Guardrail contract approved

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors authorized a construction contract to replace guardrails at five sites throughout the unincorporated county including four on Sunrise Highway in Pine Valley.

The supervisors’ 5-0 vote Oct. 26 authorized the advertisement for bid and subsequent award of a construction contract to install new guardrail segments and replace existing guardrails.

The supervisors’ action also appropriated $850,000 of state Highway Safety Improvement Program funding to help cover the $1,300,000 estimated costs and found the guardrail replacements to be categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review.

The county’s Department of Public Works maintains approximately 56 miles of guardrails throughout the unincorporated county. Each year DPW repairs, installs, and replaces guardrails and end sections along roads where guardrails have been damaged or where DPW has determined the greatest need to upgrade existing guardrails to current design standards. The current list of five sites was selected based on traffic volume, speed limits, nearby hazards, guardrail conditions, and other design characteristics.

The Highway Safety Improvement Program is funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by each state, so the California Department of Transportation provides grants to design and construct improvements which are expected to achieve a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on public roads. Caltrans authorized the preliminary engineering funding in December 2021, and the preliminary engineering phase is now complete.

The work along Sunrise Highway will replace 850 feet of guardrail at Milepost 14.5, 1,350 feet at Milepost 15.0, 410 feet at Milepost 15.5, and 225 feet at Milepost 17.0.

The estimated $850,000 construction cost includes a 20 percent contingency to cover unexpected costs which may become necessary during construction. The $450,000 previously budgeted for the project covered design, inspection, and environmental review.

All work will be performed within existing county right-of-way. The construction on a countywide basis is scheduled to begin in spring 2023 and be complete during summer 2023.

Prior to the start of construction signage, mailings, or notifications on doorknobs will be used to notify nearby residents and businesses, and social media postings will also notify residents about the upcoming work. During construction traffic control measures will be implemented to minimize the impacts to the community and the traveling public.