Wireless Backhaul Solution
The challenge posed by the I405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project was to provide internet access to six field offices within a budget and schedule constraints. At the time, this project was one of the largest design-build projects in the country and featured an Integrated Project Office (IPO) along with six field offices, located approximately 14 miles north of the main office. These northern offices faced logistical difficulties in obtaining internet access, primarily due to inadequate infrastructure and their geographical location within a canyon.
To address this challenge while minimizing costs, a wireless backhaul network was designed, configured, and managed. This solution utilized line-of-sight microwave radio antennas from Ceragon Networks. The MPLS circuit of the IPO was extended to the rooftop via a fiber optic cable, and a 2-foot wireless microwave radio was installed. Our building's antenna connected to Pepperdine College's antenna, which had three radio antennas on its rooftop: one connected to the IPO, and two pointed toward the field offices.
The first radio antenna on Pepperdine College linked to the Los Angeles Veterans Hospital. Since there was no power available on the roof, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Ethernet was used, running from the Ceragon switches to the roof. This connection linked the hospital to our Segment 1 office, located off I405 and Wilshire Blvd in the Caltrans yard. The second radio on the hospital connected to our Exposition Yard.
The second radio at Pepperdine College connected to the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy. The mountain's radio antennas posed a unique challenge due to the absence of power. This issue was resolved through the use of solar panels and a battery bank. The Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy used three wireless radio antennas to connect to field offices in the canyon. The first wireless antenna connected to the Equipment Yard, located off I405 and Getty Center Dr., responsible for all heavy equipment on the project. The second wireless antenna linked to Segment 2 and Utility Yard, situated off Sepulveda Blvd, approximately a mile north of the equipment yard. The third wireless radio antenna connected to the Segment 3 office, located off Sepulveda Blvd and Mission Dump Rd, responsible for the final segment of work on the project.
All field offices accessed the internet, local LAN, IPO servers, and the voice-over IP system through this wireless backhaul network. The estimated cost savings for the project amounted to $250,000, achieved by eliminating recurring MPLS internet costs and the need for expensive routers and network equipment at each field office. Each site required only a Ceragon wireless microwave radio, layer-3 managed switch(s), and wireless access point(s).
The successful coordination of all involved agencies and technologies played a significant role in the overall success of the I405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project.