Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Freeway Closures Coming Up on the 101 - It's all in a Good Cause: To Save Wildlife

Closures will be from midnight to morning and are tentatively scheduled to begin April 16 and go on at night for 35-40 days

The #SaveLACougars campaign is preparing to celebrate an exciting and major construction milestone on the monumental effort to complete the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing in Los Angeles County. To date, more than 6,100 tons of concrete have been poured and over 426 tons of bar reinforcing steel have been placed to create the walls of the structure on either side of the freeway and the columns in the median on the 101 freeway. Next month, Caltrans construction crews are planning to begin the complex process of installing the large-scale concrete beams that will be the first horizontal supports for the crossing. Caltrans's plan includes placing the girders late at night as well as other measures to make the process as convenient as possible for highway users.


Artist rendering of the completed wildlife crossing

With this next step in construction, Caltrans will close half of the 101 freeway-all lanes in one direction-for the first time for this project. Closures are expected to begin around April 16, but this date is subject to change. Closures will occur on Monday through Friday nights for five hours starting at 11:59 p.m. Each night, only one direction of the 101 Freeway will be completely closed – lanes in the opposite direction will stay open for traffic.

The entire process of placing these concrete beams is expected to take from thirty to forty-five days to complete and will feature the placement of a total of 82 concrete beams, or girders, across all ten lanes of the 101 freeway. The girders, long boxes of reinforced concrete, will become the first level of the wildlife crossing's multilayered structure above and across one of the nation's busiest freeways. To avoid lengthy closures of the freeway, the girders were manufactured off-site in Riverside County and large trucks will transport them to the construction site. Each girder over the northbound lanes is 103 feet long and weighs 140 tons. Each girder over the southbound lanes is more than 93 feet long and weighs over 126 tons. For context, the weight of just one girder is equivalent to the weight of more than 14 African elephants!



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