October 20, 2022
Ojai Valley News
Construction crews will begin laying approximately 6,000 tons of asphalt on Creek Road starting on Monday, Oct. 24.
The work is part of a $2.1 million project to repave 5.2 miles of the two-lane road, while adding safety enhancements such as center medians, turn pockets and guardrails.
“The project is going along as planned and on schedule,” said Chris Kurgan, director of roads and transportation with the county of Ventura.
Work on the project between SR-33 and the Ojai city limits began the week of Sept. 12, with contractor J&H Engineering of Camarillo making sure the pavement foundation was structurally sound, patching and repairing areas of the roadway base where the overlay will go.
Next, crews installed center medians between Kiowa Court and Kenewa Street, to create left-turn pockets and provide traffic-calming measures, Kurgan said.
Placement of an asphalt-rubber aggregate membrane, or ARAM, was set to begin on Oct. 19 and was expected to be completed on Oct. 21, according to Kurgan. “It helps increase the longevity of the pavement so that we get a full two decades of life-cycle out of it,” he said.
The 3/8-inch black rubberized pavement is not the final pavement but “the intermediate course,” said Kurgan.
The upper layer, or “wearing course,” will be installed starting on Monday, Oct. 24, with a layer of asphalt 1½ inches thick and composed of concrete with fiber for reinforcement.
Motorists and Creek Road residents should see an increase in truck traffic as the installation of the upper layer gets underway. “That week, on a good day, you could see as many as 80 trucks,” Kurgan said.
The project will likely require approximately 350 truckloads of asphalt, depending on the size and type of truck J&H Engineering uses, according to Kurgan.
By early to mid-November, crews will add striping, shoulder backing to protect the outside edge of the pavement, and a new guardrail to protect an oak tree in front of the Kiowa Court-Kenewa Street neighborhood.
Kurgan said Creek Road will remain open during all phases of construction, with flaggers conducting one-way traffic control.
Delays of up to five minutes are possible, Kurgan said.
The repaving project, “a deliberate attempt to improve the road conditions and safety on Creek Road,” according to Kurgan, should be nearly complete by mid-November.
Once repairs are finished, “we’ll let that settle out for about 30 days and then we’ll do a speed survey just to see if the center medians had the traffic-calming effect that we desired,” Kurgan said.
Once the fresh asphalt cures, there’s a further safety enhancement in store for Creek Road.
By the end of the year, the county will award a contract to install a high friction surface treatment on the curved sections of the roadway. That work will be done in early 2023, Kurgan said.
The project, funded by SB-1, is part of Ventura County’s overall paving plan to improve roads that need it the most. The county maintains nearly 550 miles of roadway in the unincorporated area.
Kurgan said the county appreciates the public’s patience during the construction on Creek Road, which saw its last repaving in 2002. “Certainly it’s an inconvenience,” he said, “but the payoff is a road in much better condition for the next two decades.”