Route 178 Widening Project Named 2017 Roads & Bridges Top 10 Road Project

Original published by: Roads&Bridges

There is a kind of under lining that does not call out to anyone.

Due to the 50-plus-year age of S.R. 178 in Bakersfield, Calif., as-built records for installation and relocation of gas, electric, telephone, fiber optic, water and sewer lines—tucked under the surface in all directions—were sometimes incomplete or non-existent.

Potholing was conducted in the design phase of the widening project in an attempt to map the mess, but prime contractor Granite Construction Co. had to do a lot of extra potholing to make sure nothing was hit during construction.

“At times we thought we knew the location and depth of the utility based on the designer’s potholes as-builts provided by the utility owner,” Kristina Budak, P.E., civil engineer for the city of Bakersfield, told Roads & Bridges, “but the as-builts were inaccurate because the utilities were installed at inconsistent depths and locations.”

The major utility work happened between View Street and Alfred Harrell/Comanche. Electrical, gas and telecommunication lines were relocated into a joint trench along the north right-of-way on S.R. 178, and the goal was to have all east-west overhead lines along the route underground in the trench. The relocation of an 8-in.-high pressure gas line caused the biggest impact. Initial potholing information and as-built records showed it would be able to be protected in place below the roadway, but during pavement grinding operations it was found to only have a few inches of cover. The relocation had to be designed and crews had to bore 1,000 ft of new gas line and reconnect.

During grinding, contractors Granite and Mendoza found pockets of unsuitable soil and would have to dig them out, place subgrade geotextile and place an aggregate base before paving. However, the situation became worse when a paver started to sink in the subgrade. It was decided instead of a 0.7-ft grind and a new 0.7-ft hot-mix asphalt overlay, crews would do a full-depth reclamation.

The project also had critical environmental considerations. Bakersfield has an active population of the San Joaquin kit fox, which is an endangered species, and mitigation and monitoring was required prior to and during construction. Dens in the project area had to be watched and collapsed upon assurance that kit foxes were not present. Every morning, biologists drove the project limits looking for foxes and other critters prior to daily construction activities.

The project widened 3 miles of S.R. 178 from two lanes to six lanes just east of Morning Drive to Masterson Street, and from two to four lanes from Masterson to Miramonte Drive. Between Canteria Road/Bedford Green Drive and Masterson Street, the project consisted of shifting the proposed alignment of S.R. 178 3 ft south of the existing alignment. This shift allowed the widening of the highway to six lanes while minimizing impacts on an existing 30-in. gas transmission utility easement along the north side of the highway.

Project: S.R. 178 Widening
Location: Bakersfield, Calif.
Owner: City of Bakersfield
Length: 3 miles
Completion Date: May 1, 2017

Cannon performed right-of-way surveying and mapping, parcel acquisition plats, and pre-construction Record of survey.


Hops for Water Oktoberfest

Cannon’s Well Worth It campaign is hosting its 3rd annual Oktoberfest on October 18, 2017, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at Beda’s Biergarten. Come celebrate Oktoberfest–without traveling cross-country! Tickets are only $20 and include two beers and a commemorative stein, but you don’t need a ticket to join in on the festivities. There will be a silent auction with a number of fun items (bring your checkbook!), and rumor has itthat Mike Cannon will be one of the beer-tenders for the evening!

Join us for good food, beer, and company at the silent auction to support Cannon’s Well Worth It Campaign, raising awareness and funds for clean, safe water projects around the world. Since 2010, the campaign has raised more than $100k! For more information, please e-mail Liz Moody at

Cannon Funds Cal Poly Water Lab

San Luis Obispo, CA – Cal Poly’s Water Resources Laboratory, or also referred to as the Hydraulics Laboratory, is an educational and hands-on resource for the College of Engineering’s undergraduate and graduate students. As a requirement for all Civil and Environmental Engineering majors, this laboratory provides students with the opportunity to “Learn by Doing” where students are able to learn about principles and applications of flow measurement in pipes and open channels, rainfall runoff, and discharge through a weir. Recently, the Hydraulics Lab was awarded a three-year sponsorship totaling $15,000 to fund student research projects and purchase new equipment. This generous donation was provided by local engineering firm, Cannon.

