Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Caltrans Working To Smooth Out Part Of State Route 52

Construction equipment sits on the side State Route 52, Sept. 18, 2020.

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: Construction equipment sits on the side State Route 52, Sept. 18, 2020.

Work is underway to fix a problem that's plagued a portion of state Route 52 for decades.

A little more than a mile of the highway between the state Route 163 and Interstate 805 was built over a landfill, so it’s been in a constant state of settling for decades.

Listen to this story by John Carroll.

It feels like a rollercoaster going over that portion of the highway.

Caltrans has smoothed it out over and over, but none of those fixes have solved the problem long-term. Now, they’re trying something different.

It’s called compaction grouting.

The process involves drilling more than 4,000 holes, each six-inches in diameter. Caltrans engineer Shawn Rizzutto said pipes are then put into the holes.

“And then we start pumping grout or cement and sand and we create these grout columns which stiffen the roadbed and it doesn’t allow for as much settlement," he said.

The $16 million project is expected to be complete by Christmas.

Rizzutto said they tried the same method on a smaller section of SR-52 nearly four years ago and it’s held up well. They hope this much larger project will make the SR52 rollercoaster history, for good.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.