Caltrans 710 Project Update

Summary of Actions Taken on Pasadena Caltrans 710 Project

By Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Office
and City of Pasadena (Jon Pollard/ Field Rep. Suzuki)
May 2017 – Oct 2017

  • 10/31/17 we requested an update from the AQMD on their inspection and monitoring of the 710 Project.
  • 10/31/17 we contacted Caltrans to request confirmation of noise mitigation measures that were cited in a memo dated August 3, 2017.  Caltrans confirmed that the following measures have been implemented at the worksite.
    • Concrete crushing operation is scheduled only during the day shift.
    • A sound barrier was installed at the batch plant.
    • Idle equipment has been turned off by the contractor.
    • Equipment has been moved away from the residential area.
  • In an October 31, 2017 e-mail from Caltrans, they reported to us and the City of Pasadena that a sound barrier at the batch plant had been installed.
  • 10/18/17 Spoke with Jon Pollard, Code Compliance Manager, City of Pasadena.  Additional noise readings requested from Caltrans by the City of Pasadena took place between 2-3 a.m. on 9/21/17 and 10/14/17.  The difference in the noise readings between when the concrete batch plant was operating and when it was not, was less than 5 decibels. For a noise violation to occur, it would have to be 5 decibels or greater.

    In addition, Jon mentioned that the project will end within the next 4-5 months.  With respect to the dust issue related to the project, Flatiron, the contractor has placed sprinklers at the top of the rubble pile.
  • 8/3/17 Caltrans reported its night time construction activities noise report as requested by the City of Pasadena. Caltrans determined that the batch plant activities noise levels on the 710 construction yard did not exceed construction noise activities as required by Caltrans Standard Specifications and the special provisions for this project.  These requirements state that noise levels generated during construction activities shall comply with all local, state and federal regulations and that all equipment shall be fitted with adequate mufflers according to the manufacturers’ specifications.

    The Standard Specifications and standard special provisions provide limits on construction levels, which should normally not exceed sustained 86 decibels at a distance of 50 feet. The noise measurements did not exceed that level.

    Caltrans also required the contractor shall implement appropriate additional noise mitigation measures, including, but not limited to, changing the location of stationary construction equipment, turning off idling equipment, rescheduling construction activities, notifying adjacent residents in advance of construction work, or installing acoustic barriers around stationary construction noise activities.
  • 6/6/17 Our office participated in a 1 hour conference call with the AQMD the City of Pasadena and a staff member from a Pasadena City Council member regarding dust issue at the Flatiron worksite. We discussed the AQMD’s involvement with this project, including requiring the contractor to obtain proper AQMD permits to operate and ensuring compliance with dust emissions and ongoing dust surveillance.

    As a result of this phone call, it was determined that another inspection was warranted. On June 9, 2017, AQMD conducted an inspection and found a violation due to the rubble pile being within 100 yards of occupied buildings and of a height which did not have full sprinkler coverage or a bladed road on top for water truck access as required by the AQMD.  The AQMD said that another inspection would be conducted at this site to ensure full compliance with AQMD rules and regulations.
  • 6/8/17 Due to the City of Pasadena contacting Caltrans about noise issues at the worksite, they agreed to monitor noise levels at the locations requested by the City of Pasadena, not start any concrete crushing operations before 7 a.m., and move washing out of the dump trucks to the north side of batch plant.
  • 6/7/17 Our office communicated with the constituent the importance of bringing any dust related issues to the attention of AQMD and provided her with their phone number and website where members of the public can make a complaint. In addition, we provided information from Caltrans as to the additional steps they were taking mitigate dust related issues.
  • 6/6/17 Our office communicated with the constituent who brought the problems to our attention the specific measures Caltrans is taking to address the dust problems at the worksite.
  • 6/6/17 Our office received a response from Caltrans regarding dust and noise issues generated by the construction project.  Caltrans agreed to take the following actions to correct the problems:
    • Creating and maintaining additional access roads in the rubble pile for water trucks to reach higher into the pile.
    • Increasing the frequency of water sprinkler usage at the top of the stock piles.
    • Increasing the use of sprinklers that are installed in the material feeder and conveyor belts for the batch plant and rock crusher.
  • 5/24/17 Our office communicated with Caltrans our concerns about dust problems at the work site.  We expressed concern about reported compliance with AQMD standards in light of the dust problems reported by residents.
  • 5/18/17 We e-mailed the constituent an update indicating that Caltrans would be conducting noise reading and that the contractor had been directed to take the appropriate steps to minimize the dust problems caused by the rock and cement crushing.  We assured her that we will continue to monitor the situation and encouraged her to notify us of any improvements with regard to dust and noise problems.
  • 5/18/17 We e-mailed the constituent informing her that we contacted Caltrans about her complaint and they would be investigating the situation.  We suggested to Caltrans that no work be done after normal business hours and that frequent watering of the concrete piles be done to minimize the dust problem.
  • 5/17/17 We informed Caltrans of the constituent complaint about noise and dust caused by a rock crusher and heavy equipment at the 710 worksite. Caltrans was specifically informed about noise not only during the day, but more importantly at night when people are trying to sleep.  We also told Caltrans that the dust problem for nearby residents is significant and that they are unable to open their windows.
  • 5/12/17 We received contact information from the constituent.
  • 5/10/17 We requested additional information from the constituent to process the complaint because the information provided was from a screen shot and did not have contact information
  • 5/10/17 We received the complaint about noise and dust from the constituent.