Maintaining San Diego County roadways and bridges,and especially keeping storm channels, culverts and the rest of the stormwater infrastructure clear, is a task that goes on year round. However, with the approach of the winter rains, everything shifts into high gear. In recent months, DPW crews have been cleaning culverts and channels with equipment ranging from backhoes to shovels, and from Vactor trucks to grappling hooks.
In Escondido, crews use everything from the heavy equipment to hand shovels to clear a channel, and then load the mud, sand and debris that accumulated in less than a year into a trailer.
In the DeLuz area where there are numerous low-water crossings and culverts, DPW crews use shovels, a backhoe and the large Vactor truck. A hose with a high-pressure nozzle is inserted in the under-the-roadway culvert, the jet blast of water blows out any remaining sand and debris.
In the Fallbrook area, DPW crews install a berm to prevent water runoff from eroding the road. The roadway is thoroughly cleaned, then a layer of asphalt is laid down. A DPW equipment operator deftly uses a scraper to contour the asphalt into a perfectly shaped berm, and then packs it into place with the huge tires.
Wildcat Canyon Road is often used when Highway 67 is shut down. Here, DPW crews remove a failing culvert system and replace the two smaller pipes with three larger ones to handle excessive stormwater.
When the winter rain and snow arrives, just as in years past, snowplows will leave the yard and plow mountain highways. Other crews will be dispatched all hours of the night to clear fallen trees from the streets and boulders from the canyon roads and mud and sand that washes into the storm channels and drains. It's all to keep the County roadways safe and passable - no matter what the weather brings.
Watch the video of DPW crews preparing for winter