Jesus Maria Road is a 13-mile stretch of roadway starting from Highway 26 and ending at Rail Road Flat in Calaveras County, California.
The Jesus Maria Road Rehabilitation project took place on an 8-mile stretch of this roadway, starting at Highway 26 near Mokelumne Hill and ending at Potteroff Road in Calaveras County. This 8-mile stretch of roadway is between 13 and 18 ft wide with no shoulders or pavement markings.
“It is a beautiful scenic drive, addresses roughly 100 residents, and serves as a commute or alternate commute for many other county residents,” said Chantelle Garvin, Public Works Analyst for Calaveras County.
In September 2015, a downed power line sparked the Butte Fire, burning nearly 71,000 acres—including the destruction of 877 structures resulting in the death of two individuals. The fire damaged over 85 miles of Calaveras County maintained roads, including Jesus Maria Road, a critical route used to fight the 2015 fire. The Butte Fire’s extreme heat caused asphalt cracking and melting on the affected roadways. The asphalt was further damaged by oversized vehicles responding during fire and cleanup efforts. Water and debris had infiltrated the cracked pavement and eroded the subgrade, destabilizing the pavement.
“The residents and land from Mokelumne Hill to Sheep Ranch were devastated, and Jesus Maria Road was ravished by high temperatures and heavy emergency equipment,” Garvin said. “Four years after the fire, as new growth was bringing the region back to life, and funds became available, the county, under charge of our director, Josh Pack, went into high gear to repair damages throughout the Butte Fire burn area, including the beloved Jesus Maria Road.”
In an effort to reconstruct this 8-mile stretch of roadway, a $1.66 million contract was awarded to VSS International to reconstruct Jesus Maria Road using full-depth reclamation with cement (FDR-C) and a cape seal (chip seal followed by a slurry seal). The contract had a total of 25 working days to complete the work.