Caltrans I-215 Bi-County HOV Gap Closure
BEST PROJECT, HIGHWAY/BRIDGE
Owner, Lead Designer Caltrans District 8
Contractor Ames Construction
Stretching 7.5 miles from San Bernardino to Riverside, this project closes a gap in high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on Interstate 215 between the busy I-10 and I-605 freeways, giving Southern California 500 miles of continuous HOV lanes. But getting the work done was no easy task.
The project team, led by seven key agencies, overcame numerous construction and logistical challenges. One of the most interesting hurdles was the widening of a 711-ft-long bridge spanning the Santa Ana River. To meet strict environmental requirements, the falsework for the structure was designed to stay out of the river bottom, and all substructures were constructed to avoid water flows.
In addition, vegetation-clearing and pile-driving activities in the river were conducted after Sept. 15 and prior to Feb. 15 to avoid the nesting bird season.
Moreover, the team also constructed three bridges for BNSF Railway using accelerated bridge construction methods such as self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT).
The three rail crossings required 7.1 million lb of fabricated steel. In the course of installing the crossings, the team managed operations around 160,000 vehicles and 18,000 trucks per day as well as BNSF rail operations.
Because of this successful coordination, the team was awarded the 2014 Caltrans Gold Award District 8, Success in Motion; the 2016 Caltrans Gold Partnering Award, Best in Class; and the 2016 California Transportation Foundation’s Project of Year in the Freeway/Expressway category.