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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 17, 2016
OCTA Marks Finish of Two More O.C. Bridges Projects
Rail overcrossing at Tustin Avenue/Rose Drive open, Orangethorpe bridge to open within month
ORANGE – Transportation and city officials are marking the completion of two more important projects in the O.C. Bridges program, which is separating car and pedestrian traffic from the busy freight rail line that now travels underneath the new bridges.
A completion ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon atop the new Orangethorpe Avenue overpass near Miller Street at the border of Placentia and Anaheim. Speakers included OCTA Chair Lori Donchak, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, Placentia Mayor Jeremy Yamaguchi and OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson.
Both the Tustin/Rose and Orangethorpe projects are part of the overall the $630 million O.C. Bridges program, which is separating seven crossings from railroad tracks in Placentia, Anaheim and Fullerton.
Each overpass and underpass being constructed improves travel times, cuts air pollution by eliminating the need for cars to idle at railroad gates, and enhances safety in the community.
At least 70 trains travel the busy BNSF rail line each day, with the number of trains projected to increase to 130 trains each day by 2030. Without the bridges and underpasses, a train – some up to a mile long – would block one of the intersections every 10 minutes.
“There is good reason to celebrate each of these new bridges along the rail line, which help improve the quality of life for the people who travel through the area with enhanced safety and quicker commutes,” said OCTA Chair Lori Donchak. “We appreciate people’s patience through the construction and we’re excited to have them experience the results.”
The total cost for the Orangethorpe project is estimated at $110.5 million, while the Tustin/Rose project is estimated at $94.3 million. Both projects, as with each of the seven O.C. Bridges projects, is significantly funded by Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.
Measure M funding accounts for $38.1 million toward building the current two projects and helped leverage state and federal transportation funding.
Construction has taken place over the last three years on the two overpasses at Orangethorpe and Tustin/Rose. Several lanes of the Tustin/Rose overpass opened to traffic in December and finishing touches such as landscaping and final striping were put on the project earlier this year.
The Orangethorpe overpass is nearing completion. OCTA and the cities of Anaheim and Placentia are working together to open the lanes to traffic within the next 30 days.
Underpasses have already opened at Placentia Avenue and at Kraemer Boulevard. Construction on the final three projects in the O.C. Bridges program – at State College Boulevard, Raymond Avenue and Lakeview Avenue – are well underway and expected to be open by 2018.
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