A total of five freeway projects were completed or under construction.
Two SR-91 projects were completed in 2016. The Tustin Avenue Interchange to SR-55 Project extended a westbound lane from the northbound SR-55/westbound SR-91 connector through the Tustin Avenue interchange. A merging lane and the Tustin Avenue on-ramp also were reconstructed.
An additional four-mile lane was added on the SR-91 between I-5 to SR-57, which is a stretch of roadway heavily used by both commuters and commercial motorists. Westbound on- and off-ramps at key intersections were also realigned, bridges were widened and walls were improved.
I-5 South County Improvements
This project will add six miles of carpool lanes in each direction between San Juan Creek Road and Avenida Pico to help relieve construction in the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano. The southernmost segment in each direction between Avenida Pico and Avenida Vista Hermosa, includes reconstruction of the Pico interchange to improve traffic flow.
OCTA approved $12.5 million for seven signal synchronization projects to keep drivers moving efficiently on the streets. It helps reduce traffic times, stops and delays.
There are 29 projects planned or in progress through the Regional Traffic Signal Synchronization Program. To date, the program has resulted in:
- 59 signal projects completed
- $37 million in improvements along 540 miles and 2,068 signals
- Travel time savings by an average of 13%
- Speed improvements by an average of 15%
- Reduction in stops by an average of 31%
Orange County has 11 Metrolink stations and is served by three lines – Orange County Line (OC Line), Inland Empire Orange County Line (IEOC Line) and 91 Line. Each day, commuters and other travelers use convenient Metrolink trains to get to work or other destinations within Orange County or adjoining counties including Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego. Weekend ridership was recently added to the 91 Line, providing relief to the busy SR-91 freeway.
Connecting The Dots
Located in Santa Ana, the fourth most densely populated city in the United States, the OC Streetcar will start at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and serve Santa Ana’s historic downtown and Civic Center. On the way to Garden Grove’s busy International West tourist corridor, it will connect directly with 18 OCTA bus routes, including the seven busiest routes in the county. In addition, the OC Streetcar is expected to support economic development and create jobs. More than half of the funding for the OC Streetcar is expected to come from the federal government. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2018, with service beginning in late 2020. By 2035, the OC Streetcar is estimated to carry more than 6,000 riders each day.
The Measure M Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program is a comprehensive plan that preserves and restores natural habitats and allows for expedited delivery of freeway projects. A total of 1,300 acres have been permanently protected and the Preserves are located in Brea, Laguna Beach, Silverado Canyon and Trabuco Canyon. In 2016, the OCTA Board of Directors approved a conservation plan developed to protect the natural habitat and wildlife on OCTA’s Preserves. In addition, OCTA obtained an interim endowment fund manager to manage the endowment that will fund long-term management and monitoring of the Preserves.
The Environmental Cleanup Program uses Measure M funds to clean transportation-related pollutants from the county’s waterways. A total of $2.86 million was allocated to 16 local agencies to improve water quality. Some funded projects included installation of storm drain screens in Brea, a transportation runoff abatement project in Mission Viejo, and installation of seven marina trash skimmers in Huntington Harbour. OCTA is expected to award approximately $300 million for water-quality projects over the 30-year life of Measure M.
Improving local streets and roads is an important component of the Measure M Program. OCTA approved $38 million for 19 projects for the Regional Capacity Program, which funds intersection improvements and other street improvement projects to help reduce congestion. In addition, $51.6 million in Measure M Local Fair Share funds were distributed on a formula basis to cities and the County to preserve existing streets and roads and to provide other transportation improvements based on local agencies priorities and infrastructure needs.
Additionally, substantial progress was made on the OC Bridges Program. The program improves public safety and goods movement by constructing overpasses and underpasses at seven rail crossings in Anaheim, Fullerton and Placentia. These bridges eliminate the need to stop, wait and waste time at railroad crossings as freight trains pass.
More trains are coming. By 2030, the number of daily freight trains is expected to nearly double from 70 to 130. The OC Bridges Program helps preserve quality of life while allowing trains to transport goods.
- Lakeview Avenue
- Raymond Avenue
- State College Boulevard
- Orangethorpe Avenue (completed in 2016)
- Tustin Avenue/Rose Drive (completed in 2016)
- Placentia Avenue (completed in 2014)
- Kraemer Boulevard (completed in 2014)
A Helping Hand
Three programs work together to provide efficient, cost-effective transportation for seniors and persons with disabilities. The Senior Mobility Program fills the gap between local fixed-route buses and ACCESS service by providing transportation services to seniors in 31 cities in Orange County. OCTA and the participating cities contribute to the program. Another program supplements existing countywide senior non-emergency medical transportation services. The third program reduces fares for bus services and ACCESS paratransit services for seniors and persons with disabilities.