Road Maintenance Workers Provide Key Infrastructure Support
It’s a dry, dusty, and hot desert afternoon in the rural north of Los Angeles where a Road Maintenance Supervisor and Superintendent are busy working with their crews. While the road they are fixing might seem unimportant to the untrained observer, it serves an important purpose as it allows LADWP workers to access the Castaic Power Plant. Several years ago, the storm drain that runs under the road became plugged, causing water to exit into the surrounding soil. Left unchecked, this would have led to erosion, eventually undercutting the existing road and cutting off access to a critical power facility. To repair the road is no small feat: the Road Maintenance unit must first remove one side of the road, lay new 60” pipe underneath it, cover it with a new road surface, then repeat the process for the other side. With the new pipe and roadway in place, water rushing down during storms from higher ground will now be able to drain properly. When asked about having to work in a remote area under the hot sun, Road Maintenance Supervisor Steve Smotherman responds, “While it’s hard work, knowing that the people driving over the road will be safe and being able to maintain access to a facility that provides power to so many people makes it all worth it.” To the CAPE member Road Maintenance professionals, it’s just another day’s work. To the tax paying citizen, it’s good public service.
Road Maintenance Supervisor Steve Smotherman and his co-worker perform work to replace storm drain and road.