People traveling the vital SR-22 corridor in Orange County may remember when that 12-mile stretch—which links the cities of Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Orange—was a veritable tangle of traffic congestion and frustration. But it’s not that way anymore. Harris played a key role in this massive transportation improvement project—Orange County’s first-ever design-build contract on the public right-of-way.
As part of a broader team, Harris provided the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) with full project and construction management services. We also served as the sub-consultant program manager, primarily responsible for the development of the actual design/build contract as well as:
- Structures construction inspection and Caltrans coordination
- Utility coordination and relocation
- Coordination among numerous agency stakeholders
The challenge of a design-build project was new to the industry, and Harris took the lead in training the prime contractor’s quality control personnel, who had little prior experience with freeway construction.
This ambitious $550 million project included a staggering number of discrete challenges, including:
- Two railroad grade separations
- One freeway-to-freeway interchange
- 35 over- and under-cross bridges
- One HOV carpool lane added in each direction between the Costa Mesa Freeway (SR-55) and Valley View Avenue
- Continuous auxiliary lanes added in each direction between the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) and Beach Boulevard
- An elevated connector designed to eliminate weaving, separating the southbound Orange Freeway (SR-57) connector and City Drive ramps on westbound SR-22
- A collector-distributor road on the eastbound SR-22 between City Drive and SR-57
- More than 70 retaining walls, sound walls and landscaping improvements spanning more than 20 miles
In addition to OCTA, Harris worked with several stakeholder agencies, including Caltrans District 12; the Cities of Orange, Garden Grove, and Westminster; BNSF Railway; Orange County Flood Control; Orange County Sanitation District; Orange County Sheriff, the Mall at Orange, and Caltrans Structure Design and Construction.
Even with so many players involved, our team was still able to complete the project in just 800 calendar days.
Beyond the Blueprints
Knowing the public wanted to stay on top of the project’s progress, Harris started early—supporting OCTA public outreach in holding meetings before construction began and continuing outreach as the project went forward via e-mail news blasts and updates.
Since part of the project was built over the Santa Ana River, Harris coordinated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Fish and Wildlife and verified installation of the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan as well as protective netting to safeguard the swallows whose flight path crosses the region.