SR76 widening information presented to potential bidders

Approximately two dozen potential contractors, subcontractors, and other interested parties attended a May 15 meeting at the Caltrans District 11 office in San Diego regarding the advertised bid package for the widening of State Route 76 between South Mission Road and Interstate 15.

Caltrans acting project manager Carl Savage and senior resident engineer Ed Fitzgibbons spoke on the project, its history, and various issues which will need to be addressed during construction. Caltrans small business liaison Cyndee McGowan addressed opportunities to take advantage of the 10 percent disadvantaged business enterprise requirement.

“The purpose of today’s meeting is an informal outreach to the contractor community,” Savage said.

The existing Highway 76 is 30 feet wide on average. The widened road will average 44 feet of paved surface in each direction which equates to two travel lanes 12 feet wide along with inside and outside shoulder lanes 10 feet wide, and the road will also include turn lanes, acceleration and deceleration lanes, and barriers.

“This is the last and final phase of the project,” Savage said.

The portion between I-5 and Melrose Drive in Oceanside was completed in 1999, and the widening between Melrose Drive and South Mission Road was completed in 2012. The transportation improvements on the interchange at State Route 76 and Interstate 15 opened to traffic in August 2013.

“We do need to replant the interchange as well,” Savage said.

The length of the project thus ends half a mile east of Interstate 15 even though the interchange itself has been completed. The western end is at Olive Hill Road, which was covered by the previous widening and which has source material available for the widening segment being advertised for bid. The work will also include expanding the park-and-ride lot on the northwest side of the interchange with I-15; the expansion to the east will include flattening the grade and providing truck parking and a bus terminal.

The Olive Hill site contains approximately 60,000 cubic yards of fill. The project will need a total of approximately 900,000 cubic yards for embankments. Fill from the Vessels property south of the San Luis Rey River will provide approximately 600,000 cubic yards, and a fill stockpile at the I-15 interchange makes approximately 135,000 cubic yards available. The remaining approximate 100,000 cubic yards will need to be imported.

The new road will be elevated approximately six to eight feet above the old highway. “Most of the alignment is new road on top of the old,” Savage said.

Different segments of the current highway will have varying fates. “Some of the roads we’re going to remove,” Savage said. “It’s old highway that we’re not going to use any more.”

Other excess road segments will be relinquished to the County of San Diego. “Roads we aren’t removing we’ll rehabilitate,” Savage said.

The contractor and subcontractors will also be responsible for renovating all driveways and street intersections accessible from Highway 76. A traffic signal will be added at the intersection of Highway 76 and Via Monserate.

Non-road activities will include the installation of five wild animal crossings, the relocation of Rainbow Municipal Water District water and sewer lines, and coordination with the San Diego County Water Authority to protect CWA pipelines which cross the highway.

The initial work will take place on the southern part of the road between South Mission Road and Gird Road. The hauling of fill will be followed by paving a road on top of that fill, which will allow all traffic to be moved to what will eventually be the eastbound lanes while work is being done on the eventual westbound lanes. The work on the north side of the segment between South Mission Road and Gird Road will follow the completion of the tasks on the south side of that portion.

The work on the south side between Gird Road and I-15 will follow the completion of the phases west of Gird Road. The eastern stages will involve hauling the fill from the Vessels site, which will require the construction of a temporary bridge across the San Luis Rey River.

After the work on the south side between Gird Road and I-15 is completed, the work on the north side will take place. A capping of the road will be the final stage.

The work will also include the removal of “palisades,” the term for the poles/pipes with webbing initially erected to control the flow of the San Luis Rey River and protect the road from erosion. Existing riprap within slopes will either be abandoned in place or re-used.

Planting tasks are expected to be performed shortly after completion of the associated road work. “We really want to get it planted as soon as possible, that’s our goal. We don’t want those slopes out there barren,” Savage said.

Due to environmental constraints regarding habitat breeding seasons, vegetation clearing and pile driving will be allowed only between mid-September and mid-February. The existing fence protecting arroyo toad habitat must be maintained. Due to river flow issues, any work within the river must be performed between May and October.

“The environmental constraints on this job are immense,” Fitzgibbons said.

