Granite wins $30M interchange project north of LA

Award: Avenue J Interchange/California State Route 14
Value: $30 million
Location: Lancaster, California
Clients: City of Lancaster, California DOT (Caltrans), Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro)

Watsonville, California-based Granite Construction won a $30 million interchange project in the city of Lancaster, California, according to a press release.

The project will make improvements at California State Route 14 and Avenue J in Lancaster, about an hour north of Los Angeles, where the highway passes over surfaces streets but currently only has two ramps to enter or exit the thoroughfare.

Commuters must use surface streets to get to another partial interchange farther south to access the highway in the other directions, resulting in congestion in the area.  

The work will create a full interchange by constructing new on- and off-ramps on the south side of Avenue J while widening the existing north side on- and off-ramps. Four new retaining walls along with landscape beautification are also included in the project scope.  

Caltrans, the City of Lancaster and the LA Metro are providing funding for improvements to the route, which provides access for workers commuting to downtown Los Angeles.

To complete the project, Granite will supply approximately 17,000 tons of asphalt materials from its Big Rock Facility in nearby Llano, California.

The project exemplifies Granite’s newer, go-small approach as a major contractor. Namely, after an accounting scandal rocked its heavy civil division, which focused on megaprojects larger than $500 million, the company has pivoted to win more modest jobs that can be completed in a shorter timeline, and thus limit the risk of scope creep and material cost escalation.

The fact that Granite is also supplying aggregate materials to the job from one of its own plants also fits into its “home market” approach, where the company tries to pool jobs in geographic locations where it already has existing infrastructure.

Granite expects to start work on the project this spring and complete it within a year.

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