A WHALE OF A CONSTRUCTION STORY

Excavation work to rebuild State Route 133 in California led to the discovery of the archaeological remains of a 10 million plus years old black orca dolphin. This article describes how paleontology and road construction achieved a workable balance. Route 133 was set for reconstruction as a result of excessive demand on the two-lane highways capacity, a high accident rate, and highway drainage problems. It also suffered from a substandard median, curve radii and shoulder widths. While preliminary engineering work under the auspices of the county had begun back in 1992, financial constraints hampered the project such that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) took over responsibility. The project will include a new alignment, four travel lanes, widened shoulder, and undercrossings for drainage, and animal and vehicular passage. Located in a highly sensitive environmental area, the project has involved more than just Caltrans involvement. Agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Highway Administration have also participated.

Language

  • English

Media Info

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00986889
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 2 2005 12:00AM