The temporary haul bridge will also minimize construction-related traffic on Dulin Road. The contractor and subcontractors can use Dulin Road to set up operations, but the use of Dulin Road for daily access is prohibited and construction-related vehicles will travel across the haul bridge instead. Any nighttime driveway closures will take place between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The new signal at Via Monserate and the reconstruction of the signalized Gird Road and Old Highway 395 interchanges will provide opportunities for electrical subcontractors as will the park-and-ride lot improvements which will include lighting and charging stations for electric vehicles. “There’s a rather extensive set of electrical requirements in the park-and-ride lot,” Savage said.

Although the project is within the Rainbow Municipal Water District, that district does not currently have recycled water facilities and the contractor may utilize the Fallbrook Public Utility District or the Valley Center Municipal Water District for watering needs. “They can get their water from whoever they want to get it from,” Savage said.

Transportation considerations, including staff time, traditionally cause contractors to utilize a nearby source to truck in water. “They usually get it from the closest possible source,” Savage said. “Wherever the least expensive source of water is is where they’re going to get it from.”

The $91 million construction estimate is based on the cumulative estimates for items the contractor and subcontractors will be required to provide. The bid package will include subtotals for each of approximately 350 items, and the bid on each item will include labor and overhead as well as material and other expenses. The listing of separate items also allows for disadvantaged business enterprise subcontractors to be specified.

The actual expected cost of approximately $100 million includes support, lane closure and traffic control expenses, and contingencies.

The request for bids was advertised on April 28 and carries a June 19 bid opening date. The bid opening will be followed by a review of bids, completion of the contract documents, and allowance for the contractor to move equipment to the site. Construction is expected to begin in September. The bid package calls for 825 working days, which would equate to a three-year period in the absence of excessive weather-based delays.

If during construction the contractor believes that a better alternative exists, a management team will review any change proposals.

24 Responses to "SR76 widening information presented to potential bidders"

  1. Richard Buffham   June 5, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    There should be a bike trail that runs parallel to the road separated by a fence or embankment like the one on route 56.

  2. DJ   June 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    You mean the same route 56 they mention here?

    No thanks. No need to put in more bike paths just so people who get injured on them can sue. May as well let them ride on the regular old road if they’re gonna do that.

  3. Liveoakparker   June 7, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I wouldn’t mind them on the roads IF they followed the rules. Most of the bike riders I see think that they can do anything they want. Maybe if we take a couple of them out, the rest will learn

  4. Molly M   June 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Liveoakparker: your comment is just mean, vicious, and totally inappropriate thinking. Bike riders pay the same taxes that I presume you do.

  5. Redneck Bill   June 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm


    "Take a couple of them out"?

    Isn’t that a wee bit harsh?

  6. Greg   June 7, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Yes, killing people is always a good strategy to get people to follow the rules.

  7. Me   June 8, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    @Molly M….Last time I looked the bike riders don’t buy gasoline for their bicycles….which is where most of the money needed to build and repair roads comes from…..

  8. grunt   June 9, 2014 at 7:25 am

    @Molly M, actually they don’t (pay the same taxes) gasoline tax pays for the roads. (Surpirsed that CA has not started a bike fee – charging an annual license fee for bikes that use the roads). But what ever – not a good idea to encourage more road rage or vehicle assualt.

  9. Liveoakparker   June 9, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Come on folks mellow out. "take a couple of them out" was not a threat or mean. it was a figure of speech. Everyone take a deep cleansing breath. (But most of the ones I see DO NOT follow the rules of the road)

  10. Molly M   June 9, 2014 at 9:56 am

    to Me and Grunt: most bike riders also own cars. Therefore, they pay DMV fees, not to mention state, county, and property taxes.

  11. so....   June 9, 2014 at 11:00 am

    So the anti-bike commenters think that bikers are 100% bicycle transportation? Do you really think they don’t own cars and don’t pay gasoline tax, like you? Yes, because they bike everwhere (really smart anti-bikers). Also, when is the last time a bike damaged the road, and your gasoline tax had to repair "bike damage"? Never. Oh, and let’s not forget to "take a couple out next time you’re driving, then the rest will learn". Some of you guys are never happy with anything. What the H*** does make you happy? And note, I’m not even a "biker", they are free to bike!

  12. Kay   June 9, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Wow! You know if we are taking people out, lets take out everyone who pisses off anyone. Why only cyclists? Why not people who drive too fast, or people who drive too slow, or people who walk, or people who stay home and do nothing??????? Really????

  13. Nota biker   June 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    I’m not a biker either, but I think a seperate bike trail along the 76 would be welcomed. I, for one, don’t want to hit a biker, but riding along some of the roads here make it dangerous to ride. I say, build a bike trail and keep bikers away from cars.
    I’m not in construction either, but I can’t imagine it would cost too much to pave a strip and maintain it.

