2017 DCC Winners

 
     

Santa Cruz Beach Roundabout - Tom Ralston Concrete, Santa Cruz, CA

First Place: Multiple Applications / Under 5000 SF

Santa Cruz Beach Roundabout - Tom Ralston Concrete, Santa Cruz, CA

Tom Ralston Concrete was asked to help design the roundabout in front of the Santa Cruz Wharf near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in 2013. Rather than using arrows that seemed unattractive and industrial they decided to use dolphins to point traffic in the correct direction.

Traffic islands around the roundabout would be set in a nautical genre. We also wanted to break up the islands with a nice aesthetic so rocks were flipped up to resemble dorsal fins and the mounds look like a rock that is covered and bared by the tides.

Ralston Concrete began the roundabout project in January 2014 and rainy days hampered progress. Traffic was also a big issue. This was a 4-way stop that led to the Beach Boardwalk, the Wharf, and to Scenic West Cliff Drive. On some weekends as many as 50,000 visitors drive through and around this area.

Aesthetically the dolphins had beach glass, seashells, aquarium sand and custom hand ground abalone eyes. Each was acid stained in a way that gave them a variegated and organic look. We chose the best sealer we could and said… ok we did the best we could, let’s hope they hold up.

There were logistical considerations for the dolphins. We had to build them strong enough to be driven over by large, heavy trucks. Our proprietary 5000 PSI mix design is holding up perfectly. The dolphins were made in 3-sizes: 8’, 6’, and 4’. The 8’ dolphins weighted almost 1000 lbs. and had to be trucked in from our yard where they were constructed and then craned in starting at dark so traffic would be less of an issue. With break away forms, when we lifted the dolphins only two pieces of plywood remained for the straps that surrounded them for hoisting. All dolphins were placed on strategically placed pillars sloped toward the street. These pillars allowed the concrete to flow around and under each dolphin for additional strength and support. 

The islands were fashioned into mounds of all shapes and sizes with the same proprietary TRC concrete mix design. Each island had multi-colored acid staining and used starfish, oyster shells, various seashells and small pebbles. Acid staining in veins on most of these surfaces that had steep grades made them like vertical concrete. In order to make veins that would not run down in errant patterns everywhere, we had to develop a system of staining. Meandering through the mounds were rocks; four varieties of large flat rock were turned on their sides and wind up and down throughout the mounds.

Every Picture Tells a Story Don’t It:

The pictures should tell the rest of the story and it is the current consensus of the Public Works Department is that that the beauty and functionality of the new roundabout has won over a significant number of naysayers.

2016 DCC Project
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2015 DCC Project
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2014 DCC Project
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2013 DCC Project
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2012 DCC Project
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2011 DCC Project
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