Thursday, October 25, 2012

2 & 5 Freeways: CalTrans Lighting Up Neighboring Homes *UPDATED

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 24, 2012, 8:32 PM.  Nope, that's no movie set. CalTrans has been sandblasting the 2 Freeway at the Rosebud Ave overpass, including last night during Red Flag Warning high winds. (A clear violation of AQMD Rule 403.) (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Unfortunately, I could not capture photos of the billowing clouds of dust (as they were sandblasting without water).  They seemed to come back after the sandblasting, spreading water from buckets with brooms over the area they sandblasted.  This does nothing to  control the dust during the sandblasting, especially in high winds.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 24, 2012, 11:04 PM.  They moved over to the transition road from the northbound 2 Freeway to southbound 5 Freeway, lighting up homes on Corralitas Drive.  Much like other work on the 2 Freeway, CalTrans seems to do the exact same work on the exact same stretch of roadway every night for months at a time. 
Some Corralitas Drive neighbors have suffered from this night light for months now.
A check of the CalTrans website, only reveals they are doing "bridge work," but not for how long nor what exactly they're supposed to be doing.  Back around 2004, CalTrans dug up and repaved the exact same places on the 2 Freeway below Corralitas Drive every night for 4 months.  The work lasted from 8 PM to 5 AM and never improved the pavement despite the nightly repaving.  That work was far louder and kept more neighbors awake. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 24, 11:05 PM.  How bright was it?  Compare it to the typical bright white lights from Taylor Yard in the far background.  Taylor Yard is pretty bright too. The gold lights in the middle right of the photo are from Elysian Valley Rec Center, on the other side of the 5 Freeway.
If you have complaints about CalTrans work on the nearby freeways - you can complain on their website:
If you see billowing dust from the work, call the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) 24-hour hotline: 1-800-CUT-SMOG or complain on their website.  The AQMD won't do anything about it, but you may as well put it on their radar. 
The AQMD does little to protect the health of the people who live closest to sources of air pollution.  They prefer to make you think they're doing something on a region-wide scale. 
*UPDATE 10-26-12: An AQMD inspector contacted me twice today, indicating we should call 1-800-CUT-SMOG, their 24/7 hotline to report billowing clouds of dust in conjunction with work on the adjacent freeways, particularly in high winds. He also said we should contact Patrick Chandler in the CalTrans Public Affairs office 213-897-3630 to report problems with the freeway construction.