Board Actions

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Meeting of November 10, 2014

Construction Project Updates

OCTA has 40 projects in various stages of development from planning to construction and the board received an update as a number of the projects recently hit major milestones.

Ortega Highway

The San Diego Freeway (I-5)/Ortega Highway interchange project is now in its final year of construction. Caltrans is preparing to shift traffic onto the newly constructed portion of the bridge by Thanksgiving, and the northbound I-5 off-ramp at Ortega Highway was recently completed.

Last week, construction crews fully closed Ortega Highway between the southbound freeway ramps and El Camino Real, and lanes are expected to reopen on Nov. 25 and Dec. 5. The outreach team is keeping the community updated with citywide mailings, banners, public meetings and media relations. The project is scheduled to be complete by next September.

West County Connectors

The West County Connectors project, which began in 2010 on one of the busiest stretches of road in the nation, is wrapping up. The project achieved several major milestones recently.

The first link in a series of connectors opened on Nov. 7, allowing drivers to directly transition from the carpool lane on the southbound San Diego Freeway (I-405) to the carpool lane on the eastbound Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22). The southbound I-405 Seal Beach Blvd on-ramp was also completed on Nov. 7, and the eastbound SR-22 to the northbound San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) connector opened Saturday, Nov. 8.

Over the next few weeks, crews will finish restriping the freeway in order to accommodate the remaining new carpool connectors. Once the freeway is restriped, there will be two carpool lanes in both directions on the I-405, between the SR-22 and I-605. The remaining carpool connectors are tentatively scheduled to open in early December. In addition, the College Park West sound wall is scheduled for completion in January 2015.

The West County Connectors project will alleviate the merging and weaving that was previously necessary for carpoolers to get from one freeway to the other.

State Route 57

The south segment of the Orange Freeway (SR-57) widening project between Katella Avenue and Lincoln Avenue is 95 percent complete.

The central and northern segments from Orangethorpe Avenue to Lambert Road were completed this past summer, the last concrete paving was finished in October and the final asphalt paving is scheduled for mid-November. The final striping and opening of the general-purpose lane is planned for mid-December.

Toll-to-Toll Connector Study Under Way

Efforts to plan a toll-to-toll connector between State Route 241 and the 91 Express Lanes are under way.

A traffic analysis is being conducted as part of the environmental review process to evaluate the new connector and its relationship to the Riverside Freeway (SR-91) traffic, the 91 Express Lanes and the future Riverside County Transportation Commission’s Express Lanes.

The Transportation Corridor Agencies are coordinating with OCTA, RCTC, Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration to identify concerns, questions and issues.

The next major step for the project will be the completion of a traffic and revenue study, which is expected to be completed by fall 2015.

Capital Action Plan Milestones Achieved during First Quarter

According to the Capital Action Plan performance report, two of the eight planned milestones were completed in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2014-2015 and four more were recently completed.

During the first quarter of the fiscal year, the San Diego Freeway (I-5) widening project between Avenida Pico and Avenida Vista Hermosa was advertised for construction and Caltrans opened bids in October.

The Fullerton Transportation Center elevator upgrade project was also advertised for construction and the bid opening was earlier this month.

Four additional milestones that were not achieved in the first quarter are now complete. The 17th Street railroad grade separation project began the environmental phase just 10 days after the first quarter closed, and the I-5 widening project from Oso Parkway to Alicia Parkway entered the design phase in late October.

Caltrans accepted the final construction contract for the Orange Freeway (SR-57) northbound widening project from Orangethorpe Avenue to Yorba Linda Boulevard, and the construction contract milestone for the Fullerton Transportation Center elevator upgrade is scheduled to be completed on Nov. 18.

The final two milestones scheduled are on track to be completed during the second quarter.

The OCTA Capital Programs Division is responsible for project development and delivery of highway, grade separation, rail and facility projects from the beginning of the environmental phase through construction completion. There are 40 planned major project milestones scheduled for fiscal year 2014-2015.