Senate approves naming Pacific Coast Highway bridge after late Sen. Jenny Oropeza

August 23, 2012
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Measure celebrates predecessor’s efforts to improve local transportation

SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today approved a measure by Sen. Ted Lieu to name a bridge over the Pacific Coast Highway in Wilmington, at zero cost to the state, to the memory of his predecessor, the late-Sen. Jenny Oropeza of Long Beach.

“Jenny fought tirelessly on behalf of her district for construction of a bridge allowing motorists to take Pacific Coast Highway over the Alameda Corridor in Wilmington, and she succeeded,” Lieu said about Senate Concurrent Resolution 79, which allows private funds to pay for signs designating the bridge the Honorable Jenny Oropeza Memorial Highway. “Today, every time a motorist drives over this bridge, he or she can thank Jenny.

“As always, she was looking out for them.”

The bridge on PCH runs from Coil Street to east of the main entrance of the Tesoro Refinery. It was completed after a two-year fight and $107 million in state and federal funds. The completed bridge added a third lane to allow the transportation of goods to and from the nation’s busiest port complex.

Oropeza took up the cause of the construction shortly after being sworn into the Assembly in 2000 and she became aware that the Alameda Corridor would open in 2002 without a bridge over the PCH, one of the busiest streets along the Alameda Corridor. 

Lieu, who early last year replaced Oropeza as the area’s Senate representative after she died, said Oropeza and her supporters soon realized the problem was that PCH bisected an oil refinery, making the project the most complicated and expensive bridge to build.

Oropeza brought together the California Department of Transportation, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Equilon Refinery, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the City of Los Angeles.  She eventually brokered a deal to secure $107 million in funding from a combination of state, federal and railroad funds.
The final design not only eliminated the train/car conflicts on the Alameda Corridor, but also solved these same problems on Alameda Street and the San Pedro Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad. 

“Motorists today can thank Jenny’s tireless efforts for a more efficient local highway network,” Lieu said.  
Passage of SCR 79 by both the Senate and Assembly came with overwhelming bipartisan votes. This bill is now chaptered into law and takes effect immediately.
 
For more, please visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor Committee and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu