By Don Ford

PACIFICA (KPIX 5) — Highway 1 — the iconic roadway that offers beautiful views of the California coast — will now be a little bit easier to drive after a ten-mile stretch of the highway received a recent facelift.

It may look like your normal asphalt repaving job, but it is not. That’s because California Highway 1 is not your normal road. 

Ten miles of the highway stretching from Pacifica to Grey Whale Cove has been repaired with a new surface. Caltrans also finished adding a brand new pedestrian bridge over the highway.

Caltrans and Pacifica were so happy, they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate.

Visitors come from all over the world to see the California coast while driving on the famous highway. Highway 1 Project Resident Engineer Marcus Washington explained the surface is now much smoother than a normal road because they refined the roadway with what he called “micro grinding.”

“For someone to understand, you have to drive it,” said Washington. “And once you drive it, you will definitely understand that there is something different about this pavement.”

After the new asphalt is laid down, a specialized vehicle measures the surface and uses diamond tipped grinding wheels to shave off the slightest imperfection.

Pacifica Mayor Sue Vaterlaus pointed out another useful addition.

“Little red reflectors on the back side, so [drivers will see them] if you happen to be driving on the wrong side,” said Vaterlaus. People have done that several times in Pacifica.”

Retired doctor Patrick Carter recently lost his leg and now uses an electric wheel chair. He said the new pedestrian bridge has changed his life.

“It’s a godsend, because I can get to Eureka Square very easily now,” said Carter.

Caltrans Bay Area Director Tony Tavares said Pacifica had input on the new bridge design.

“We had their involvement on how to design it and how it would look,” said Tavares. “That’s news right there and that’s what we are going to do in the future!”

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