According to Martha Shedden, an engineer with the Santa Cruz County Department of Public Works, the project calls for the installation of a 400-foot section of roadway to sidestep the buried section of the former road, as well as the construction of retaining walls to help prevent another slide.
“(The project) should be starting — if not this week, then early next week,” Shedden said. “The new permanent bypass road will be constructed slightly west of the old alignment, so a little bit closer to the creek.”
The new roadway will replace a temporary bypass that was constructed shortly after the initial slide — which occurred in March 2011 — in order to restore access to the 33 homes that had been isolated for nearly two weeks.
Most of that temporary roadway, which passes through private property and crosses a creekbed, will be removed and re-vegetated, Shedden said.
Although the permanent bypass should be completed by the end of the year, she said, seasonal regulations on roadwork may delay the removal of the temporary bypass until 2015.
The $740,000 project will be funded partially through state transportation monies, as well as from insurance monies collected by the, Shedden said. Santa Cruz-based Reber Construction will be the primary contractors working on the project, she said.
According to a press release issued by the county, motorists on Nelson Road can expect construction work between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. beginning this week and running through the end of November.
For up-to-date information on County-maintained roads in Santa Cruz County, visit http://www.sccroadclosure.org/.