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Mike Miles, District 7 Director, Caltrans, addresses the crowd saying that Ventura County and its cities have set a high standard in managing the area’s growth and that  District 7 looks forward to many more mutual efforts that will improve traffic flow and ensure that Ventura county remains an attractive place to work, life and play.

Construction begins on State Route 118 Widening Project Phase 2
by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 04/2010

“The results of this project – for all to enjoy – stem from the cooperation of your elected officials, the cities and from partnerships with Caltrans and the Ventura County Transportation Commission.” - Mike Miles, Caltrans District 7 Director

Caltrans District 7 held a groundbreaking on March 26 with its funding partner, the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), to mark the beginning of construction to widen the westbound Ronald Reagan Freeway (SR-118) from Tapo Street to Kuehner Drive in Simi Valley.

Construction work on this $19.1 million project began in January and is expected to complete late 2010. Phase 2 will add one mixed-flow lane on westbound SR-118 from the Los Angeles County line to Tapo Canyon Road and the Tapo Canyon Bridge undercrossing will be widened. Additionally, one mixed flow lane will be added on eastbound SR-118 from Tapo Canyon Road to Tapo Street and from Kuehner Road to the Los Angeles County line.

Phase 2 of the SR-118 Widening Project received partial funding of $6.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal stimulus program enacted by President Obama in 2009. The remaining funds are from the Regional Improvement Program.

“We are committed to reducing traffic congestion in Ventura County and all over Southern California,” said Caltrans Director Randy Iwasaki. “This project is a great example of how the stimulus is bringing in the cash we need to improve the Ronald Reagan Freeway, while at the same time supporting much-needed jobs.”

“This project will directly provide steady income for about 60 families for the next year," said Hani Jamaleddine, project manager for the contractor, Security Paving Company.

“Ventura County and its cities have set a high standard in managing the area’s growth,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles. “Caltrans looks forward to many more mutual efforts that will improve traffic flow and ensure that this county remains an attractive place to live, work and play.”

“Reflecting on the cooperation received from all Ventura County cities, I am reminded of the exceptional professionalism and commitment from all those involved,” said Dennis Gillette, mayor of Thousand Oaks and chairman of VCTC. “There are so many components for a project like this to become a reality.

Gillette and Captain Cliff Williams, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Moorpark Office, urged motorists and the public to always drive safely, especially during freeway construction.

“This project is important to the people of Ventura County. From a CHP perspective, it will enhance the ability of motorists to travel expediently and safely,” said Williams.

Other officials who spoke at the event were Assemblymember Cameron Smyth, District 38; Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy, District ; and Linda Parks, District 2; and Simi Valley City Council Member Steven Sojka. Glen Becerra, mayor pro tem; Michelle Foster, city council member, both of Simi Valley, and other legislative representatives also attended.

“The number of people and elected representatives present today confirms that the work being done here is important to you,” said Miles. “The results of this project – for all to enjoy – stem from their cooperation, from the cities, and from their partnership with Caltrans and VCTC.”

Caltrans District 7 Thousand Oaks Construction Team for the SR-118 Widening Project, Phase 2.  From left to right:  Lawrence Okoye, structure representative; Joseph Tehrani, senior transportation engineer, and branch chief; Alex Semnani, transportation engineer; Saeed Semiei, transportation engineer; Michael Miles, District 7 Director; Reza Feteh, project manager; Alan Siavoshi, construction inspector; Dan Asmus, transportation engineering technician; Mohammad Toutounchian, resident engineer; Steve Novotny, office chief, project management - North; and Bill Fountain, office engineer. The groundbreaking event took place at a Park and Ride lot near where construction is taking place on State Route 118 and Tapo Canyon Road in Simi Valley.  The groundbreaking event took place at a Park and Ride lot near where construction is taking place on State Route 118 and Tapo Canyon Road in Simi Valley.  “Cause to celebrate:”  Darren Kettle, executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), served at master of ceremonies for the groundbreaking event where he said that the VCTC has work ahead of them to identify funding sources for the county’s next big freeway improvement project, but that today, there is cause to celebrate. Standing from left, Captain Cliff Williams, California Highway Patrol, Moorpark office; Mike Miles, District 7 Director; and Dan Freeman, Deputy District Director, maintenance; join the Caltrans team from all divisions – maintenance, construction, design, project management and external affairs, who are part of the SR-118 Widening Project’s Groundbreaking Event.