Hwy 18 Barrier

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Construction begins on the SR18 barrier project next week. 45 mph speed limit enforcement during work hours only. Expect a dedicated CHP car or 2 during working hours as well.

I'm trying to find the plans to locate turnaround openings. will update.

It isnt concrete thankfully, but thrie beam  (the wood post and galvanized rail type).

found plans

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/esc/oe/project_ads_addenda/08/08-0R2204/

there will be a 50 ft long emergency vehicle access opg at the low end of the marshall turnout. The next upbound dedicated left turn lane is at the mormon road exit 1/2 mi down from the 138 interchange.

There are frequent fatal collisions on this road, 'bout a month ago a motorcycle crossed the center at 34.2260,-117.3058,  collided with a truck, severed arm, made his long story short. The burn mark still there on the pavement. 

Looking at the plans it appears that to cut across at the Marshall turnout is both illegal and more dangerous than cutting across currently with the flex barriers, and also if choosing to go uphill to find a safe turnaround it is going to be less distance than what we currently have in going to the top of the flex barriers.

It is more dangerous using the Marshall turnout when going uphill because it is further uphill than the current beginning of the flex barriers meaning closer to the unseen downhill traffic plus it is a short 50' gap and no turnout lane meaning you would have to slow down more than what we currently need to do to cut across so you would be occupying the downhill lanes for a longer period of time. The intent of this 50' break seems obvious to me with it being for a vehicle already in the turnout to position to enter the uphill side of the highway. It would have a good visibility of both directions and be able to safely enter across the two downhill lanes then after going through the opening, turn uphill. Whether it is legal for any vehicle to do I don't know. But it would be relatively easy to do safely.

But looking further uphill at the ability to turn to come back downhill, they have the same type of break at the 4000' level (the helicopter landing turnout). One would position at the uphill end of that turnout pointed directly at the 50 break. There would be great visibility of both uphill and downhill traffic and it would be easy to safely time crossing the 2 uphill lanes and turn to go downhill. Legal???, I don't know but one would have a good view of the chips.

My hope is that given the increased danger of cutting across at the Marshall turnout and the shorter distance to a safe turn, that pilots generally will opt for the latter. YMMV.

Crossing through the 50' opg on the now unmistakeably divided highway is even more perilous given the small gap and restricted visibility. I talked to the operations mgr and asked:

Would it be possible to lengthen the opg?

Too late. That would encourage people to use it. Emergency vehicles only. Those who use it do so at their own risk.

Add a left turn pocket?  

No way, too late. No funding anyway.

I wish we had known this was going to happen.  

We met Forest Service, Radio tower guys, CHP, Neighbors, held meetings, published announcements. 

Youre restricting access to 2N40, a public right  of way.  Not so, go 2.x miles up the road and turn around.

How can we get a left turn lane there?  Find the funding, then we can talk. Anything Else?

Thank you for your time.

Had we begun lobbying back in Jan 2015 when FS signed off on the project, we might have gotten somewhere.  It might be worth a letter campaign after a few crashes at that opening.

DHD generously bring back from Singapore, laser jammer, radar jammer disguised as dash-cam that make patrol car speed sensor think car is speeding down hill so Smokey look up hill and not see Jon sneak through barrier gap. Also bring Jon fake yellow emergency vehicle lights that retract into roof before get caught and busted by CHP.
Big thanks to DHD!

Obviously I'm just daydreaming a bit but could the DOT be talked into actually widening the road at this point to create a legit turn lane? No major new grading necessary since more than adequate space already exists here.

If they put a break in the barrier, do they also put a break in the double-double centerline? If I recall, there's a break in the double-double at the honey vendor's turnout making it a legal turn.

More time to evaluate the conditions.

Quality time with your flying family that you haven't seen in awhile.

10 minutes more to savior the flying expectations for the day?

Gas is cheep, physical therapy/rehab is boring and takes too much time out of my life!

I'm a good driver but those Dam`~,+*>^ people flying down the hill speeding around that corner need a speeding ticket.........

Fly Safe!