The MainPlace/Santa Ana shopping mall may get an economic boost today from a temporary Santa Ana Freeway off-ramp that leads directly into the mall's parking area.
The new ramp will be used for two years during the widening of the freeway through Santa Ana. It replaces another ramp south of the shopping center that was to be closed permanently by 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Mall officials have eagerly awaited the temporary ramp, hoping that people will to stop and shop. They have even asked Caltrans to post signs along the freeway to alert motorists to the MainPlace exit.
But Caltrans officials said Tuesday that they are balking. If MainPlace succeeds in getting the special signs, highway officials argued, then every shopping center close to an off-ramp will also demand them, including Town & Country across the street from MainPlace.
Officials said motorists seeking Main Street should turn left onto MainPlace Drive and take it around the western side of the mall to Main Street.
There's no temporary, northbound on-ramp at Main Street during the Santa Ana Freeway widening, forcing motorists to use on-ramps at either the Garden Grove Freeway, which then connects to the Santa Ana Freeway, or at 17th Street, where another road project is already causing severe congestion.