Jeff's Streets Page
Santa Cruz Streets: Changes to The Fishhook
In January 2006, in light of the upcoming construction at the Highway 1/17 interchange (more commonly known to Santa Cruz residents as The Fishhook), I created this subsection to my web site. This page will serve as both an introduction to the changes that are proposed, as well as provide a chronology of the progress in the construction.
Changes to The Fishhook - Topics:
- The Improvements--a summary of what is proposed. (Last Updated -- 05/07/06)
- Past Improvement Attempts--highlights of past attempts to fix the interchange, as well as the steps that led to this current improvement plan. (Last Updated -- 01/11/06)
- Construction Progress--a breakdown of the progress of the construction effort. (Last Updated -- 09/03/07)
The current project is not meant to be a capacity improvement, but rather a safety improvement. The project would add auxiliary, or short-distance, lanes in each direction of Highway 1 and on Northbound Highway 17 in the vicinity of the Highway 1/17 interchange, as well as rebuild the northbound Highway 1 off-ramps to Emeline Avenue and Northbound Highway 17, and improve the merge of Southbound Highway 1 and the Southbound Highway 1 off-ramp from Southbound Highway 17. More specifically, the following is proposed:
- Highway 1:
- A third northbound through lane, between the northbound Morrissey Bl. on-ramp and the Northbound Highway 17 off-ramp
- A third southbound through lane, between the on-ramp from Southbound Highway 17 and just before the La Fonda Avenue overcrossing (i.e. about half-way between the Morrissey Bl. and Soquel Dr. interchanges)
- Reconstruction of the northbound off-ramp to Emeline Avenue, by lengthening the ramp and moving the divergence point from Highway 1 to just north of the N. Branciforte Avenue overcrossing
- Reconstruction of the northbound off-ramp to Northbound Highway 17. This ramp would be rebuilt to diverge from Northbound Highway 1 near where the existing Emeline Avenue off-ramp currently diverges from the freeway. The new off-ramp would start as two lanes (i.e. traffic in the new third lane would be forced to exit onto the ramp, and traffic from the current right lane would also be able to exit onto the ramp), but would quickly narrow to one lane prior to merging with Northbound Highway 17.
- Realignment of Southbound Highway 1 at its merge with the off-ramp from Southbound Highway 17. Highway 1 would be shifted southward between the current merge point and Branciforte Creek such that the off-ramp from Highway 17 would have its own lane (the far left lane), and the Highway 1 lanes would form the center and right lanes.
- Reconstruction of the southbound on- and off-ramps to Morrissey Bl.
- Reconstruction of various bridges over and along Highway 1, in order to accommodate the freeway widening
- Highway 17:
- A third northbound through lane, between the northbound off-ramp from northbound Highway 1 and just before the Pasatiempo Drive overcrossing. Traffic from northbound Highway 1 would default into this new third lane, which would merge back into Highway 17 between the Pasatiempo Drive off-ramp and the overcrossing.
- To be added along both sides of Highway 1 between Highway 17 and La Fonda Avenue. Walls will have decorative bricks that depict panoramic views from Santa Cruz, as well as ocean views.
Construction was originally anticipated to be completed by Spring 2009; however, in late 2006, Caltrans moved back the completion date to Fall 2009.
- January 2006--Caltrans announces it plans to begin removal of trees adjacent to Highways 1 and 17.
- February 2006--The bids for the construction are in -- and the lowest one is $7 million over the available funding for the project. After debating what to do for a few weeks, Caltrans decides to go ahead with the removal of the trees, anticipating that the California Transportation Commission will help fund the additional money for construction. By the end of the month, most of the trees that once lined Highway 1 between Market Street and Emeline Avenue have been removed.
- Late February 2006--In late February, Caltrans announces that the California Transportation Commission has provided the additional $7 million for the project.
- March 2006--Caltrans announces that the contract for construction has been awarded to a joint venture between Pavex and CC Meyers, Inc. Construction is set to begin April 17th.
- April 2006--Ground is broken in a ceremony on April 19th.
