The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has identified $58 billion in much-needed transportation improvements for Orange County as part of a 25-year regional plan released last week in draft form.
The plan, Connect SoCal, provides a long-term vision for transportation investments throughout the six-county SCAG region – one of the most robust growth corridors in the United States. SCAG planners spent four years analyzing data and working with local communities to develop a regional strategy to improve mobility, meet air-quality goals, create economic opportunities and enhance quality of life.
Connect SoCal identifies $638.6 billion in transportation improvements for the six counties over the 25-year period. For Orange County, 352 projects are included, among them the development of arterial highways that will improve regional capacity ($7 billion) and the addition of mixed-flow and high-occupancy toll lands on Interstate 405 from State Route 73 to Interstate 605 ($1.9 billion).
Other major OC projects include:
- Enhancements to the safety, operations and maintenance of commuter and intercity rail ($978 million)
- Countywide bikeways ($806 million)
- Lane additions on the Eastern Transportation Corridor ($632 million)
- Mixed-flow lane additions on State Route 91 from State Route 55 to State Route 57 ($456 million)
- The OC Streetcar light-rail system between Santa Ana and Garden Grove ($414 million)
“Making sure these kinds of projects are funded and built is critical to the future of Orange County and Southern California as a whole, connecting communities, creating new business opportunities and ensuring that we’re able to maintain a quality of life we cherish,” said Peggy Huang, a Yorba Linda City Councilmember who serves on SCAG’s Regional Council.
Connect SoCal projects that Orange County will see its population grow by 11% over the next quarter century, from 3.18 million now to 3.535 million by 2045. The mobility improvements included in the plan would reduce commuter delays and generate 65,500 jobs in the OC – directly and indirectly – each year.
Across Southern California, the 25-year plan would net a 22.8% reduction in daily miles driven per capita, more than 360,000 jobs created per year and a return of $1.54 for every $1 spent on transportation improvements.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for our regional transportation challenges. We have to explore an integrated web of creative strategies, which is what Connect SoCal sets out to do,” said Bill Jahn, President of SCAG.
The Connect SoCal draft is now available for public review and input. A final version of the plan is expected to be presented to SCAG’s Regional Council for approval in early 2020.
For more on Connect SoCal, visit www.connectsocal.org.
This article was released by the Southern California Association of Governments.