The objectives of the La Pata Extension project were to reduce South Orange County freeway congestion and improve regional mobility by providing a north-south alternative to Interstate 5 between San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and neighboring communities. The largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by Orange County Public Works will widen an existing 1.8 miles of La Pata Avenue and extend it 2 miles through the Prima Deshecha Landfill providing an alternative route to the highly congested Interstate 5. The commuting time will be improved for thousands of drivers everyday.
Construction of the roadway extension necessitated the a need for a bridge to be installed at the main entrance of the landfill. It was imperative that during construction, traffic be maintained to the landfill, the nearby high school, and local residences.
"Prior to construction, SUKUT Construction, LLC worked with Contech Engineered Solutions to value engineer the specified pear-shaped MULTI-PLATE structures to round structures," stated Greg LeBlanc, P.E., Project Manager with SUKUT. "This process was technically challenging to satisfy a very rigorous design review by the owner. I was impressed by the technical expertise exhibited by Contech and felt fully supported in the lengthy design review process."
As the best solution, five 30' Round BridgeCor® Structural Plate pipes, averaging 225' in length, were selected and installed at the site. BridgeCor enhances the established performance of 6" x 2" MULTI-PLATE® by offering nine times the stiffness and three times the strength. Not only is BridgeCor economical and easily assembled, but its bolted, segmental construction is manufactured with the industry's best equipment allowing for the longest laying length sheets in the industry.
Contech also furnished a Filterra® bioretention system and a Slotted Drain™ corrugated steel pipe (CSP) system to complement the water quality and runoff conveyance requirement for this project.
During the project, 15 million cubic yards of earthwork occurred, resulting in several 3-11 million year old archaeological finds, including a 9' whale jawbone and two extremely rare leatherback sea turtle fossils.
"During construction, Contech was in regular communication and when issues surfaced, Contech stood behind their products and provided quick resolutions," added LeBlanc.
In October 2016, the project was named the second most significant project in North America by Roads and Bridges Magazine. Also, in 2016, the project won the Project of the Year award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Overall, the project increased regional mobility for thousands of drivers by providing a new route to retail centers, medical facilities, schools, recreation, and more. In addition, the project reduced freeway congestion and emissions by providing a north-south alternative to Interstate 5. Lastly, a new multi-purpose trail was built along the new highway.
"A great team effort between SUKUT and Contech resulted in a very successful project," concluded LeBlanc.