- Early May 2006--Market Street under Highway 1 closes on May 2nd, and will remain closed for about 3 months while PG and E relocates utilities. Caltrans narrows lanes and shoulders on Highways 1 and 17 in the work area, and begins preliminary earthwork in median of Highway 1 near Morrissey Bl. and along shoulder near Market Street.
- Mid May 2006--Caltrans announces that Market Street underneath Highway 1 will remain closed until August, the Emeline Avenue off-ramp from northbound Highway 1 will close in June, and that the first portion of the project to be constructed will be the new sound walls.
- Late May 2006--The existing Emeline Avenue off-ramp from northbound Highway 1 closes temporarily on May 30th and 31st. Nearly all trees along both directions of Highway 1 between Highway 17 and La Fonda Avenue have been removed. The sign bridges (i.e. the overhead signing) on northbound Highway 1 at Highway 17, and northbound Highway 17 at Pasatiempo Drive, have been removed and replaced with temporary signing along the side of each freeway. The median of Highway 1 between La Fonda and Market Street is torn up and is in the process of being regraded.
- June 2006--The existing Emeline Avenue off-ramp is permanently closed, and the sign bridge for the exit is removed. The overhead sign announcing the upcoming Emeline Avenue exit on northbound Highway 1 at Morrissey Boulevard is covered over with plywood. Additional trees and foliage are removed along northbound Highway 1 north of the Morrissey Boulevard off-ramp. Grading continues along the freeway frontage and median throughout the construction area.
- August 2006--Work continues in the median of Highway 1, with paving work apparently completed between LaFonda Avenue and Morrissey Boulevard overcrossings of the highway. Soundwall steel rebar is now in place for the walls to be located between Morrissey and N. Branciforte Avenue, with wall construction beginning along the Rooney Street frontage near Gilbert Lane. Also, the concrete forms and rebar are being established for the new northbound Emeline Avenue off-ramp bridge over Carbonera Creek, as well as an apparent retaining wall adjacent to Lee Street near Emeline Avenue. Finally, Caltrans announces that the construction schedule has been shifted around for the various components of the project, which will lead to both an extended closure of Market Street underneath Highway 1 through March 2007, and a delay of the reconstruction of the N. Branciforte Avenue bridge over Highway 1 until March 2007.
- October 2006--Median paving work, between LaFonda Avenue and north of Morrissey Boulevard, is now confirmed completed; however, concrete median construction has yet to be started. Additional paving work has also been performed along the right-hand shoulder of northbound Highway 1 between Morrissey and the Branciforte Creek overcrossing, and along the left-hand shoulder of southbound Highway 1 between the northbound Highway 17 off-ramp and the on-ramp from southbound Highway 17. Also, the new sound walls along northbound Highway 1 between Morrissey and Branciforte Creek are now complete, and the southbound Highway 1 sound walls within the same area are nearing completion. The concrete work for the abutments for the bridges over Branciforte Creek and Carbonera Creek (which will carry the northbound off-ramps to Emeline Avenue and northbound Highway 17, respectively) appear to now be complete, and now await construction of the bridge decks. Finally, the retaining wall along Lee Street approaching Emeline Avenue also appears to be completed.
- November 2006--All foliage along northbound Highway 17 between the northbound Highway 1 on-ramp and the Pasatiempo Drive off-ramp has been removed. Additional temporary median barriers have been added to Highway 1 between LaFonda Avenue and just north of Morrissey Boulevard. Southbound Highway 1 between the northbound Ocean Street-Plymouth Street on-ramp and the southbound Highway 17 on-ramp has been shifted slightly to the left, onto the new paving identified above in October 2006, presumably to provide additional work space along the outside shoulder in this area. As for soundwalls, the one along southbound Highway 1 between Carbonera Creek and N. Branciforte Avenue has been completed, and the soundwall along southbound Highway 1 between N. Branciforte Avenue and Morrissey Boulevard is nearing completion. Finally, early in the month, Caltrans announces that is has completed all pile driving work for the project, as well as all rock work along the creek banks at the existing and future bridges.
