IRVINE : Barranca-Freeway Interchange Opens

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for today to mark the opening of a $10-million interchange linking Barranca Parkway and the Laguna Freeway. The interchange was built solely with city-generated funds.

The project also includes nine traffic signals, a new stretch of Barranca between Irvine Center Drive and Sand Canyon Avenue, and a half-mile extension of Laguna Canyon Road from Alton Parkway to Barranca via a new four-lane bridge over the San Diego Creek, said project manager Russ Thiele. On- and off-ramps for the Laguna Freeway, also known as California 133, took 18 months to design and build.

Funding came from an assessment district proposed by the Irvine Co. in a portion of the Irvine Spectrum business park. The district allowed the city to secure bond financing for the project. The bonds will be repaid through property taxes in the assessment district, Thiele said.

"The state didn't have funding available, so this was one way to be able to construct streets that would allow (more) development to occur," Thiele said.

Completion of a Barranca Parkway bridge over the Santa Ana Freeway, linking Technology Drive in the Irvine Spectrum with Irvine Center Drive and Sand Canyon Avenue, is scheduled for November.

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