FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Joel Zlotnik (714) 560-5713; Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697
Kraemer Boulevard Underpass Opens to Traffic
O.C. Bridges project wraps up, enhancing safety and eliminating wait times at rail crossing
ORANGE – Kraemer Boulevard is now open to traffic as finishing touches are being put on a new underpass that separates car traffic from the busy freight rail line that now travels overhead.
The intersection of Kraemer Boulevard and Crowther Avenue was closed for about two years so that the undercrossing could be completed and it opened up again Saturday. As part of the $67 million project, temporary railroad tracks were built south of the current tracks. That rail traffic will now shift back to the main line and motorists and pedestrians will safely pass underneath.
The Kraemer Boulevard project is one of seven bridges or undercrossings being built as part of the $630 million O.C. Bridges program. The goal of each of the projects is to enhance safety and improve commute times by eliminating the need for drivers to wait at rail crossings.
Up to 70 trains, some more than a mile long, travel through the area daily. That number is expected to increase to nearly 130 daily trains by 2030.
“Each of these new bridges along the rail line help improve the quality of life for the people who travel through North County with enhanced safety and quicker commutes,” said OCTA Chairman Shawn Nelson, also the chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “We appreciate people’s patience through the construction and we’re excited to have Kraemer open to traffic once again.”
Other benefits of the grade-separation projects include improved air quality because cars and trucks will no longer have to idle at rail crossings, saving gas and reducing pollution.
Construction on the final three projects in the O.C. Bridges program – at State College Boulevard, Raymond Avenue and Lakeview Avenue – began in May. Construction on those projects is expected to finish by 2018.
Finishing touches on the Kraemer Boulevard project, including additional landscaping and signage, will continue. A completion celebration with transportation and city officials is planned at the new underpass on July 8.
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