December 6, 2000
California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont Avenue, Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105-2219
In a letter to you
dated October 6, 2000, the Director of Caltrans, Jeff Morales, stated,
“Caltrans is committed to exploring all viable options to satisfy
the Coastal Commission’s need for a ‘see-through barrier rail’ for use on
designated scenic routes.” (Emphasis added.)
Caltrans has refused to provide the Commission with what is by far the
best scenic rail – the Wyoming Rail.
“Wyoming Rail” that Caltrans is constructing for the Commission to see has
been so radically modified from the original Wyoming Rail that it bears no
relation to it. To apply the label of “Wyoming Rail” to this “Caltrans
Modified Railing” is serious mislabeling. The Caltrans Modified Rail has
never been crash tested and has no designated federal safety level. On
Caltrans own criteria, it is not a viable option for California.
stated reason for refusing to offer the Commission an unmodified Wyoming
Rail is that “the Wyoming Rail does not meet AASHTO LFRD standards.” This
false assertion has been authoritatively refuted by the Director of the
Wyoming Highway Department (see attached letter). The Commission
should now demand that Caltrans offer the Commission an unmodified Wyoming
Rail as one of its choices.
I’ve enclosed a
simple illustrated exposition that shows how the unmodified Wyoming Rail
can provide the basis for safe, aesthetic, visually transparent rails on
all bridges. The exposition also provides a visual comparison of true
Wyoming Rail and other alternatives.
I urge the
Commission at its December meeting to set in motion the steps needed to
adopt the Wyoming Rail. A year has passed since the Caltrans bridge
workshop for the Commission. No further delays are warranted. The
Commission does not need to have Caltrans build an example of the Wyoming
Rail to determine that it is the best railing.
Commission should move quickly to have the Wyoming Rail adopted as the
primary scenic railing in California.
Letter from Sleeter Dover;
2) “The Best Scenic Railing”
CC: (via e-mail) Steve Scholl, Chris Desser, Shirley Detloff; (via mail)