2019, Asphalt Pavements, California

CalAPA member Sully-Miller makes temporary post-quake repairs permanent

CalAPA member Sully-Miller brought in to make temporary post-quake repairs permanent on desert highway Asphalt’s ability to get transportation facilities up and running quickly following a major disaster received worldwide attention earlier this month as the largest quakes in 20 years struck Southern California.

The remote location in the sparsely populated desert about 125 miles east of Los Angeles minimized damage and injuries from the July 4 & 5 shakers, but opened up cracks in a remote desert highway that state highway workers patched in approximately 1 hour.
Within days, Caltrans ordered that permanent construction repairs be conducted on State Route 178 approximately six miles east of Ridgecrest.

The highway experienced cracking in three separate areas within a four mile stretch due to seismic activity, Caltrans said. One-way traffic control with assistance from a pilot car was put in effect while permanent repairs were made.

Interim Caltrans Director Bob Franzoia signed an emergency order allocating $3.1 million for needed repairs to SR-178. Sully-Miller Contracting Company was contracted for the roadway repairs.

The magnitude 6.4 shaker struck at 10:33 a.m. July 4 and was centered in the desert about 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It was felt far and wide across Southern California and as far north as Chico. Ridgecrest was the nearest population center closest to the epicenter. The quake was named for the sparsely populated area of the epicenter, Searles Valley.

As millions were preparing to enjoy Independence Day festivities, the earthquake was immediately followed by scattered reports of earthquake damage, including a crack that developed on State Highway 178 near the tiny desert community of Trona. A second more powerful quake hit a day later. The magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck July 5 at 8:19 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was about 11 miles from Ridgecrest, followed by scores of aftershocks. Highway 178 was closed for a few hours to repair additional cracks to the pavement as well as to clear rock slides.

A Caltrans video report on the emergency highway repair can be viewed HERE.

Courtesy of CALIFORNIA ASPHALT INSIDER Vol. 12, Issue 28 <> July 15, 2019
California Asphalt Pavement Association