Extensive traffic delays were too common along Holman Highway, one of the Monterey Peninsula’s main transportation corridors. The busy signalized intersection joining the Highway 1 on and off-ramps to Highway 68 and 17 Mile Drive caused commuter frustration, increased air pollution, restricted access to the local hospital and compelled impatient drivers to invent detours through adjacent residential neighborhoods.
The City of Monterey proposed an unconventional solution: replacing the signals with a multi-lane, low-maintenance, user-friendly roundabout. The City hired Harris & Associates for Construction Management and Inspection services—valuing Harris’ expertise with managing complex staging conditions, keen eye for safety considerations, and extensive experience with Caltrans’ procedures and traffic control process.
Harris managed and inspected the construction for various components of the new roundabout, including:
- Complete removal and replacement of roadway sections
- Construction of new retaining walls
- Cast-in-drilled hole pile foundations for large overhead sign structures
- Implementation of complex traffic handling and staging plans
- New storm drainage features
- Sidewalks, curbs and medians
Minimizing disruptions and traffic delays was a top priority—the heavily traveled highway had to remain open during construction. Harris ensured that continuous emergency vehicle access to the hospital and neighborhood access for local residents was open and safe at all times during the project. Harris designed stakeholder messaging and received buy-in for several alternative staging concepts to minimize disruptions and deliver a high quality product.
Even as an unusually wet winter threatened to impose significant delays, Harris worked to expedite progress by:
- Frequently updating all stakeholders
- Identifying schedule acceleration concepts
- Coordinating meetings prior to time-sensitive construction activities to ensure high-quality work during limited windows
- Proactively solving constructability issues and differing site conditions to minimize or avoid schedule and budget impacts
- Informing the public of major traffic pattern changes through news interviews and email messaging
- Ensuring safe work zones and safe passage for the traveling public day and night
Beyond the Blueprints
The Holman Highway is one of two major arterials into the Monterey Peninsula. Keeping this important arterial open to residents and emergency vehicles required multiple staging and contingency plans to mitigate traffic congestion and confusion.
Given the critical nature of this arterial, Harris went above and beyond by taking an extraordinarily active role in engaging the local community to both ease and address public concerns. On a monthly basis, Harris met with community stakeholders such as schools, emergency services including fire and hospitals, representatives from local businesses, public transportation agencies, local governments and utilities. Harris took these opportunities to not only provide status reports around detours and other staging, but also saw them as opportunities to respond to concerns. These opportunities kept the community informed and allowed them to play an active role in the process. To further communication efforts, Harris collaborated with local news agencies to disseminate updates to those that might not attend local civic events. This public outreach effort informed the community, stakeholders, and was essential to a positive perception of this successful project.