Cannon’s partnership with the College of Engineering’s Hydraulics Laboratory stems from a commitment to excellence in water resource infrastructure development and a long-standing partnership between Cannon and Cal Poly. This funding partnership allows Cannon to stay at the forefront of water resources in the areas of desalination, low impact development, and improved efficiencies for water treatment. Beyond achieving financial benefits from this partnership, students and Cal Poly receive additional benefits.

Students have the opportunity to meet regularly with engineers from Cannon who are in-the-field designing and implementing the very types of projects that are being studied within the laboratory setting. Having this resource provides students with an opportunity to investigate ideas, concepts, or theories with experienced engineers.

5th Annual Cannon Coasters Ride the Redwoods of the Hidden Coast

September 1, 2017 – This year Cannon’s team of cycling enthusiasts, the Cannon Coasters, will traverse the scenic California State Route 254, also known as the Avenue of the Giants, where groves of sequoia tower above the roads of the “hidden coast”. For a total of 182 miles, Coasters will commence the first day of their three-day trip in Myers Flat, riding their first 80-mile segment to Fort Bragg. On the second day, the team will head out from Fort Bragg to Sea Ranch for 70 miles, ending the third day by riding from Sea Ranch to Jenner in a final stretch of 32 miles before driving home to San Luis Obispo.

Along the way, Coasters will be followed by a Support and Gear (SAG) vehicle toting baggage, extra bikes in an enclosed hanger trailer, emergency supplies, and provisions. The Coaster SAG team will provide sUAS (small unmanned aircraft systems/drone) footage and photography as the team journeys south from forest roads back onto the 101 Pacific Coast Highway.

The route won’t be without its challenges–in a segment from the town of Leggett to the 101, extremely narrow shoulders with almost no bike lanes along a dense forest tunnel await the first 40 miles. Along with the cell phone app “Glympse”, a locator to track the SAG vehicle and lagging members, Coasters will have access to emergency lighting and other high-visibility features to keep the group safe along this precarious section.

The Cannon Coasters are a branch group of the Loose Cannons, an in-house group of staff members and their friends and family who participate in often extreme sports and recreational activities together. Along with the annual Cannon Coaster ride, other events the Coasters take on include the California Death Ride, SLO Triathlon, and Mojave Death Race.

If you have questions, are interested in becoming a Cannon Coaster, or want to meet the team somewhere along their trip, please contact John Evans at or (805) 544-7407.

Another Successful BBQ in the Books!

San Luis Obispo, California, July 26, 2017 – For the seventh year in a row, Cannon’s Well Worth It Campaign – a charitable effort to build clean water projects for villages around the world – spent the day grilling tri-tip dinners to raise funds to build new water wells for those in need. This year’s event raised $10,500 towards clean water projects  and even provided 75 local families and veterans in need.

For the past four Drive-Thru BBQs, Cannon’s Well Worth It Campaign has partnered with with CAPSLO and the Vets Center to donate dinners to local families and veterans in need. Since this time, more than 300 dinners have been provided to local families and veterans. That means your donations have benefited both the local community and our global neighbors!

Cannon’s Well Worth It Campaign began in 2010 as a proactive response to learning about the global water crisis. As engineers, planners, and surveyors, we thrive on finding solutions to problems, and Cannon’s Well Worth It Campaign is our platform to raise awareness and funds to provide clean drinkable water to some of the world’s poorest communities. To date, the Campaign has raised more than $100,000 in funds and has built over 20 wells in villages throughout Africa and Asia.

Care to join our future events, volunteer, or wish to make a donation directly to the cause? Let us know and we can sign you up!

Tickets can be purchased any number of ways: online at, calling 805.544.7407, or via email Any questions or comments can be directed to Liz Moody.