SANTA ANA : City Plans Bristol Widening Project

City officials are preparing to buy property for the widening of Bristol Street, a key commercial corridor that often backs up with traffic.

The plan targets about 783 acres along a 3.9-mile stretch of Bristol Street between Warner Avenue and Memory Lane. More than 100 businesses and 236 housing units will be relocated.

The project calls for the widening of Bristol Street from four lanes to six. Because it carries an estimated price tag of $120 million, it will be done in phases over the next 20 years.

"It's a long-term project," said Joyce Amerson, the city's transportation manager.

The first two phases will be between Pine and 10th streets (primarily at the Bristol and 1st streets intersection) and between Edinger and McFadden avenues.

The city is waiting for funding before it can begin buying the property. Work on the segment between Edinger and McFadden is being held up until a lawsuit over Measure M, the half-cent sales tax that is to provide revenue for transportation projects, is resolved. And $4 million in federal funding through the new Transportation Act will help finance the Pine to 10th segment, Amerson said.

City officials hope to break ground within the next 18 months, but a definite timetable remains uncertain, Amerson said.

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