Countywide : Beach Boulevard Project to Be Topic of Meetings

The proposed Beach Boulevard “Super Street Project” will be the subject of two public meetings scheduled for this week to give residents and business owners an opportunity to learn more about the project and share their ideas on it.

The first meeting is set for Wednesday at the Buena Park Senior Center, 8150 Knott Ave., Buena Park. A second meeting will be Monday at the Westminster Senior Center, 8200 Westminster Ave., Westminster.

Each meeting will start with an open house from 6 to 7 p.m., to be followed by a formal presentation and question-and-answer period.

If the Super Street plan is adopted, Beach Boulevard, the 19 1/2-mile street that has Orange County’s heaviest north-south traffic, would be turned into a highway on which drivers could travel from Imperial Highway in La Habra south to Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach--or vice versa--without stopping. It is roughly equidistant (five miles) from the 605 and 57 freeways, the nearest north-south freeways.


Officials say the conversion would cost $40 million.

The boulevard, also known as California Highway 39, runs through nine cities--including La Mirada in Los Angeles County--and has been chosen by the Orange County Transportation Commission for a $170,000 yearlong study to see whether the highway conversion would be feasible. The project has been endorsed by each of the nine cities and by the Board of Supervisors.

According to Lisa Mills, project manager for the county transportation commission, the conversion would include synchronizing all traffic signals, eliminating parking, construction of bus turn-out lanes, reducing the number of driveways and smaller streets opening onto Beach Boulevard, limiting traffic from driveways and smaller streets onto the boulevard to right turns only and building raised median dividers.

The most radical--and expensive--proposals, however, call for “flyover” bridges at four of the busiest intersections: Warner Avenue in Huntington Beach, Westminster Avenue in Westminster, Katella Avenue in Stanton and Imperial Highway in La Habra.

In La Habra, the flyover would entail an Imperial Highway bridge over Beach Boulevard, since Imperial Highway has the heavier traffic. At the other intersections, the bridges would be on Beach Boulevard.

The flyovers would cost from $2.5 million to $5 million each. They have already been criticized as being potentially bad for business, an argument many opponents have made about the entire Super Street proposal.