Transportation, city and business leaders gathered Monday at Honda Center in Anaheim to mark the completion of improvements to the Orange Freeway (SR-57) that are giving drivers a safer and more efficient commute.
Leaders from the Orange County Transportation Authority and Caltrans joined with business owners and community members to take the first ceremonial ride on the last segment to be completed. It includes three miles of general purpose lane between Katella and Lincoln Avenues.
It was part of a $41-million freeway improvement project that began in 2012 and was funded with a mix of dollars from Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, and Prop. 1B state funds.
“Completing the SR-57 project is one more step in delivering on the promises made through Measure M to the people of Orange County,” said OCTA Chairman Shawn Nelson, also chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “The added lane will help make the trip home an easier one for thousands of commuters every day.”
The project included improvements to eight freeway ramps, widening of two bridges and the restriping of carpool lanes to allow for continuous access by drivers, which studies have shown reduces accidents and air pollution.
“This project will improve congestion on this vital link to the surrounding entertainment, sports and business community, as well as for the people who commute using this portion of State Route 57 daily. The lane addition and the other improvements associated with this project are in sync with Caltrans’ mission to enhance California’s economy and livability” said Caltrans District 12 Director Ryan Chamberlain.
Improvements to the 57 freeway were completed in two phases. The first segment, an additional northbound lane along five miles between Orangethorpe Ave. in Placentia and Lambert Rd. in Brea, opened to traffic earlier this year.
The second segment eases traffic congestion near some of the region’s top entertainment and travel destinations, including Angel Stadium, the new ARTIC transportation hub for trains, buses and taxis, and Honda Center, home to big-name concerts and the Anaheim Ducks hockey team.
“We’re thrilled with the improvements made to the 57 freeway and their benefits to not only our fans, but also visitors to the many other world-class destinations located in our home city of Anaheim,” said Honda Center President and CEO Tim Ryan. “Honda Center alone welcomes nearly two million guests annually and the completion of this project helps further assure expedited arrivals and departures from our facility.”
About 58,000 vehicles travel the 57 freeway each day.
Improvements to the 57 are among more than a dozen freeway projects under way, totaling more than $600 million. OCTA is delivering on what voters approved in Measure M, which sets aside 43 percent for freeway improvements.
The article above was released by the Orange County Transportation Authority.
Transportation officials and business leaders on Monday marked the completion of the Orange Freeway (SR-57) improvement project during a ceremony in the parking lot of Honda Center.
Photo courtesy Orange County Transportation Authority.