...a pedestrian and bicycle path, a signalized intersection at the west end, upgraded seismic standards and aesthetic improvements to coordinate with other construction in progress on I-15.

Caltrans I-15 corridor director Gustavo Dallarda says that in the five years he’s been involved in the project, coordination between multiple contractors is the key issue.

“We’re building a freeway within a freeway while trying to keep up to 300,000 vehicles moving,” Dallarda says. “There’s a lot of night work and closures and when you work with many contractors and up to 300 workers at any given time, you need good coordination.”

The south segment (units 1 and 3) is being managed by Longmont, Colo.-based Flatiron West; Coffman Specialties of San Diego is managing unit 2. Flatiron West also managed four units of the middle segment project.

Chris Wyss, Flatiron’s project manager-unit 3, south segment, says the job on this section, from the Sabre Springs/Penasquitos Transit Station to the Mira Mesa Transit Station, consists of the widening of the southbound lanes.

“All along the south segment, the neighborhoods are right up against us,” Wyss says. “We’ve had to alter our sequences due to noise regulations, especially during night work.”

Funding for the south segment comes from TransNet, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements (12%), State Transportation Improvement Program (13%), Prop 1B (73%) and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program (2%).

Meanwhile, Caltrans is working with Berkeley-based OC Jones and Sons on the U.S. 101 HOV/Widening project. This phase of a multiphase 101 widening program in the North Bay Area widens the highway from four to six lanes to expand about 7.6 mi of HOV lanes from Steele Lane in Santa Rosa to Windsor River Road in Windsor.

Work includes excavation, grading, paving, bridge widening, slab replacements and concrete barriers.

“There’s also a significant amount of electrical and traffic monitoring equipment installation,” says Randall Husch, OC Jones project manager.

Husch adds that the major challenge on this project is the schedule.

“Caltrans advertised this as an A and B project, meaning you bid dollars and working days,” Husch says. Due to the increased competition for infrastructure jobs these days, OC Jones obviously “bid an aggressive schedule,” but so far everything is going smoothly, he says.

Funding for the $120-million project comes from the State Highway Operation and Protection Program, Corridor Mobility Improvement Account, Fed-Demo and Sonoma County Measure M funds.