Orange County’s economy and quality of life are second to none. But keeping our economy growing and protecting our quality of life require improvements to our transportation system, including increasing mobility and safety.
OCTA is working to improve traffic flow and safety on our streets by building a series of bridges – both underpasses and overpasses – to separate car traffic from trains. These bridges will eliminate the need for commuters and commercial vehicles to stop, wait and waste time at railroad crossings as seemingly endless freight trains pass by. These delays are not only frustrating, they also aren’t good for the economy, aren’t good for the environment and aren’t good for our quality of life.
Close to 70 Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains use the Orangethorpe Corridor in Anaheim, Fullerton and Placentia every day, causing delays and safety hazards, restricting emergency response and business access, and creating pollution and noise. More trains – and longer trains -- are coming, too: an estimated 130 trains daily by 2030!
Conditions in 2030
Relief is in sight, though. In consultation with Anaheim, Fullerton and Placentia, OCTA is easing this transportation burden with the O.C. Bridges Program, which will build underpasses and overpasses at five local rail crossings. With the dual goals of improving safety and removing delays, the O.C. Bridges Program will enhance the quality of life for this area.
Construction will be underway from 2011 to 2015. Work is scheduled so that adjacent crossings are not closed to drivers at the same time, and OCTA is working to reduce the effects of construction on the community. Construction safety is OCTA’s top priority. Drivers should watch for workers and vehicles, reduce speeds, allow extra travel time and follow signs and detours.
Program Funding – Your Local, State and Federal Tax Dollars at Work
In November 2006, nearly 70% of Orange County voters passed the Renewed M Ordinance (M2), a ½ cent sales tax to fund transportation projects throughout our county. As part of the voter-approved M2 plan, funds were identified to support the design and construction of five bridges, which now have been designated as the O.C. Bridges Program. However, the cost of building these projects can’t be met by M2 funds alone.
Funding for these projects comes from three sources: local tax dollars, state funds and federal funds.