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Guest Speakers and Elected Officials from Ventura County Cut the Ribbon.  (From left to right): Caltrans Chief Deputy Director, Raja Mitwasi; Linda Parks, Ventura County Supervisor; Jacqui Irwin, Mayor of Thousand Oaks; Dennis Gillette, VCTC; Keith Millhouse, Moorpark City Councilmember and VCTC Commissioner; Peter Foy, Chairman of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors; and Thomas Glancy, Mayor Pro Tem of Thousand Oaks.

23 MONTHS TO IMPROVE ROUTE 23
by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 05/2008

Construction Nears Completion on the Moorpark Freeway

Caltrans and the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) held a joint ceremony on April 17 in Moorpark to announce the completion of the freeway widening portion of State Route 23 from Thousand Oaks Boulevard to Los Angeles Avenue in the cities of Moorpark and Thousand Oaks. 

In his opening remarks, Caltrans Chief Deputy Director Raja Mitwasi said, 'Since the early 90’s, there has been significant development along Route 23, requiring additional traffic capacity.  These improvements are necessary to alleviate current congestion as well as anticipated congestion for the coming years.  It is our plan to continue seeking the necessary funding for future improvements at the 23/101 interchange.' 

The project has widened the freeway from four to six lanes, by adding one lane in each direction in the median, constructed sound walls and widened bridges. Communication and fiber-optic cables have been installed underneath the pavement to provide real-time traffic data to the Caltrans Transportation Management Center for dissemination to the public, the media and the Internet. A Changeable Message Sign (CMS) is being installed on the southbound SR-23 near the Olsen Road on-ramp for incident information, weather advisories and Amber Alerts.  

Final guardrail and shoulder work remains on the northbound direction. This $65 million project is expected to complete by June 2008, nearly 14 months ahead of the planned scheduled opening of fall 2009. Both northbound and southbound directions are completely open to motorists.  Landscaping will begin following the completion of all roadwork. 

Guest speakers included Supervisor Peter Foy, Chairman of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors; Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks; Moorpark City Councilmember; Keith Millhouse, who also represents Moorpark as a VCTC Commissioner; and Thousand Oaks Mayor Jacqui Irwin; and California Highway Patrol Captain Cliff Williams.

'I am very excited to see this long awaited project finished ahead of schedule and under budget,' said Moorpark City Councilmember Keith Millhouse.  'Caltrans and Security Paving did an excellent job.' 'However, we must continue our aggressive efforts to secure funding for additional improvements, especially to the SR-23/US-101 interchange.'

'The work that Caltrans does touches people's lives every day.  This is an important project as evidenced by so many citizens and representatives of city, county and state government present today,' said Mitwasi.

 

The Caltrans Team involved in the SR-23 Widening and Soundwall Project
From left to right: 
Front:	Prakash Yadav, Solange Filipoff, Michael Dipsia, Ravi Ghate.
2nd row:Thao Tran,
3rd row:Issam Abumuhor, Hussam Buran, Safwat Salahieh, Raja Mitwasi, Dan Freeman
Back:	Lawrence Okoye, Emile Eid, Charles Ton, Steve Novotny, Ghassan Dagher.	
Chief Deputy Raja Mitwasi served as the Master of Ceremonies and said that Caltrans is committed to continue to seek additional funding for future improvements at the 23/101 Interchange. A view of the new, wider State Route 23 that added over 3 miles of soundwalls. A large crowd gathers in Moorpark.  Some who once sought congestion relief on SR-23, now seek shelter from the afternoon sun.