Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Plan to close Highway 9 June to October

Caltrans has sent notification that road repairs on Highway 9 between Felton and Santa Cruz will require complete closure of the link for up to 4 months beginning in early June.  Apparently the nature of the repairs and the requirement of heavy equipment to be present on the narrow stretch at about mile marker 1.8 means that even bicycle traffic cannot be allowed.

Last weekend nearly 500 cyclists took the train from Santa Cruz to Felton and rode along Highway 9.  Every day cyclists use the route for recreation and/or commuting.  This will be an inconvenience for motorists who will have to detour along Highway 1 to Graham Hill.  For cyclists however, Graham Hill Rd is not a reasonable alternative.

Perhaps some accommodation for cyclists can be found if enough of us write or call Caltrans or our local representatives and ask.

Here is the letter sent from Caltrans:

This is to advise you of an upcoming retaining wall project on Highway 9
in Santa Cruz County, about two miles north of the Highway 1 intersection.
The purpose of the project is to repair damage to the northbound shoulder
and part of the traffic lane caused by a landslide that occurred during
the winter of 2006. The slope below the roadway remains unstable.  The
intent of this project is to stabilize the slope below the roadway and
make permanent roadway repairs. A soldier pile retaining wall will be
built with a concrete barrier at the roadway level and a
bicycle/pedestrian safety rail installed.

Construction roadwork is scheduled to start on May 24 with a full highway
closure at post mile 1.8 on Monday, June 7.  This section of Highway 9 is
expected to be closed for nearly four months until October 1. However, all
businesses along Hwy. 9 will remain open during the roadway closure.

This project will require a full detour of traffic for 3-4 months for most
of the project's duration because the large-scale equipment needed
to complete repairs requires the full roadway's narrow width,
leaving no room for safe passage of vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians. 
The designated detour for vehicle traffic will be Highway 17 and Mount
Hermon Road. Cyclists will be routed to Graham Hill Road.  Caltrans has
consulted with the City of Scotts Valley and the County of Santa Cruz in
setting up these detours.

We recognize that a project such as this causes short-term inconvenience,
however, the highway closure is absolutely necessary to restore the
long-term stability of the road.  Similar projects have transpired
successfully in Santa Cruz County over the past several years.  Between
summer 2005 and spring 2006, Highway 152 near Hecker Pass required full
closure for several weeks to complete a project to improve safety by
widening the shoulder and existing traffic lanes.  North of Boulder Creek,
a project to repair storm damage required a full closure of Highway 236
for three weeks last summer.

Close communication between Caltrans, stakeholders and the public help
ensure the success of such projects.  Caltrans public information staff
will be available to answer any questions and concerns about detours,
schedules and other project details to keep the public informed.

For further information regarding this project, please contact Susana Z.
Cruz at 805-549-3138 (susana_z_cruz@dot.ca.gov ) or my other staff @


Public Affairs Chief
Caltrans District 5

1 comment:

Aoibheall said...

The highway will be closed to automobile, pedestrian and bicycle traffic, but "all businesses along Hwy. 9 will remain open during the roadway closure"? Are they serious? I can't think of any mom-and-pop business that can afford four months of no income.

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