A DIRECT APPROACH TO CARPOOLING
District 7 holds the grand opening ceremony for the State Routes 57/60 Direct Connector and Collector Road Project.
By Judy Gish and Maria Raptis
Caltrans District 7 held a grand opening ceremony in Diamond Bar on Friday, February 23, to celebrate the opening of the State Route 57/State Route 60 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) direct connector and collector road construction project, which links the carpool lanes on both routes in the cities of Diamond Bar and Industry.
“The major component of this project is the direct connector. Motorists now traveling in the carpool lane on either SR-57 or SR-60 can transition routes without leaving the lane. It is no longer necessary for motorists to quickly navigate three lanes of traffic to re-enter the HOV system,” said Doug Failing, District 7 Director and the event’s master of ceremonies. “This is the second HOV direct connector to be built in our District. HOV lanes are one of our best weapons in fighting congestion and have been shown to save users at least one minute per mile in peak hours, benefiting non-HOV users with reduced congestion, improved air quality and enhanced fuel efficiency,” he added.
Failing acknowledged his predecessor, Bob Sassaman, former Caltrans District 7 Director who was present at this event, for the foresight to get this $78 million project underway, which began in spring of 2003 under Sassaman’s leadership.
Local improvements were also part of this project. A new collector road was added at the Grand Avenue on-ramp to westbound SR-60, allowing motorists to enter directly to either SR-57 or SR-60. The ramp has been realigned to extend to Brea Canyon Road. A collector road was constructed adjacent to westbound SR-60 and the addition of a lane to the Grand Avenue off-ramp from eastbound SR-60 eliminates weaving that took place with the prior configuration in the interchange area.
“These improvement will create a smoother transition and safer movement at this vital interchange and will help enhance the quality of life for residents and commuters by making travel easier and faster, allowing motorists to spend more time with family, in recreational activities or getting to and from work more quickly,” said Failing.
Other benefits will improve safety and capacity, help to relieve congestion, increase mobility by aiding in the efficient movement of goods and services locally along this corridor and regionally. Minor work still remains on the project and is expected to complete in spring of this year.
Also present at the event,held at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) building which overlooks the freeway interchange,were Assemblymember Bob Huff (60th Assembly District); representing Assemblymember Nell Soto (61st Assembly District) was Manuel Saucedo; Steve Tye, Mayor, City of Diamond Bar; Jack Tanaka, Mayor Pro-tem City of Diamond Bar; John Fasana, Metro Board Member; Jim Starkey, representing Senator Bob Margett; Carol Herrera, Councilmember with the City of Diamond Bar and president of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG); Ben Jong,transportation planning manager for Metro’s San Gabriel Valley area; Caltrans Deputy District 7 Director, Raja Mitwasi; and staff from the project’s contractor, C.C. Meyers of Sacramento, including Bob Schneider, vice-president, Rich Hebert, project manager, Anthony Tipton, general superintendent, Geoff Lister, project manager, Steve Myers, general superintendent, Joseph Torres, project superintendent.
Director Failing acknowledged Caltrans staff who worked on this project. Also, Project Manager, Jiwanjit (J.P.) Palaha and Resident Engineer, Martin Sandoval, were recognized for a job well done.