Blog

Forward Motion, March 2020

Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties

Inland Empire Economic Partnership

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Metrolink

Orange County Business Council

Orange County Transportation Authority

Riverside County Transportation Commission

San Bernardino County Transportation Authority

Southern California Association of Governments

Ventura County Transportation Commission


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Farid Hamad
Vice President, Construction Western Region
Lane Construction Corporation

Farid has been with Lane for more than 34 years. He began his career as a Job Engineer in 1985 in Virginia and has steadily worked his way up to his current position of Vice President of Construction for the Western Region of the USA. Currently, He is responsible for Lane projects in Southern California including the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach and the I-10 Express Lanes in San Bernardino County. Also, he is responsible for projects in Seattle including the I-405 Express Lanes from Renton to Bellevue and the Ballard Ship Canal Tunnel. He also oversees the regional office in Henderson, Nevada.

Prior to this position he was President of Lane Worldwide Infrastructure, Inc. (from 2011 to 2017) which made him responsible for all of Lane’s International operations. Primarily, he was assigned to the Middle East and was responsible for all construction contracts in the Middle East region including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Farid was the driving force behind Lane’s move to expand internationally and was responsible for establishing relationships with international owners and partners, strategic planning, and business development in the region to align with corporate goals. Lane’s International operations was merged with Salini Impregilo’s Middle East operations once the merger with SI and Lane was completed in 2016.

Prior to his International assignment he worked most of his career with Lane in the Mid-Atlantic Region which include Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. He started as a Job Engineer and was promoted to Project Engineer, Project Manager, District Manager, and ultimately to Regional Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region. He was responsible for all construction contracts in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Farid held overall responsibility for the performance of the region’s Chantilly office, which yielded more than $400 million in yearly revenue. Since joining Lane, he has established long-term relationships with owners such as the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and Maryland DOT. Farid’s experience and expertise for airports have helped Lane work continuously at Washington Dulles International Airport for the almost 20 years.

Farid is a graduate of Iowa State University. He received his BS in Civil Engineering in 1979 and a Masters in Transportation Engineering in 1980. He was recognized for his scholastic achievements and inducted as a member in National Mathematics Honor Society, National Engineering Honor Society, and National Civil Engineering Honor Society. Farid is also a former Board member of George Mason Civil Engineering Institute, and a former member of American Concrete Pavement Association.


Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Vic Martinez
Southwest District Manager
WSP

Vic Martinez has more than 38 years of experience in project management on a number of complex, high-profile transportation projects throughout Southern California. From highway corridors involving dozens of complex structures to significant interchange and highway widenings, he has the ability to collaborate with clients, Caltrans, Federal Highway Administration, and other stakeholders and local communities while serving as principal-in-charge for large, multidisciplinary teams including fast-tracked efforts. His collaborative yet take charge manner provides for appropriate leadership of the project team and sensitivity during public events. Vic’s strong ties to Southern California and his many community and agency connections afford him the leverage to get imperative projects designed, approved and completed on time and within budget.

In his role as WSP’s Southwest District Manager, Vic Martinez oversees the firms work with clients in the southwest region, including LA Metro, Metrolink, Caltrans, California High Speed Rail, Transportation Corridor Agencies and other regional clients. His client and industry relationships are broad and deep from delivering significant infrastructure projects in the Southern California area and active participation in professional organizations including WTS-LA. Throughout his career, he has successfully served in various leadership roles at the region, district, and office levels.  Vic has successfully delivered for many clients including LA Metro, Caltrans, City of LA, OCTA, RCTC, SBCTA, VCTC, and many others within the Southwest District.

In addition to his role as the Southwest District Manager, Vic leads the Los Angeles office and supports diversification and growth, drives strategic direction, and supports the area management teams located in Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

Before joining WSP USA, Vic Martinez held various management positions with other firms; his previous roles include West Highway Bridge Market Sector leader, Southwest business development manager and Southern California District leader, to name a few. In the various positions he held, Vic was responsible for operations, business development, overseeing employee development, and implementing strategic growth plans.

Vic Martinez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. He is licensed as a professional civil engineer in the State of California and holds membership in various professional organizations, including WTS-LA/OC.  He is a proud member of the Mobility 21 Advisory Committee.


The SPARK-LA program enters its fourth year with the goal to create interest in STEAM-related careers among middle- and high-school girls.

Sparking an interest in STEAM-related careers

The Mobility 21 Board and Advisory Board are tackling one of the most significant challenges we face as an industry: developing the technical workforce required to deliver Southern California’s infrastructure. We all share in the excitement of the magnitude of opportunities available as a result of the various ballot measures that have passed in nearly every county in the region, with an added boost from SB-1 which provides $5.0B in transportation funding annually. What was thought to be the constraining factor — funding — has been replaced by lack of a diverse workforce to plan, design, build and maintain the projects that are desperately needed to improve our quality of life.

