Final bridge will complete eight-year project.
When March comes around, Santa Clarita Valley residents will find themselves with a new way to scurry about town, as the Cross Valley Connector will be fully operational.
The roadway is over eight miles long, and one portion or another has been under construction over the last nine years. Currently the eastern portion is known as Golden Valley Road, while the western section is Newhall Ranch Road.
As it happened, the final piece of the roadway is smack in the middle. A bridge connecting Golden Valley and Newhall Ranch roads took two years to clear environmental approval, since it spans the Santa Clara River.
The City expects the bridge to be complete in March, and with it motorists will have the ability to drive from the 14 freeway to I-5, through the center of town, on a high capacity road with minimal stop lights.
According to City Communications Manager Gail Ortiz, March's opening will signal a major step forward for Santa Clarita.
"We're going to have a very big celebration," she said. "We're all very excited to have this project completed."
The $245 million project will ease Soledad Canyon and Bouquet Canyon roads, along with Valencia Blvd., Sierra Highway and other heavily traveled streets.
Aside from the obvious relief the completed roadway will bring to motorists, Ortiz says that it will also spur business and community development. She said this has already proven to be the case with previously opened sections.
"Without the Cross Valley Connector you wouldn't have Centre Pointe, the Golden Valley Ranch shopping Center, Golden Valley High School..." said Ortiz. "All of these things were made possible because of this new roadway.
The Cross Valley Connector was spearheaded by the city of Santa Clarita, with additional funding coming from Los Angeles County, the federal government, Caltrans and Metro.