FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 11, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Joel Zlotnik (714) 560-5713 ; Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697
Sand Canyon Avenue Underpass Opens to Traffic
O.C. Bridges project wraps up, enhancing safety and eliminating wait times at rail crossing
ORANGE – Drivers traveling along Sand Canyon Avenue in Irvine will travel more safely and efficiently as they can now use a new underpass to drive below a busy rail line.
Irvine officials and leaders from the Orange County Transportation Authority gathered Monday to mark the opening of the Sand Canyon undercrossing, a $64 million project that is among eight such grade-separations in OCTA’s O.C. Bridges program.
The Sand Canyon project is unique among the projects because it is the only one of the eight projects being built in South Orange County. The street now travels underneath the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor. The other bridges and underpasses are being completed in Anaheim, Placentia and Fullerton.
The goal of each of the projects is to enhance safety and improve commute times by eliminating the need for drivers to wait at rail crossings.
“Instead of drivers getting off the I-5 freeway and waiting for up to 10 minutes staring at the side of a train to cross the tracks, now the wait time is zero,” said OCTA Vice Chairman Jeff Lalloway, also Irvine’s mayor pro tem. “That truly improves the quality of life for our residents.”
Construction began in mid-2011 and a temporary road and rail line were built to keep trains and cars moving during construction of the undercrossing. The project included widening Sand Canyon Avenue, between the I-5 freeway and Oak Canyon/Laguna Canyon Road, from four to six lanes. It also added bicycle lanes, consistent with Irvine’s record of expanding its bike-lane network.
The entire project was funded from a mix of sources including Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, and local, state and federal funds.
For more information, visit www.octa.net/ocbridges.
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