If you haven’t yet felt the impact of the , you will now.
The northbound 405/westbound 22/7th Street connector closed overnight, and it won’t open for roughly 12 months. The bridge serves roughly 30,000 commuters daily.
For the next year, Belmont Shore and Seal Beach’s College Park West residents will have to find a new way to get home because they won’t be able to take the 7th Street connector to Studebaker Road from the 22 or the 405.
Businesses from Belmont Shore to California State University, Long Beach are bracing for the impact of the year-long closure. Similarly, the main route to the university and Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center will be cut off, forcing commuters to take side streets.
To help Long Beach mitigate the impact to side streets, the Orange County Transportation Authority has given the city about $1.5 million to mitigate the problem, and Seal Beach has received $750,000 from Caltrans and OCTA to make improvements to the Studebaker off ramp in College Park West.
Officials with the OCTA have been meeting with local residents and businesses for months to prepare them for the closure, but it is bound to make a lot of people late come Tuesday morning.
The closure means that 9-1-1 calls from College Park West will be rerouted to the nearest Long Beach Fire Station on Atherton and Palo Verde because paramedics from the nearest Seal Beach station will be cut off by the closure, said Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief J.J. McMasters.
“Long Beach engine 22 is 1.52 miles from College Park West with a Code 3 travel time of three minutes and 15 seconds,” said McMasters.
In 2010, the neighborhood had 34 emergency response calls with 14 people transported to the hospital, he added.
In addition to the year-long connector closure, there will be significant nighttime freeway lane, ramp and connector closures throughout the area all week.
Here are three 7th Street detours to get familiar with for the next year:
- From the northbound 405, exit Westminster Avenue and proceed west. Turn right on Studebaker Road and proceed north to 7th Street and the 22.
- From the northbound 405, exit Palo Verde Avenue. Turn left on Palo Verde Avenue and proceed south to Stearns Street. Turn left on Stearns Street and proceed to the southbound 405 on-ramp. Take the southbound 405 to the westbound 22 connector and 7th Street
- From the northbound 405, exit Palo Verde Avenue. Turn right on Palo Verde Avenue and proceed north to Willow Street. Turn right on Willow Street and proceed east to Studebaker Road. Turn right on Studebaker Road and proceed south to 7th Street and the 22.
Other West County Connector Project Lane Closures this week:
- Several lanes on both directions of the 405 between the 605 and Westminster Avenue from 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Thursday night
- Several lanes on both directions of the 22 between Valley View Street and Knott Street from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Thursday night
- The 405 and 22 connectors will be entirely closed from midnight to 5 a.m. through Thursday night
- The 605/405 connectors will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Thursday night.
- The northbound 405 Seal Beach Boulevard offramp will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Thursday Night. OCTA suggests taking the 405 to Westminster Avenue as a detour.
In the next three years, entire overpasses will be torn down and rebuilt, freeway lanes will be intermittently closed as part of the $277 million West County Connector Project.
The impact will have an enormous effect on commuters in the Long Beach, Seal Beach, Rossmoor, Los Alamitos and Garden Grove areas, along with anyone traveling the gateway between Los Angeles and Orange counties. It will also send drivers on detours along sidestreets in those cities.
For all the hassle of major freeway construction, commuters will be rewarded in 2014 with seamless carpool-lane transitions between the 22 and 405 and the 405 and the San Gabriel (605) freeways, along with additional carpool lanes on the 405.