Orange County Business Council (OCBC) and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council (LA/OC BCTC) jointly commend the decision made by Caltrans today to move forward with I-405 traffic improvement plan "Alternative 3", adding new general purposes lanes promised under Orange County voter-approved Measure M, as well as new express lanes, on one of America's busiest corridors.
Alternative 3 reduces congestion by moving the most people and the most cars through the corridor than any other plan. The express lanes would be built in the future after funding is identified by Caltrans, but not with Measure M funds. This decision authorizes OCTA to begin construction of the general purpose lanes in 2015.
"As a longtime advocate for a Southern California express lane system, OCBC commends the decision made by Caltrans today and encourages continued coordination with OCTA and TCA to ensure efficiency of scarce resources and tax dollars," said Lucy Dunn, President and CEO, OCBC. "We welcome a thoughtful express lane system that connects with surrounding counties, including I-110, I-10 and SR-91 express lanes, as well as South Orange County's toll road system SR-261, 241 and 73. The county's future depends on a robust transportation network that accommodates a growing population, a recovering economy, and a thriving tourism industry."
"Speaking for tens of thousands of skilled construction workers living in Orange County, we welcome this forward-looking decision," said Jim Adams, Orange County Representative for the LA/OC BCTC. "This will generate thousands of career-track jobs for the Building Trades; it will also improve the quality of life for our families and neighbors by streamlining transportation and adding new options."
OCTA's own comprehensive study evaluating options to alleviate congestion on the freeway recognized Alternative 3 as the fastest, most cost-efficient option. Adding express lanes, in addition to free lanes, is projected to allow about 2,300 more vehicles an hour than if just adding one free lane in each direction. Travel times through the corridor are also expected to be reduced by up to 28 minutes in general lanes, and estimated 13 minutes in the express lanes. The project has the potential to generate upwards of 27,000 California jobs, while potentially adding a self-sustaining funding source for future mobility improvements benefiting Orange County and the I-405 corridor.
Orange County Business Council is the leading voice of business in Orange County, California. OCBC represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County's economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC serves member and investor businesses with nearly 250,000 employees and 2,000,000 worldwide. In providing a proactive forum for business and supporting organizations, OCBC helps assure the financial growth of America's sixth largest county. For more information, visit www.ocbc.org.
About the LA/OC BCTC:
The Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council represents 140,000 skilled construction workers in 48 local unions and district councils. The Council's locals offer lifelong careers, with competitive pay, good benefits and secure retirement, for those who want a bright future without attending college. The Building Trades apprenticeships serve thousands of diverse Orange County residents in fields such as electrical work, roofing, sheet metal, heavy equipment operating, plumbing, pipe fitting, iron work, cement masonry, plastering, insulation, demolition, painting, floor laying, glazing and elevator construction.