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Ken Pulskamp: From dream to reality for cross-valley connector project

Live From City Hall

Posted: March 19, 2010 10:29 p.m.
Updated: March 20, 2010 7:00 a.m.
 
"It always seems impossible until it's done"
-Nelson Mandela

The Santa Clarita City Council cordially invites the community to attend a special grand opening event on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 11 a.m. The event will celebrate the completion of the last phase of the cross-valley connector, which extends Golden Valley Road to Newhall Ranch Road, providing a key connection to Bouquet Canyon/Newhall Ranch Road over the Santa Clara River.

The cross-valley connector road grand opening event will take place on the Newhall Ranch Road side of the new bridge and guests can get there by traveling east on Newhall Ranch Road about two-and-a-half miles past Bouquet Canyon Road. (Signs will be posted.) Entrance from the Golden Valley side of the bridge will not be available for the March 27 event.

The cross-valley connector is the city's 8.5-mile roadway that links Interstate 5 with Highway 14 Freeway through the city and has been under construction for nearly a decade.

The grand opening event is geared to be a community-wide celebration of the completion of the entire $245 million project. Special guests who will be participating at the grand opening event include project funding partners: Sen. Barbara Boxer (tentatively); Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon; L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich; Ara Najarian, chair for Metro; Greg McWilliams, CEO of Lennar; and Larry Rasmussen CEO for Centre Pointe Business Park.

Helping the city to celebrate this event, a number of special guests will also be in attendance at the grand opening including: The Wells Fargo Stagecoach, "Tank" the Skateboarding dog, the SCV Antique Car Club, the SCV Contemporary Car Club, local bicycle clubs and the Golden Valley High School Band. A special tribal blessing will be performed by the local Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians.

The last phase of the roadway connecting Golden Valley Road with Bouquet Canyon/Newhall Ranch Road includes the construction of two bridges, northbound and southbound. They are each 1,100 feet long and span the entire Santa Clara River. The bridges provide for six lanes of roadway plus a separate bike/pedestrian lane.

The multiyear, cross-valley connector road project has been tremendously challenging, and includes the construction of major bridge structures in three other locations: the San Francisquito Creek; the Los Angeles Aqueduct; the Santa Clara River and over the Metrolink railroad tracks and Soledad Canyon.

The cross-valley connector provides multi-modal access to the area's largest employment centers, comprising more than 1,000 companies and 50,000 jobs. With the completion of the cross-valley connector, motorists will experience a reduction in travel time through the corridor of more than 2,000 hours per day.

In December 2005, the city celebrated the opening of the six-lane Golden Valley bridge and interchange, which included a 380-foot bridge over Soledad Canyon. In April 2007, the "gap closure" opened five months early, providing an all-important link from I-5/126 to the city's industrial and commercial centers at Copper Hill Drive and Rye Canyon Road.

By partnering with other agencies and private industry, the city of Santa Clarita has been able to provide real traffic solutions that will dramatically reduce cross-town commute times.

The complexity of the cross-valley connector and other transportation projects in Santa Clarita has required effective partnerships by enthusiastic, willing parties, who realize that partnering is a viable way to take on the challenges of regional transportation issues. Since the project began, more than 100 construction and funding partners have helped to bring the roadway to fruition.

The city of Santa Clarita wishes to thank all of its partners for their hard work to improve mobility in our region as well as members of the community for their patience during construction.

For more information regarding the cross-valley connector grand opening on March 27, or to reserve a space, call the city of Santa Clarita at (661) 255-4939. Additionally, more information about the project - including a clickable map with construction photos of the various phases and more information about each segment of the construction of the roadway - is available on the city's Web site at: www.santa-clarita.com.

Ken Pulskamp is the city manager. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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