Though seemingly innocuous, an ongoing construction project along Highway 101 between two major Ukiah arteries has many readers asking, “what exactly is going on?” Well, you asked, and we got some answers.
Starting this summer, Caltrans has been installing a black, mesh fence along both the north and southbound lanes of Highway 101 between Ukiah’s Perkins Street and North State Street exits. The project has caused periodic lane closures, and minor traffic delays becoming an expected nuisance for thousands of commuters.
Caltrans District 1 Public Information Officer Manny Machado told us this new fencing is replacing “existing right-of-way” fencing that has reached the end of its service life.” Before the project began, the original fencing installed in the 1960s “had several separations due to vandalism,” Machado explained.
In January 2022, Machado said, “an emergency project was issued to help improve the safety of pedestrians walking adjacent to the fencing from the northern intersections of Perkins Street to the Orrs Creek Bridge and north of Orrs Creek.”
On top of the installation of the new fencing, Macado told us the project, “will include slope paving under the Orrs Creek Bridge and the Talmage Street Overcrossing.”
Machado provided us with a document entitled “No Cut, No Climb, See Through Roadway Fence” that included detailed blueprints and an overview of the project.
The document reveals the fence is a product of Cochrane Global called the “Clear Vu Invisible Wall”. A brochure on the company’s website highlights the fence’s unique features including the wire mesh being too narrow for potential vandals to fit wire cutters. This also makes the mesh too thin to accommodate the fingers of potential climbers. Another layer of security on the fencing is the formidable castle spikes along the top of the fencing.
By the completion of the projection, 2,500 feet of the “invisible wall” will run alongside the northbound lane and 1800′ along the southbound.No-Cut-No-climb-See-Through-RW-Fence