The closure of Highway 9 in Brookdale has gotten more positive responses than negative, creating a bright path to the recovery of the road.
Caltrans announced that South to Brookdale and between Western Avenue and Pike Road that Highway 9 will have a full closure. Its closure is from October 15th to November 3rd, between 10 pm and 6 am. Some alternative routes to take in the meantime are Bear Creek Road, Highway 17, and Mount Hermon Road.
The purpose of these night closures is to create a soldier pile wall. A soldier pile wall is used where earth backfill, dirt basically, is needed to be retained temporarily. After this soldier pile wall is created, the next step is viaduct construction which will take place after utility relocation. Viaduct construction is the creation of a bridge supported by series of arches to carry a road. The estimated cost of fixing the road is $4,000,000 and should be done in the summer of 2018.
Because of the 400-acre wildfire that started on the 16 of October in Santa Cruz along Bear Creek road, about 100 residents were evacuated. Agencies from all around, such as Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Clara, came to our aid. This crisis caused so much heavy traffic through Highway 9 that Caltrans left it’s usual one lane open as to not congest the road and cause more harm than good.
“It hasn’t impacted my life as much as I thought it would,” says Sarah Morley who lives in Brookdale. “Although it has affected my mom a good bit, she works to 5 am, but since the road is closed until 6 am she has to wait at work for an hour when she could be heading home.” Many people who work late either have to wait for the roads to open up or take a different, longer route. As Sarah continued to talk about the conflicting times of her mother’s work hours and the time of the road being closed, the more it sounded as though it was not too big of a deal. She said her mom may be getting home a little bit later, but she was just glad that the road was getting fixed.
Amber Slaughter is part of drama which has gone on until 9 at night this past week to work on the production of Museum. “Honestly I was not too worried because I live in Ben Lomond, so I was able to get home, I was more worried about the people who lived in Boulder Creek. I think everyone wishes they would not close it, but it is good that they are fixing it. It’s just a bummer they have to close the road.” It is a good thing to see people looking at the positive side. The road needs to be fixed and people are putting so much time and effort into fixing it for us. Also many of those people who live in Boulder Creek were worried that because of how detrimental the damage was that it would permanently be a one-way road, so the relief outweighs the negative effect.
Natalie Harris also takes part in drama except she lives in Boulder Creek. When asked if it has affected her with the drama going on so late she said, “My family and I couldn’t get dinner because the road would have been closed, basically locking us out of our house. It takes a lot of time and effort to think ahead and plan around. Also because of the road closure, I can’t go to Denny’s after drama with my friends, which is something I really enjoy.”
As I interviewed these students at SLVHS I found out that this road closure has not really been a disruption in people’s lives. In trying to find people to interview about the road, I found out that many people were not affected by it except for maybe once about something small. This is great news to hear coming from the occupants of SLVHS, it means that Caltrans effectively planned when to start this construction project as to not disrupt our daily lives. It may be a bit of a drag going out of our way, but for the most part, it has been put into play effectively. Thankfully there are workers willing to work such grueling hours to help make our own lives easier.
by Sarah Jane Murphey
Larson, Amy. “Homes Destroyed by Bear Fire in Boulder Creek, Firefighters Injured.” KSBW, KSBW, 18 Oct. 2017, www.ksbw.com/article/vegetation-fire-in-boulder-creek-prompts-evacuations-near-bear-creek-road/13032765.
“Soldier Pile Retaining Wall Components and Design of Soldier Pile Wall.” The Constructor, 12 Dec. 2016, theconstructor.org/structural-engg/soldier-pile-retaining-wall-components-design/15099/.
“Home.” CRUZ511, 19 Oct. 2017, cruz511.org/2017/10/overnight-closures-on-hwy-9-for-slipout-repair-in-brookdale/.
“Coast Line: Highway 9 to Be Closed Overnight Oct. 15 to Nov. 3.” Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 28 Sept. 2017, www.santacruzsentinel.com/article/NE/20170928/NEWS/170929621.