Company:
OCTA
Status:
Awarded
Awarded:
Project of the Year
Additional Files




Additional Information

West County Connectors Project

Project Location:

The project was located at the I-405, I-605 and SR-22 interchanges within the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Long Beach and the community of Rossmoor.

Project Description:

The project was a joint partnership between OCTA and Caltrans linking high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes/carpool lanes on the San Diego Freeway (I-405) with those on the Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22) and San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to create a seamless carpool connection amongst the three freeways. The 6-mile project traversed the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, and Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Long Beach and the community of Rossmoor.
Project improvements include:
• Constructing two direct carpool connectors (detailed below)
• Adding a second carpool lane in each direction on the I-405 between the SR-22 and the I-605
• Reconstructing on- and off-ramps
• Constructing sound walls and retaining walls
• Adding landscaping and enhancing aesthetic elements
EAST SEGMENT: SR-22/I-405 Carpool Connector
• Directly connect the westbound SR-22 carpool lane at Valley View Street to the carpool lane on the northbound I-405 and the reverse movement
• Reconstruct southbound I-405 to eastbound SR-22 connector
• Reconstruct the Valley View Street Bridge over the SR-22
WEST SEGMENT: I-405/I-605 Carpool Connector
• Directly connect the northbound I-405 carpool lane to the carpool lane on the northbound I-605 and the reverse movement.
• Reconstruct the Seal Beach Boulevard bridge over I-405. Click for more information.
• Reconstruct the eastbound SR-22 to the northbound I-405 connector.
• Reconstruct the eastbound SR-22 to the northbound I-605 connector.
• Reconstruct the northbound I-405 to the westbound SR-22 connector /7th St.

Project Justification:

TRAFFIC CONTROL
I-405 through the project limits experienced an annual average daily traffic count of 374,000 as of 2008, the highest in the nation at that time.  It is now estimated to be over 415,000 vehicles daily.  The difficult nature of traffic movement through the project created numerous obstacles the design and construction management team needed to navigate to implement various stage construction activities and allow the continuous flow of traffic through the project area.  Some of the following technical challenges faced by the project team with regards to traffic control included the following:


1. Continuous night-time full freeway closures for several years to construct the overall improvements.  At various times a total of 20 to 30 closures were called into the Caltrans Transportation Management Center (TMC) each night for each segment.
2. 55-hour closures and up to several 12-day closures of major connectors – rapid strength concrete and incentive/disincentives were utilized to complete various connector improvements throughout the project.
3. Coordination between staging efforts on the I-405 mainline at the connection between both segments with different personnel on each segment.

A specific example of coordinating traffic control involved a conflict in the contract documents on regarding a falsework opening dimension discrepancy of 11 feet.  The project team considered various alternatives including amending the Special Provisions to increase the vehicle opening width and modifying the falsework design.  Instead of implementing this alternative which meant constructing two lanes at a cost of $735,000, the project team worked with Traffic Operations to implement the Contractor’s one lane configuration.  Referencing the Transportation Management Plan (TMP), providing one lane was determined to have no impact on traffic.  Constructing one lane rather than two lanes increased the cost savings by an additional $200,000, approximately.  The one lane configuration also allowed Atkinson Construction to proceed with non-conflicting work in subsequent stages benefitting the Team and the traveling public.

Another example involved Value Engineering for Seal Beach Blvd staging and was an opportunity for all stakeholders to implement the partnering process. The Contractor analyzed the staging plans and captured activities that were able to be consolidated. The Contractor submitted a plan to reduce the number of stages from seven stages to only three stages.  Working with Caltrans and the designer, all stakeholders expedited the approval process which saved the contract $200,000 and reduced 30 days of construction activities for the traveling public.

BRIDGE DEMOLITION
Partnering was essential when the project needed to shut down the entire I-405 corridor for 20 hours for S405-E22 connector bridge demolition while detouring 380,000 motorists through nearby alternative routes.  This situation was unique because it was the first bridge of its kind to be demolished with 4,800 tons of concrete without using explosives in California in such a short allowed time frame. Atkinson Construction had to use 50 different pieces of equipment with 70 personals on site to complete the task. The State and the Contractor also had several partnering meetings with the news media outlets, local law enforcement agencies, local agencies, and regional traffic management centers to ensure proper coordination during the closure. Having a detailed work plan from the contractor and contingencies plan from the State, the demolition was completed and the corridor was reopened 2 hours ahead of scheduled opening time.

LIGHTWEIGHT FILL
A unique feature to both the East and West Segments of the WCC project included the use of Lightweight Fill, or Cellular Concrete, with pre-cast panels.  This project was the first of its kind in Southern California for Caltrans to introduce lightweight cellular concrete fill and quiet bridge deck as the new construction technology on both S405-E22 connector bridge, I-405/I-605 HOV and SR-22/I-405 HOV connector bridges.  However, the State and the Contractor encountered several technical difficulties while trying to implement the new technology in the field.  With several workshops through project partnering process, the State and the Contractor were able to create an acceptable construction method so the Contractor could construct lightweight cellular concrete fill that met the designer’s intend. 

QUIET DECK
The project team used a method of modifying the paving equipment to construct the new bridge deck that would generate less tire noise while still maintaining sufficient traction for vehicles.  A contract change order (CCO) was developed and successfully implemented to incorporate the quiet bridge deck method.  The State received positive feedback from the surrounding cities with the implementation of quiet bridge decks on the project.


