The engineering design for a critical, congested section of northbound Highway 1, which needed widening to accommodate a climbing lane and ease congestion, involved collaboration between private sector proponents, Monterey County Public Works and Planning staff, and Caltrans District 5. The plans were prepared in an exceptionally short period of time and met the challenge of politically determined goals, mixed with rigid design standards and environmental policy limitations. Whitson Engineers completed the Project Study Report (PSR) and Project Review (PR), environmental review plans, specifications and estimate. Our land surveyors worked day and night to complete construction staking for this essential highway improvement and the entire project was conceived, entitled and completed in less than 18 months.
Improvements between State Route 218 and Ragsdale Drive on this highly traveled artery, State Route 68, included road widening, addition of a traffic signal, utility relocation, storm drain improvements and wetlands creation. For the project, Whitson Engineers prepared a combined Project Study Report (PSR) and Project Review (PR), design exception fact sheets, stormwater data report and construction cost estimate. Project plans and specifications included a wetlands mitigation element to offset potential construction impacts.
This bicycle and pedestrian pathway along the coast is part of a network of public trails in the state’s evolving 1,200-mile Coastal Trail. Our team supplied land surveying and civil engineering services for improvements to a 700-foot-long section along Presido Curve. The project widened a narrow portion of trail at a congested overlook which lead to pedestrian and bicyclist conflicts. The design included a 12-foot-wide Class 1 concrete bike path, 6-foot-wide decomposed granite walking path and overlook, 12-foot-high simulated rock retaining wall, safety railing, storm drain improvements, traffic handling, trail lighting and native plant landscaping. The project was permitted through the California Coastal Commission.
This busy intersection in downtown Monterey adjacent to the Convention Center and near Fisherman’s Wharf and Middlebury Institute of International Studies was plagued with pedestrian and vehicular conflicts and accidents. Our team provided topographic surveying and prepared plans, specifications and estimates for the project, which encompassed geometric improvements, new curb ramps and accessible paths of travel, bike lanes and storm drain improvements, pavement grind and overlay, new reinforced concrete roadway paving, signage and striping. The intersection also received decorative traffic signals and streetlights to beautify the streetscape. The improvements earned awards from the Northern California Construction Management Association of America and Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC).
Since 2007 the Whitson Engineers’ team has provided project management, civil engineering, land surveying, and cost estimating services for the Carmel River Floodplain Restoration & Environmental Enhancement (CRFREE) project, a collaborative effort between the Big Sur Land Trust and Monterey County Resource Management Agency, with California State Parks and Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District as project partners. The project proposes to reestablish 92 acres of historic floodplain habitats, functions and values; remove 1,400 linear feet of levees along the south river bank; construct a 360-foot-long overflow bridge; create 2.6 miles of public access trails with links to Palo Corona Regional Park and Carmel River State Beach; and provide for a new left turn lane into Palo Corona Regional Park. Completion of the project would significantly reduce flood elevations within Community Service Area 50 (CSA 50) – which is one of the highest repetitive loss areas in the entire federal flood protection program – and would avoid over $14 million in infrastructure improvements that would otherwise be needed within CSA 50 to achieve the same level of flood protection. The project is funded by numerous federal, state and local agencies, with major donations and funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Transportation, California Wildlife Conservation Board, Clint and Margaret Eastwood, and the Big Sur Land Trust.
While exploring options to prevent future erosion and enhance public use of a nearly one-half mile of scenic coastal bluff along East Cliff Drive, community meetings focused efforts that ultimately included the reconstruction of East Cliff Drive and Parkway. Whitson Engineers’ team prepared final engineering design plans and construction documents for the improvements which resulted in enhanced pedestrian safety, multi-use path, pedestrian walking trails, on-street parking, stormwater quality devices, parkway beautification, native landscape restoration and interpretive elements highlighting the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The plans included the redevelopment of Pleasure Point Park and new restroom facilities.
For a popular pedestrian causeway along the coast that was quickly eroding, undermining the causeway and deemed a public safety hazard, Whitson Engineers coordinated a team of four subconsultants to provide timely civil, structural and coastal engineering, land surveying, landscape architecture, and coastal permitting services for construction of a 90-foot-long sea wall. The project included temporary structural supports, artificial rockwork, granite facing on an existing concrete retaining wall and landscaping. We performed geotechnical exploration using limited access techniques and evaluated project alternatives, including several wall alternatives and rock slope protection. Additionally, our team provided civil engineering support and developed construction documents, prepared environmental and permitting documents and coordinated with the California Coastal Commission and the City of Monterey.
The largest dam removal project ever to occur in California, this undertaking took down the 106-foot-high antiquated concrete dam and restored watershed to bring the Carmel River back to life. As part of Granite Construction’s design-build team, Whitson Engineers provided civil engineering services for the construction of Tularcitos High Road access road—through heavily wooded, mountainous, creek-side and flood plain terrain—to reroute construction and permanent access from Carmel Valley Road to the restoration site. Other project elements included design and preparation of a bridge selection report for a new prefabricated bridge over the Carmel River to replace an existing ford crossing at the fish rearing facility; relocation design for a 30-inch steel transmission water main; hydraulic scour analysis; and turn modeling for a nine-axle transport vehicle; mitigation measures for sensitive receptors and coordination with regulatory agencies. Our land surveying services included topographic surveying, hydraulic modeling cross sections, and the setting of permanent survey monuments.
Once a neighborhood of sardine canneries and a source of material for writer John Steinbeck, Cannery Row today is a popular tourist destination that features shops, restaurants, hotels and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This project for pedestrian accessibility improvements encompassed two intersections with six curb ramps, decorative paver crosswalks, storm drain improvements and concrete and roadway work. Our team provided topographic and right-of-way surveying, civil engineering design services, construction cost estimates, technical specifications and construction support. We worked with the City of Monterey to address utility conflicts, alerting them to pending construction conflicts at another intersection, thus saving time and resources.