  14. Queen   June 9, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I agree with a separate bike lane for bikers, and, like Liveoakparker I too find many bikers annoying as they do indeed seem to act as if they own the road. Not all, of course, but seems to be the majority. Oh, and I hardly think Liveoak was being completely serious. Not looking forward to the noise and mess of construction, but sure hope it helps with less traffic accidents.

  15. RAIDER FAN   June 10, 2014 at 5:27 am


  16. California Dreaming   June 10, 2014 at 5:40 am

    @nota biker: Knowing how these things work, I CAN imagine a bike trail costing more than you can imagine. I would bet it will need to be subsidized with gas tax to the tune of more than $100 for every bike that ever uses the trail. How much is too much? $100, $200, $1000? This will be sold just like the bullet train is sold. They will claim it costs very little and will serve millions of users. After they spend $$$$, and get very few users, nobody will care. That is how these things work.

  17. how wide is your vehicle?   June 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

    So to all you anti-bikers – how much ef space do you need to drive? Certainly not 100% width of the pavement. Do you mean your vehicle takes up every inch of space from side to side – not likely. A semi doesn’t even do that. And if you’re vehicle does do that, your are more annoying than any biker.

  18. Nota biker   June 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    @ California Dreaming – Yes, I admit the cost is probably up there, but what is the cost of hitting someone who veers into traffic…not even the drivers fault? Not only the life of the biker, but the life that is runied of the driver.
    I admit there is a problem with bikers taking up lanes in traffic, I’m just thinking of the safest soultion, not necessairly the most cost effective.

    @ how wide…No, cars do not take up the entire lane, but I’ve seen bikers veer into traffic and make drivers swerve. I’ve also seen bikers riding side by side taking up much more of the lane then they actually need.

    I know there’s not clear cut answer and no matter what happens you will inpede on someone’s rights. Let’s just all be safe out there!

  19. grunt   June 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

    @ Molly – I AM a biker – well, weekends sometimes. My point on taxes was that gas tax pays the roads, so when I am pedalling I am NOT paying for the road. I would like a bike lane for two reasons -both sort of mentioned already. When I am on a bike, I am protected (more of less) from cars; when I am in a car I am protected from bikers- they should not block my way nor will I hit one.

  20. Molly M   June 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    To Grunt: I totally agree with you on comment #19. You have already paid your gas taxes, etc. on the vehicle that is sitting at home while you enjoy your bike. Ride safely!

  21. Omen   June 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Its Not Hard To Share The Road People. I understand that sometimes Bikers do get in the way but take a second and Look @ The Conditions Of The Bike Lanes They Ride On Sometimes they are full of rocks, dirt etc. not safe to ride on what I worry about as I Ease Carefully by a biker is that he or she could hit a rock and fall right in front of me Think about that for a second that would be unfortunate for both. SHARE THE ROAD BE COURTEOUS TO ALL ISNT THAT WHAT WE WERE TAUGHT AS KIDS

  22. Liveoakparker   June 11, 2014 at 6:35 am

    @Kay comment #12 – I like the way you think. "Take them all out"
    Oh wait you weren’t serious? You were trying to make a point? Hmmm imagine that

  23. JD   June 11, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Wow, 22 comments generated from one guy that wants a bike lane. I’m so glad the discussions and whining about the "southern solution" have died off. Those citing 2 seconds of response time as being a big issue, and having to make U turns…so glad that’s over. (now I probably started it again..dummy) Anyhow, this 3 years can’t go by fast enough, and hopefully the accidents during that time won’t result in deaths. I drive the 76 every day, and it’s scary as heck at times. I welcome the new road like a boy waiting for Christmas day! (ps…a bike lane would be awesome, all the way to the beach)

  24. runninonfumes   June 12, 2014 at 3:24 am

    well, I am a driver and a biker. I too drive the 76 daily like J.D. It’s a bit scary, especially at night with all the blarring lights coming toward me. I have two jobs and work day and night , so sometimes I am pretty close to runnin on empty. there are gas stations at opposite ends of the 76. But nothing in the middle between south mission and I-15.We need a third Gas station/convenience store. I think it’s a great idea in support of the 76, and drivers wouldn’t have to worry about being stranded and out of gas. and beside the gas station I would also like to pay taxes for a park and charge area like the one they’re putting up by the I-15.


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