A project to resurface Highway 1 from north of Cambria to the Monterey County line began Monday, according to road workers at the site.
On Tuesday, work was underway north of San Simeon Creek Road. Bright traffic signs warning that there’s roadwork ahead and that traffic is reduced to one lane have been set up ahead of the work zone (for instance, through Cambria on the highway), and traffic is being delayed periodically.
According to Jim Shivers, Caltrans spokesman, crews are to remove striping during the first week. Resurfacing work is to begin at the county line next week, weather permitting, and proceed southward from there.
CalPortland of Santa Maria is doing the $1.5 million sand-sealing project that’s expected to be complete sometime in November. There could be delays of up to 15 minutes due to one-way reversing traffic control, Shivers said, with work hours running Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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Sand sealing is a sprayed application of asphalt emulsion followed by a covering of clean sand or fine aggregate. It’s being applied to about 25 miles of currently bumpy pavement which was chip-sealed last year with larger-than-usual aggregate rocks. That produced a rough ride for cyclists and bombardment with loose rocks for all traffic.
Caltrans said Oct. 8 that a test sand sealing done to a short area of the chip-sealed highway proved that the treatment would even out the surface. Officials deemed the test a success and said it proved the treatment would even out the pavement.
However, some bicyclists aren’t yet convinced that sand sealing over the chip seal will produce a smooth ride. Neither was Supervisor Bruce Gibson, until he met with Caltrans officials Friday, Oct. 11.
“If you look at the test section, where the left wheel of your car goes is a different color” and smoothness than the rest of the test area, Gibson said, and sand-sealed areas on the right side and bike lane were considerably rougher. All were somewhat smoother than the chip-sealed areas, however.
Gibson said Caltrans officials explained that the difference had to do with “how long the test area sat before they put traffic on it,” and other variables.
He said the officials had “committed to executing the sand sealing in the best way possible, so the quality of the fix would be the best quality of what you see out there now” in the test area. “They’re convinced that the treatment they’re proposing is the right one and that it will be successful.”