DESIGN CHANGES
After 75% project completion, and with a $3.5 million CCO, Caltrans directed Atkinson Construction to extend the limits of an existing sound wall.  This was made possible by OCTA securing funds, Caltrans obtaining necessary approvals, and the Contractor incorporating the work into the existing project.  This ultimately saved taxpayers the cost of advertising and awarding a new contract after the West County Connectors project was completed and would have added an additional burden on the community by introducing a new project that essentially would have extended the construction impacts for up to another year.

Redesign of 1.5 mile long drainage system that prevented multiple utility conflicts along SB I-405.  Having the Contractor to participate in the change order process early and having their input helped the team to create the most economical and efficient solution. A win /win for all stakeholders was achieved.

Special Circumstances:

Maintaining use of the freeways and connectors for existing traffic is a crucial factor during the four-year construction process which required multiple traffic switches thus promoting extensive stakeholder coordination between OCTA, Caltrans, and multiple cities. 

The following is a list of the various agencies and stakeholders requiring the construction management to develop and maintain a mutual relationship based upon constant communication and understanding of the concerns involved in completing the work

• OCPW – Bixby and Montecito Channel Reconstruction from an open channel to a Reinforced Concrete Box (RCB).
• United States Navy – Relocation of utilities along Navy property and the construction of new Right of Way fencing along the southbound I-405.
• Cal State Long Beach – Graduation and Major event coordination for traffic control.
• Cities of Long Beach, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos Garden Grove and Westminster – detour routes and coordination of major events such as the Long Beach Grand Prix and Cal State Long Beach graduation ceremonies.
• Community of Rossmoor – traffic and noise concerns
• Regional Water Quality Control Board – SWPPP and other permit requirements
• Orange County Public Works – traffic control and improvements on county property.
• SCE – major transmission and distribution line relocations and new installations.
• SCG – major gas line relocations
• CHP – nightly full freeway closures requiring the use of CHP units on a regular basis


The relationships with the various agencies and companies noted above were very cordial and friendly.  Staff members from the construction management firms of CALTROP on the West Segment and Harris on the East Segment seamlessly integrated into the Caltrans/OCTA project team to foster positive relationships and acted as a true partner to the overall successful delivery of the project.  Various representatives from outside the project team attended both field and office meetings to discuss their concerns and develop actions plans that were agreeable to all involved. We have received numerous praises from these third parties on how well the project was delivered. We held a weekly meeting with the cities and local associations and communities to hear their concerns and give them update on the progress of the projects. We also had a monthly Stakeholders meeting where all the impacted Cities, County, OCTA, CHP, County flood control, Cal state Long beach and other stake holders and impacted communities were invited. During the meeting a presentation of the project progress during the past month was made and all questions and concerns were addressed.  Regular weekly traffic meetings are held with CHP and other impacted cities being invited.  During these meeting upcoming closures and construction activities are discussed and the Cities concerns are addressed.  OCTA, Caltrans and CALTROP Communications public relations specialists provided pivotal services during these meetings to keep the public informed at all times and keep the construction management teams up to date on community concerns related to the project. 

Considering this project’s size, complexity, and numerous dedicated individuals coming together as the Project Team, the SR-22/I-405/I-605 West County Connectors project is a stand-out unique example of effective partnering and execution in delivering a successful transportation project worthy of the 2015 ASCE Project of the Year.

Project Attachments:

Project cost: $297 million
Funding breakdown: 
• $92 million from Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ)
• $50 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
• $135 million from the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA)/Proposition 1B
• $15 million from Measure M
• $5 million from city funds

Award Citation::

West County Connectors Project

Suggested Award Summary:

The West County Connectors project was a joint partnership between OCTA and Caltrans linking high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes/carpool lanes on the San Diego Freeway (I-405) with those on the Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22) and San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to create a seamless carpool connection amongst the three freeways. The 6-mile project traversed the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, and Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Long Beach and the community of Rossmoor.

Project improvements include:
• Constructing two direct carpool connectors (detailed below)
• Adding a second carpool lane in each direction on the I-405 between the SR-22 and the I-605
• Reconstructing on- and off-ramps
• Constructing sound walls and retaining walls
• Adding landscaping and enhancing aesthetic elements
EAST SEGMENT: SR-22/I-405 Carpool Connector
• Directly connect the westbound SR-22 carpool lane at Valley View Street to the carpool lane on the northbound I-405 and the reverse movement
• Reconstruct southbound I-405 to eastbound SR-22 connector
• Reconstruct the Valley View Street Bridge over the SR-22
WEST SEGMENT: I-405/I-605 Carpool Connector
• Directly connect the northbound I-405 carpool lane to the carpool lane on the northbound I-605 and the reverse movement.
• Reconstruct the Seal Beach Boulevard bridge over I-405. Click for more information.
• Reconstruct the eastbound SR-22 to the northbound I-405 connector.
• Reconstruct the eastbound SR-22 to the northbound I-605 connector.
• Reconstruct the northbound I-405 to the westbound SR-22 connector /7th St.

Considering the project’s size, complexity, and numerous dedicated individuals coming together as the Project Team, the SR-22/I-405/I-605 West County Connectors project is a stand-out, unique example of effective partnering and execution in delivering a successful transportation project.

CEC

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