County work crews install a "crib" to ensure proper drainage around the repairs to a washout on Alba Road. Courtesy of Bill Burton

The accompanying picture shows the “Crib,” a precast, reinforced concrete collection of segmented shapes that have been assembled, 200 cubic yards of 1 ½ inch-drain rock backfilling the whole structure, a 4-inch slotted drain pipe, protecting sheeting protecting the drain rock to keep the earth behind it and a newly-built access roadway below.
As an Alba Road resident, I watched this project as it was carefully constructed along the steep hillside.
This picture tells us a great deal about where the $300,000 grant went to fix a large washout on Alba Road last winter. It shows the massive size of the repair that was required.
The whole project was studied, designed, an emergency grant applied for, went to bid, a contractor was selected, the cribs were ordered and manufactured (in Eureka) and work started, all in less than six months’ time.
What does not show is the large layer of unstable rock that was jack-hammered and excavated out, hauled away in 12 loads of 10-wheel dump trucks. The results will be stable, very strong, self-draining, very heavy and long-lasting, all on a very steep hillside.
The Santa Cruz County Public Works Department has done an excellent and thoughtful job!
All of the above shows that Public Works employees have brains, training, experience and the desire to serve the pubic. With many other road problems to solve, with limited funds, they can solve problems and get work quickly done.
Bill Burton, Ben Lomond

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