2015-01-08 / Front Page

Caltrans readies for Ferguson project

(Erik Skindrud | The GAZETTE)(Erik Skindrud | The GAZETTE)Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 - 3 p.m. - Caltrans will launch work on a permanent fix for the Ferguson Slide zone as soon as March, an agency spokesperson said today.

Precisely when work begins depends on rainfall and other factors, however.

"We haven't set a date yet," Caltrans spokesperson Angela DaPrato said. "It is weather dependent."

When work does start, contractors Myers & Sons Construction and R.L. Wadsworth Contruction will commence removing close to 113,000 tons of rock material. According to one estimate, the job will require 75 to 100 truck trips a day for 90 days to complete.

According to a U.S. Forest Service document, a helicopter will drape 174,000 square feet of slide zone with a "cable net drapery system... to minimize rock fall into the Merced River" during the project.

When complete, the $135 million project will send a rockshed structure through the slide zone to protect vehicles, motorists and passengers. 

Project engineer Grace Magsayo is scheduled to give the community an update on the plans at a February board of supervisors meeting, DaPrato said.

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