The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), County of Orange and Caltrans today celebrated the milestone completion and grand opening of the Oso Parkway Bridge Project – a multiagency collaboration that improves safety, mobility and connectivity in the region. The occasion was commemorated with a virtual ceremony that was simulcast on TCA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The Oso Parkway Bridge offers six lanes of travel (three in each direction) and provides a direct connection between the 241 Toll Road and Los Patrones Parkway. The project also adds dedicated bike lanes, and a new sidewalk on the south side of Oso Parkway enhances safety for students and families accessing Tesoro High School.
The new bridge improves mobility and connectivity in South Orange County, diverting traffic from congested surface streets and providing improved access to businesses and restaurants in areas such as Rancho Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita.
Previously, drivers were required to use an off-ramp, wait at a signalized intersection, then use an on-ramp to access the 241 Toll Road or Los Patrones Parkway.
The project, which began in 2018, was realized thanks to a partnership between TCA, Caltrans and the County of Orange. TCA funded the nearly $40 million project, with OC Public Works overseeing construction. This benefit to the community was implemented with zero taxpayer dollars.
“Today’s grand opening is about more than just a bridge; it’s about leveraging partnerships to create a safer environment for children who walk to school from surrounding communities, saving drivers time by increasing mobility, and connecting our cities,” said Lisa Bartlett, Orange County’s Fifth District Supervisor and TCA Board Member. “Improving quality of life for residents is why TCA prioritizes funding for projects like this one.”
“At Caltrans, our top priority is safety for all who access our transportation system. The opening of the Oso Parkway Bridge is critical in providing a safe path for bikers, scooters, drivers, middle and high school students on Oso Parkway, and others traveling State Route 241 and Los Patrones Parkway," said Caltrans District 12 Director Ryan Chamberlain. "Building and enhancing stronger partnerships with TCA, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Surfrider Foundation, Orange County Public Works, Endangered Habitats League and others was essential in bringing the Oso Parkway Bridge from vision to fruition. I am proud of this collective accomplishment," he said.
TCA Chief Executive Officer Samuel Johnson spoke to the vision and leadership that made the project successful: “Increasing mobility and finding innovative solutions to transportation challenges are part of TCA’s mission, and those principles motivate us today. The Oso Parkway Bridge offers numerous benefits for the community and was brought to fruition through our Board’s focus on regional mobility and leveraging TCA’s financial strength. We are extremely proud to have been part of a project that stands as a model for partnership and progress.”
Wednesday’s virtual opening included a unique virtual “ribbon-cutting” featuring local elected officials; remarks from Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and TCA Board Members; comments from stakeholders, including Caltrans; a project video; drone footage; and more.
To view the virtual grand opening, visit YouTube.com/TheTollRoadsOC.
For an online press kit that includes project fact sheets, maps and more, go to TheTollRoads.com/oso-parkway-bridge-grand-opening.