire to pursue her doctorate as her reason for leaving NIHD.
“We appreciate Maria’s service to the NIHD community and wish her well as she starts the next chapter of her academic and professional career,” Dr. Flanigan said. “We will miss the energy and passion for continuous improvement that Maria brought to our organization.”
Flanigan went on to say that during her tenure at NIHD, Sirois improved survey readiness and actively led and participated in Joint Commission and regulatory activities. She also built a team and a culture that is committed to improving processes and service for patients and their families.
Recruiting efforts are underway to locate a new leader for the risk and quality departments.
In other NIHD news, the District signed on to participate in Caltrans’ Adopt-A-Highway program and will be responsible for the two-mile stretch of U.S. 395 which serves as Bishop’s Main Street, and a similar area near Warm Springs Road.
The Adopt-A-Highway program, which began in the state in1989, is one of the truly successful government-public partnerships of modern time. More than 120,000 Californians have cleaned and enhanced more than 15,000 shoulder-miles of roadside.
Participation can include removing litter, planting and establishing trees or wildflowers, removing graffiti and controlling vegetation. Caltrans solely administers the Adopt-A-Highway Program. Adoptions usually span a two-mile stretch of roadside, and permits are issued for five-year periods.

 

LEE VINING ROCKFALL SAFETY PROJECT

Caltrans announces the completion of project near Mono Lake.

By Seth Conners

According to Florene Trainor at Caltrans, the Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project which began two years ago was completed last week at a cost of $5.8 million dollars.

The project will improve safety for the traveling public by minimizing rocks falling from steep adjacent slopes onto US Highway 395 in Mono County, North of Lee Vining near Mono Lake.  The project also includes a plant establishment program on the six slopes involved to reduce erosion, establish healthy soil, and promote successful revegetation.

Stage 1 construction was completed in 2015. Stage 2 construction encompassed the slopes with the installation of anchored wire mesh.

Also completed within the same area is the $2.2 million dollar emergency construction project that was put in place July 12, 2016 due to the Marina Fire that which started on June 24th and burned 654 acres.  The emergency project repaired guardrail and installed a temporary rockfall fence.

The contractor for both projects was Papich Construction Co. Inc. from Pismo Beach California.

Caltrans Wants to hear From You

Caltrans Seeks Public Input on Statewide
Long-Range Transportation Plan

Submitted by Caltrans
March 1, 2016
Deadline is March 29 for comments

SACRAMENTO – Caltrans invites the public to help shape the state’s transportation future by offering input and comments on the California Transportation Plan 2040 (CTP 2040). The Plan lays out a vision for California’s transportation future to provide mobility, support a vibrant economy and meet greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

“The public can play a key role in the long-term vision we are creating for California’s transportation system,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Our population is growing, the way we live and move is changing, our transportation system needs evolving, and therefore our game plan needs to be forward-thinking.”

The CTP 2040 envisions a fully integrated, multimodal and sustainable transportation system in California. Caltrans seeks public input to help ensure the CTP 2040 is fully consistent with the department’s mission of delivering a low-carbon transportation system capable of meeting our goals of mobility, safety and sustainability.

The CTP 2040 supports Governor Brown’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It will help meet goals consistent with California’s existing commitment to reduce emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The development of the CTP is an open and collaborative planning process that includes early and continuous engagement with governmental agencies at all levels, the private sector, advocacy groups, community organizations, and the public.

The public can review and comment on the plan via the following website address, www.californiatransportationplan2040.org. Comments may also be submitted by email to ctp2040@dot.ca.gov or by sending a letter or a completed comment form to: California Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Planning, Office of State Planning, 1120 N St., MS 32, Sacramento, CA 95814. Comments must be submitted by 5 p.m., March 29, 2016.

caltrans, california department of transportation, california roadways

Watch for Wildlife

Watch out for Wildlife Week

Caltrans and Fish and Wildlife Urge Motorists to Be Alert During
Watch Out for Wildlife Week

SACRAMENTO – Caltrans and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) remind motorists to remain alert for wildlife near roadways during Watch Out for Wildlife Week, which runs September 14-20.

Motorists need to be alert when traveling through wildlife areas,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This will protect the public and animals, while helping reduce tragedies.”

Defenders of Wildlife, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting native species and their natural communities, reports more than 200 people are killed nationally in collisions with deer, elk and other large mammals each year and estimates 1.5 million animals are hit each year.

The Watch Out for Wildlife campaign is supported by Caltrans, CDFW, Defenders of Wildlife and the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis.

