Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Celebrating I-5/14 project delivery!  Standing left to right: Danglong Tran, Dapo Majekodunmi, Haykaz Aghajanian, Joaquin Nunez, Bill Reagan, Mansoor Khan, Doug Failing,  Raja Mitwasi, Bahram Kazemi and Hussni El-Darazi.  Sitting left to right: Osama Megalla, Rahel Adera, Aline Antaramian, Terry Martinez and Mona Girguis.

by  Jeanne Bonfilio
Issue Date: 06/2008

A team celebration for a "Herculean effort"

Delivery of the first High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) direct connector was celebrated on May 12 with a gathering of 125 people most closely involved with the project on Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County near Santa Clarita.  This $156-million Golden State Freeway (I-5)/Antelope Valley Freeway (State Route 14) carpool lane direct connector project was delivered on time.  When a project is delivered, design has completed and the project is ready for the bid process.

The project involves construction of an elevated two-lane direct HOV connector and HOV lanes in both the north and south directions of I-5 at the interchange with State Route 14.  A director HOV connector will allow motorists a freeway-to-freeway transfer without exiting the carpool lane. 

Design Chief Aline Antaramian was the first to congratulate all of the team members who worked diligently, some sacrificing vacations and some working late hours to deliver the project on time. “Everyone here should be congratulated for their efforts,” she said enthusiastically. “All of us worked together as a team to make this challenging project possible.  You have proven that this team can be number one, so we can lead in the State again this year for project delivery.” 

While delivery of all transportation improvement projects is important, what made this one special were the many obstacles to overcome.  “This was a complex and challenging project – one of the largest in the District,” said Design Senior Mansoor Khan.  “Difficult right of way acquisitions, utility relocations and approvals from railroads and Metrolink were just some of the stumbling blocks to overcome.  “Hard work, persistence and working as a team was how we met those challenges,” added Khan.

The new direct HOV connector will relieve congestion, improve traffic flow, enhance safety and improve traffic operations of both freeways at the I-5/SR-14 Interchange and help to provide motorists with a seamless carpool lane network in California. 

Khan thanked the Project Development and Design teams and functional units, especially Project Engineer Terry Martinez, who he said “…went above and beyond the call of duty for this project.”  He also acknowledged Project Manager Osama Megalla and Design Chief Aline Antaramian for their leadership and Office Engineer Greg Farr for project initiation.

“Thanks to all of the great, dedicated and professional engineers who worked on this project.  This team deserves to be called the 'dream team,'" said Megalla.

Executive staff also joined the celebration, including District Director Douglas R. Failing, Chief Deputy District Director Raja Mitwasi, Design Deputy Bill Reagan, Program and Project Management Deputy Tad Teferi and Operations Deputy Frank Quon. 

“Everyone who worked on this job is important,” said Failing.  “We are successful as a District because you work as a team so dynamic enough to respond to the challenges appropriately, bring in the changes and still get the job done.”

Deputy Bill Reagan agreed wholeheartedly. “This great effort was due to your hard work and commitment,” he said.   “A Herculean task was accomplished and you should all be very proud.  And everyone who uses the I-5/14 interchange will see the quality of their lives improved because of this project.”


More proud members of the project delivery team and executive staff.  Standing left to right: Steve Novotny, Doug Failing, Raja Mitwasi, Brian Wallace and Emmett Brown.  Sitting left to right: Graham Dawson, Jai Paul Thakur, Tad Teferi, Osama Megalla and Jia Lung Yu.
Another group of dedicated engineers who worked on project delivery and executive staff.  Standing left to right: Aziz Elattar, Frank Quon, Doug Failing, Raja Mitwasi, Cesar Hernandez, Peter Lin, Sam Frempong and Ali Nili.  Sitting left to right: Leila Sy, Karine Partamian, Jacqueline Tan, Dinker Mehta and Paul Fok. Happily cutting the celebration cake for all to enjoy, from left to right: Osama Megalla, Terry Martinez, Aline Antamarian, Mansoor Khan and Bill Reagan. About 125 team members enjoyed the beautiful flowers and refreshments.