Press Release
October 31, 2008

Fishhook Project Nears Completion

Local Company Finishes Ahead of Schedule

Graniterock’s Pavex Construction Division, in a joint venture partnership with CC Myers, has completed the Highway 1/17 Merge Lanes Project. The 48 million dollar project involved the busy Highway 1 and 17 Interchange. Additional merge lanes were added to help flow traffic through this congested area. Five new bridges were built, including the Branciforte Avenue overcrossing, which was completed substantially ahead of schedule. During the scope of this project four bridges were widened. Over 80,000 cubic yards of dirt were moved, which constitutes more than 6,600 dump truck loads.

Nearly 42,000 tons of Asphaltic Concrete (blacktop) were placed, which could pave a 24′ road, 2″ thick for 25 miles. A total of 10,000 cubic yards of concrete were placed on the project—enough concrete for 400 homes. A total of 106,000 tons of base rock were used or enough to cover 63.

In addition to the challenges of the project size and location, the project was in a very environmentally sensitive area. Two significant water ways went through the jobsite. Extreme care was given in monitoring the creeks and any potential unwanted drainage to these waterways. The joint venture received a perfect score on a Caltrans environmental compliance inspection.

At its peak, nearly 100 people were involved in various crafts on this important infrastructure improvement initiative. Everything from building concrete forms, paving, installing drainage to electrical, and landscape work was taking place. At its peak, nearly 60 trucks were hauling material around the project site at any one time. A minimal amount of material had to be off-hauled as most of the material was effectively and efficiently re-used on site. Gary Whitmire, Project Superintendent, developed several key changes that required less material be removed by truck from the site.

The entire project was inherently dangerous because of the close proximity to live traffic on the very busy Highway 1, but traffic was not the only danger on the job. One worker was bitten by a neighborhood dog and the bite required stitches. The dog bit through his coveralls and jeans.

One neighbor was so happy with the construction that she was affectionately known as the “Cookie Lady.” For months, she would provide workers, truck drivers, and any one else associated with the project, a bag of cookies. All in all, the neighbors were very cooperative for having endured years of freeway construction in their front yards. The project was a huge success due to the team approach taken by the members of the Joint Venture, Pavex and CC Myers, Caltrans and the City of Santa Cruz.

Caltrans, The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), and the City of Santa Cruz will celebrate the completion of the job with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Friday, November 7, 2008 at 1:00 pm at the Highway 1/Branciforte Avenue Overcrossing.

For more information, contact:
Karl Philipovich, 831.768.2744
Keith Severson, 831.768.2063