Drivers may see more animals crossing roads and highways this year, as they need to travel farther than usual to find adequate food and water,” said Marc Kenyon, CDFW’s Human-Wildlife Conflict Manager. “This is just one of many reasons to give driving our complete attention when we’re on the road. Only drivers can prevent collisions with animals, by being careful and paying attention.”

Caltrans, CDFW and Defenders of Wildlife offer a few tips for motorists:

Be especially alert when driving in areas frequented by wildlife, and reduce your speed so you can react safely.

Pay particular attention when driving during the morning and evening, as wildlife are most active during these times.

If you see an animal cross the road, know that another may be following.

Don’t litter. The odors may entice animals to venture near roadways.

Cover Photo by the Mono County Sheriffs Office.  Black Bear near roadway in Crowley Lake

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Road Projects Begin

Projects on  Highway 395 and 6

Crews are set to begin work on two separate highway improvement projects.  Both efforts in Mono County will begin Monday, July 13th.

Rush Creek Thin Blanket

Mono County – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin the Rush Creek Thin Blanket project on July 13, 2015.  The location of the work is in Mono County, from 2 miles south of the southern junction of State Route 120 East to the northern junction of State Route 120 West (6 miles).  This project will place a hot mix asphalt overlay, place shoulder backing in various locations, fog seal shoulders, and paint traffic stripes.

Drivers should anticipate daily lane closures Mono County US Hwy 395 Monday – Thursday from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm and on Friday’s from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm. Roads connecting to US Hwy 395 within the project can expect five to ten minute delays when intersections are being paved.  No delays are expected for US Hwy 395 through traffic.

This project is scheduled to be completed by September 2015.

The contractor for this $2,219,566 project is Qualcon Contractors, Inc. of Minden, Nevada.

South White Mountain Shoulder Project

Mono County – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin the South White Mountain Shoulder project on July 13, 2015.  The location of the work is on US Hwy 6 in Mono County, from the Inyo-Mono county line to White Mountain Estates road just before Chalfant.  This project will widen the shoulders of US Hwy 6 and place rumble strips.

Drivers should anticipate daily lane closures Mono County US Hwy 6 Monday – Friday during the daylight hours.  One way reversing traffic control will be in effect with flaggers on each end of the project and a pilot car leading traffic through the project.  The traveling public should expect up to 20 minute delays.

This project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2015.

The contractor for this $854,783 project is Granite Construction Company of Bakersfield, California.

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Delays on state route 168

State Route 168 will have intermittent closures

Delays will continue through Friday July 10, 2015. 

Caltrans statement.

BISHOP – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) would like to inform the traveling public that State Route 168 will have intermittent two hour closures, up to four times a day due to the Cal Tech telescope relocation project.

The highway will be closed due to accommodate the oversized load of the telescopes that are being moved from Cedar Flat to Big Pine.  The closures will be intermittent and will last approximately 20 minutes starting at 6:00 am until 3:30 pm.

The traveling public should expect up to two hour delays while traveling along State Route 168.  Use an alternate route if possible.

For the latest in highway information please visit Caltrans QuickMap site at quickmap.dot.ca.gov or call our Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

cover photo courtesy of Caltrans district 9

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Mt Passes Open

Caltrans opens Tioga, Sonora, and Monitor

Mono County – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has removed the snow, cleared the debris and made the necessary repairs to open, Monitor Pass (SR 89), Sonora Pass (SR 108) and Tioga Pass (SR 120).

Caltrans opened the passes for the spring season on Friday, April 17th, 2015 but closed the passes last week due to weather conditions.

Caltrans crews responsible for the road opening extend their best wishes for safe summer traveling to those who enjoy the recreational opportunities California has to offer.

Winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly.  Motorists should expect the worst conditions and be prepared when traveling in areas subject to hazardous conditions.  All vehicles, including those with four-wheel drive or snow tires should, additionally, carry chains when traveling during snowy weather.

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Pending Storm Closing Passes

Tioga and Sonora Pass close

Tioga Road and Glacier Point Roads in Yosemite National Park Temporarily Closed. Caltrans shuts down 108, Sonora Pass.
The Tioga Road and Glacier Point Roads in Yosemite National Park are temporarily closed due to snow and icy conditions. A storm system in the area necessitated the temporary closure. The park is currently receiving snow at the higher elevations.  Both roads will remain closed throughout today (Thursday) and will open when conditions permit safe travel. There is no estimated time for the roads to reopen.  For updated, 24-hour road conditions, please call 209-372-0200.
Caltrans has closed state route 108, Sonora Pass. Caltrans notes that the route will be reopened after Caltrans can assess the roadway after the storm passes.

cover photo by Gary Young. Yosemite National Park.  garyyoungphotography

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