Seal Beach gets grant for road improvements

A committee of the Orange County Transportation Authority on Wednesday, July 7, awarded a $307,000 grant to Seal Beach to improve Seal Beach Boulevard.

The West County Cities Policy Committee for Orange County Transportation Authority Measure M funds approved the grant, originally requested the agency’s Policy Committee, for needed intersection and signal improvements on Seal Beach Boulevard at I-405 on/off ramps.

“The city appreciates being the recipient of inter-local funds for this important road project”, said Mayor David Sloan. Currently, northbound Seal Beach Boulevard approaching I-405 freeway SB on/off ramp at Beverly Manor Road, has one left turn lane, two thru lanes and one right turn only lane.

The Orange County Transportation Authority West County Connector Project will improve and add a carpool lane from the 605 freeway transition to the 405 freeway.

Included in the project will be to lengthen and widen the Seal Beach Boulevard Bridge over crossing to three through lanes in each direction. Unfortunately, the West County Connector Project will not improve the intersection at Seal Beach Boulevard and I-405 freeway SB on/off ramp at Beverly Manor Road.

With the existing lane configuration of Seal Beach Boulevard and the proposed West County Connector Project improvements, a bottleneck will be created. By removing the bottleneck, the project will increase the capacity and complete the full width plan contemplated in the OCTA Master Plan of Arterial Highways.

The grant funds will be applied to match money the city of Seal Beach was previously awarded as part of OCTA’s 2008 Intersection Improvement Program.

Elected officials serving as members of the Policy Committee, known as GMA No. 6, included Huntington Beach City Council member Gil Coerper, Fountain Valley Mayor Larry Crandall, Westminster Mayor Pro Tem Frank Fry and Seal Beach City Councilman Gary Miller.

Should additional funds become available or bids on other GMA No. 6-approved projects be lower than anticipated amounts, this project has the approval of the GMA to utilize any additional funds.

The city has solicited TRC, the same design engineer who prepared the plans, specifications and estimate for the West County Connector Project. TRC has the existing plans and specifications at 90 percent complete.

The remaining 10 percent can be finalized within two months.

The city’s Public Works Department expects to advertise the project for bid in October 2010 and anticipates City Council award of bid in November 2010.