- Late December 2006/Early January 2007--Work on the soundwalls along Highway 1 continues to progress, with completion of and the soundwall along southbound Highway 1 between N. Branciforte Avenue and Morrissey Boulevard is nearing completion. Soundwall work along southbound Highway 1 at the Morrissey Boulevard interchange is now in progress. On January 3rd, 2007, Caltrans began a four-month closure of the southbound off-ramp to Morrissey Boulevard, as well as the southbound on-ramp from northbound Morrissey Boulevard; the northbound on-ramp from Fairmount Avenue remains open. These two ramps are to be rebuilt, and the soundwalls that front them are to be completed. Finally, Caltrans announced a delay in the expected completion of the project, from the timeframe of Spring 2009 announced prior to the start of construction, to the new timeframe of Fall 2009.
- March 2007--Work on the soundwalls along Highway 1 is still ongoing, with completion of the soundwalls along both directions of Highway 1 between Carbonera Creek and Morrissey Boulevard, and along northbound Highway 1 between LaFonda Avenue and the northbound Morrissey Boulevard exit. The remaining soundwall work is now underway. Caltrans is now working on additional retaining wall work for the northbound exits to Emeline Avenue and northbound Highway 17, as well as laying the formwork for the Emeline Avenue ramp bridge over Carbonera Creek. Finally, Caltrans announced that Market Street will reopen under Highway 1 in April, and that the closed southbound Highway 1 off- and on-ramps to Morrissey Boulevard will not reopen until middle of Summer 2007.
- May 2007--Work on the soundwalls along Highway 1 is still ongoing, with continued work on the soundwalls along southbound Highway 1 between Morrissey Boulevard and La Fonda Avenue. Work continues in creating new retaining walls for the new northbound Highway 1-to-northbound Highway 17 ramp (at the Lee Street-Plymouth Street curve), and for southbound Highway 1 (at the Fernside Street-Plymouth Street curve). Also, Caltrans re-opened the Market Street under crossing of Highway 1 on April 30th. Finally, Caltrans announced that the North Branciforte Avenue bridge over Highway 1 will close starting July 9, so that it can be torn down and replaced with a new, longer bridge that can accommodate the ultimate six lanes of Highway 1 that would travel underneath it.
- June 2007--Work is continuing on the new retaining walls for the new northbound Highway 1-to-northbound Highway 17 ramp (near the Lee/Plymouth intersection) and southbound Highway 1 mainline (between the Ocean Street on-ramp and southbound Hwy. 17 on-ramp). Caltrans announced that both retaining walls should be complete by the end of the summer. Also to be opened by the end of the summer are the southbound on- and off-ramps to Morrissey Boulevard, which is a delay from the originally-proposed timeframe of early summer. Finally, Caltrans announced that the North Branciforte Avenue bridge over Highway 1 will not close until at least late July, instead of the previous date of July 9. The stated reasons for the delay are because of previous manpower shifts by the contractor to the recent emergency repairs at the I-80/I-580/I-880 interchange in Oakland, as well as additional preparations required to construct the new bridge supports.
- August 2007--As promised, Caltrans opened the new southbound Morrissey Boulevard off-ramp on August 29, and the new northbound Morrissey-to-southbound Highway 1 on-ramp on August 30. Caltrans also has closed the southbound on-ramp from Fairmount Avenue until December 2007. In addition, Caltrans has implemented a temporary lane shift at the Morrissey Boulevard overcrossing, whereby traffic in both directions of Highway 1 have been shifted to the north. This lane shift resulted in the southbound lanes being split by the center bridge supports -- the left lane travels to the north of the supports, while the right lane travels to the south. Both the Fairmount Avenue and southbound lane split were implemented as part of an improvement to increase the clearance on Highway 1 underneath the bridge by two feet, via a lowering the freeway road surface. Finally, Caltrans announces that the North Branciforte Avenue bridge reconstruction will not occur until Spring 2008, and that the the re-opening of the Emiline Avenue off-ramp from northbound Highway 1 will occur in Summer 2008.
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