FORE! 4 LANES, 4 SOUNDWALLS, 4 WIDER BRIDGES 4 SIMI VALLEY
Construction to begin to widen the Ronald Reagan Freeway (State Route 118).
Caltrans District 7 held a groundbreaking on March 29 to announce that construction will begin this month to widen the eastbound portion of the Ronald Reagan Freeway (SR-118) from Tapo Street to Kuehner Drive in Simi Valley and parts of Moorpark.
The project will widen the freeway from three to four lanes, construct four sound walls and widen four bridges. The project will install fiber-optic cables underneath the pavement, from Tapo Canyon Road to the Los Angeles County line, which will provide real-time traffic data to the Caltrans Transportation Management Center for dissemination to the public, the media and the Internet.
Caltrans District 7 Director Doug Failing said, “The work that Caltrans does touches people's lives every day. The improvements will make the highway safer and improve the quality of life for the motorists who travel it daily. This is an important project as evidenced by so many residents, citizens and representatives of city, county and state government present today.”
Ojai Council Member and chairman of the Ventura County Transportation Commission, Joe DeVito, said “This project does something for all of us. Most importantly, in matters of safety, studies and reports have shown that accidents caused by congestion are decreased when there is improved traffic flow. This project will improve safety.”
California Highway Patrol Captain Cliff Williams of Moorpark addressed the crowd reminding the public to always drive safely, especially during freeway construction.
Other elected officials present were Simi Valley Mayor Paul Miller; Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy; Thousand Oaks Mayor Pro Tem Jacqui Irwin; and City Council Members Barbra Williamson of Simi Valley; and Keith Millhouse of Moorpark.
The $46.5-million project is expected to complete in mid-2009. This project is state-funded through the Ventura County Transportation Commission. Phase 2, which will widen the westbound portion of SR-118 at this location, is currently in the design stage and is expected to begin in mid-2008 at an additional cost of $34.5 million.
Caltrans staff involved in this project are: Steve Novotny, Area Manager; Joseph S. Tehrani, Construction Senior; Mohammad Toutouchian, Resident Engineer; and Reza Fateh, Project Manager. The Phase 1 contractor is C.A. Rasmussen of Simi Valley.