Friday, September 21, 2007

Barrier Installation Under Way On Highway 12

Barrier Installation Under Way On Highway 12
By Barry Eberling

Trucks pass by a concrete barrier on Highway 12 near Scally Road Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Brad Zweerink)

SUISUN CITY - A concrete median barrier is being installed along a 5.5-mile stretch of Highway 12 near Suisun City to stop head-on collisions along the perilous roadway.

The state Department of Transportation is in charge of the project, which started Monday. Its contractor is putting in the barrier from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and could be at work until Nov. 2.

Only one lane will be open in this area during evening and nighttime hours, Caltrans spokesman Keith Wayne said. That means only one direction of traffic can go at a time.

Caltrans is expecting delays of as much as five minutes.

"So far, they haven't had any backup," Wayne said Wednesday.

The barrier is being installed between Walters and Lambie roads. Workers are bringing in precast sections and bolting them to the road.

They can't install a concrete median barrier east of Lambie Road because Highway 12 is too narrow there. But they are to install flexible plastic median posts every few feet between Lambie Road and the area near Highway 113. These will be the same as the posts installed a few months ago along the western Rio Vista stretch of the highway.

When the work is completed, either the concrete barrier or flexible posts will be up along an 18-mile stretch of Highway 12 to discourage passing, except in passing lanes.

Caltrans announced last spring that it would spend $4.4 million in immediate Highway 12 improvements. That followed a string of fatal injuries along the two-lane highway, much of which has substandard shoulders and rolling hills.

Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has yet to sign state legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to establish this stretch of Highway 12 as a double-fine zone.

The Legislature passed the proposal on Sept. 12. Wolk said Schwarzenegger has until Oct. 12 to veto it, sign it or simply let it become law.

On Wednesday, Wolk said she is optimistic Schwarzenegger will sign it "We've been working with the governor's office from the very beginning," Wolk said.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646, Ext. 232, or at

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