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Meeting of April 14, 2014
Water Quality Projects Get Boost From Measure M Environmental Program
The board approved spending more than $15 million for 14 projects that will improve water quality throughout the county as part of the Measure M2 Environmental Cleanup Program. OCTA’s Environmental Cleanup Program provides funds from Measure M2 to improve water quality in Orange County from pollution caused by transportation.
OCTA received 17 applications from 11 agencies totaling $16.3 million.
Some of the 14 Tier 2 projects approved for funding include:
- Arlington Drive Bioswale and Dry Weather Diversion Project in Costa Mesa
- Big Canyon Restoration Wetlands Project in Laguna Hills
- Brookhurst Street North Project in Anaheim
- Fletcher Basin Improvement Project for the Orange County Water District
- J03P01 Channel Entry Improvements at Crown Valley Park in Laguna Niguel
Over the next 30 years, approximately $300 million will be provided to improve water quality and reduce pollutants that lead to waterways.
Millions Headed To Orange County for Streets and Signals through Measure M
The board approved more than $44 million in funding for streets and signal synchronization projects through the Measure M2 Comprehensive Transportation Funding Program. Funding was awarded for 27 projects that will widen existing streets to alleviate congestion and synchronize traffic signals to ensure drivers hit the most green lights during peak traffic periods.
On Feb. 26, OCTA’s Technical Advisory Committee recommended approving $35.78 million for 17 street projects and $8.4 million for 10 signal synchronizations projects.
Some streets and roads projects include:
- Newport Boulevard Widening (Via Lido to 30th Street) in Newport Beach
- Ortega Highway Improvement Project in San Juan Capistrano
- Brookhurst Street from I-5 to SR-91 in Anaheim
Some traffic signal synchronization projects include:
- Birch Street/Rose Drive in Brea
- Bristol Street in Costa Mesa
- El Toro Road in Laguna Woods
CEO’s Initiatives and Action Plan On-Track Through First Quarter
CEO Darrell Johnson updated the board with a first quarter CEO Initiatives and Action Plan report that highlighted notable accomplishments from Jan.1 to March 31.
A total of 88 milestones are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The Action Plan supports the initiatives and strategic plan goal areas of mobility, public service, fiscal sustainability, stewardship and organizational excellence.
Some milestones that were completed in the first quarter include:
- Construction began for the I-5 South County Improvement Projects in the area between Camino de Estrella and San Juan Creek Road
- A 100-Day Action Plan was completed for the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor
- The Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Study was approved by the board and released
- The BikeShare Pilot Program was successfully launched
Board Receives Update on I-405 Improvement Project
The board received an update on the progress of the I-405 Improvement Project which will add capacity to the freeway between Costa Mesa and I-605.
The update highlighted that community outreach for the project is ongoing and outreach methods have included joint press releases between OCTA and Caltrans, city council presentations, civic and community presentations and digital communications through the use of social media.
The next steps in the project include:
- The preferred alternative selection could be made by the project development team and Caltrans at the end of the month
- The final environmental document is scheduled to be signed in November
- The notice of decision/record of decision publication will be released February 2015
Alternative 1, adding one general-purpose lane in each direction, was selected by the OCTA board as the locally preferred alternative. The $1.3 billion project will be funded through Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016.
Board Approves Final Changes to 2014 STIP
Several funding changes were approved as part of OCTA’s program of projects funded through the State Transportation Improvement Program. OCTA was awarded $243 million in state funds by the California Transportation Commission in March to support Orange County freeway, local interchange and rail projects.
The modifications made by the CTC to OCTA’s STIP proposal include:
- $13.7 million will be taken from the Orange Transportation Center Parking Structure to go towards transit operation costs, including paratransit operations and capital cost of contracting and preventive maintenance
- The Laguna Niguel/San Juan Capistrano Passing Siding Project was approved for advancement as OCTA’s highest-priority Interregional Transportation Improvement Project
- $9.9 million was moved from the Laguna Niguel/ San Juan Capistrano Passing Siding Project to the Commuter Rail Rehabilitation Budget
The STIP is a multi-year capital improvement program of transportation projects, funded with revenues from the Transportation Investment Fund and other funding sources.