Rather than retreat, Mobility 21 has invested over $75,000 to attack the challenge. HNTB, as a long-time partner of Mobility 21, entered the fourth year of SPARK-LA, a partnership with the Girls Academic Leadership Academy to create early interest in STEAM-related subjects at the middle- and high-school level at the first all-female school facility in the history of Los Angeles United School District. Once Measure M passed, Los Angeles First Lady Amy Wakeland toured construction sites and commented on the lack of diversity she found. Working with then Los Angeles Commissioner Heather Roepenning, HNTB began a partnership with GALA to teach a semester-long program on applying STEAM coursework to engineering and construction projects. Now in its fourth year, SPARK LA has graduated over 100 students, all young women, who are nearing college age and have learned how to design airport terminals, highway bridge structures, transit projects, parks and other facilities.

Creating an interest in engineering and construction cannot start when one is in high school. We need to offer insights into the rewarding work that we all do much earlier to capture imaginations and guide younger children of diverse backgrounds to a place they might know exists, or worse yet, know exists, but they don’t see a path to reach that place. HNTB’s Laura Mohr has been supported by many government officials and speakers from LA Metro, LAWA, Caltrans, Metrolink and other agencies on SPARK-LA. The program has been recognized by the Mayor’s Office and LAUSD as a pioneering effort to solve the challenge of supplying the region with the talented engineers, construction workers, operators and maintenance talent we currently lack and desperately need to deliver the infrastructure of tomorrow for Southern California.


Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight
Southern California Edison

SCE’s Charge Ready Programs Pave the Way for Clean Transportation
At Southern California Edison (SCE), creating a clean energy future isn’t just a nice catchphrase. It drives everything we do, especially in the clean transportation space, with our Charge Ready programs helping to provide clean fuel for our region’s electric vehicles (EV). These programs support the expansion of EV charging at homes, workplaces, schools, and public places, as well as fleet and industrial vehicle charging.

SCE continues to develop and implement innovative programs that support our state’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts by helping more customers make the switch to clean, electric transportation. Last year, we launched Charge Ready Transport, aiming to add charging stations at more than 800 sites to support over 8,000 trucks and industrial vehicles over five years.

As SCE looks to the future, our utility continues to work with our customers, including our transit partners, to make the shift to zero emissions. Most recently, through our Charge Ready Transit Bus pilot, we installed electrical infrastructure and provided rebates for the purchase of charging stations for both Foothill Transit and Porterville Transit to support the addition of battery-electric buses to their fleets.

SCE is also continuing to modernize the electric grid to support California’s goal of achieving a clean energy future that will address the impacts of climate change and improve the air we breathe.

Learn more at www.edison.com/te.


Summit Platinum Sponsor Spotlight
WSP

From our start 135 years ago in the architecture and engineering industry to its recent work throughout Southern California, WSP strives to meet the challenges of infrastructure programs and projects with innovation and technical expertise to best serve our communities. We also know that our future world will be very different from today. Being future focused, understanding what the world might look like in the next few decades, and taking action to prepare, is essential to what we do at WSP. Our clients count on it and our communities thrive because of it. WSP is leading the industry in helping our clients deliver innovative and transformative strategies that reimagine how regions will grow and how people and goods will get around through our work on SANDAG’s Central Mobility Hub/Airport Connectivity project; the need for mobile sources to meet upcoming air quality requirements by assisting Metro, SBCTA and other transit agencies developing Zero Emission Bus systems; and providing steady and efficient project management for our clients, most notably our work with the Port of Long Beach on the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project. WSP is proud to continue our partnerships with southern California transportation agencies and our sponsorship support for the work of Mobility 21.


OCTA continues to look for the best way to enhance the OC Bus system with a variety of programs, including a College Pass Program, which offers free rides on the OC Bus system to qualifying students at several community colleges throughout the county. Photo courtesy OCTA.

OCTA Factors Community Input into
Orange County’s Future Transportation Needs

The Orange County Transportation Authority has been conducting an online survey to gain better insight into how people living in Orange County are changing the way they get around the county.

The Transportation Needs Assessment Survey is intended to gauge people’s opinions on the current public transit system and help shape future transit planning in Orange County.

The online survey is part of an ongoing effort by OCTA to reach out to current riders of OC Bus and Metrolink, as well as non-riders, to deliver a balanced and sustainable transportation network for the county and to enhance overall quality of life.

The survey, at www.OCTAsurvey.com, was online beginning in February, and lasts through the end of March. In an effort to engage residents from a variety of backgrounds, the survey was made available in English and six other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

“Our goal is to ensure all residents have a voice when it comes to transportation needs,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the mayor of Garden Grove. “The Transportation Needs Assessment is an opportunity for residents to have a say in local and regional mobility and to ensure everyone is being served.”

The brief survey asked how residents currently get around Orange County, and asked for suggestions on what can be improved to encourage people to use public transportation or consider active transportation options, such as walking and cycling.

The results of the survey will be used to help OCTA staff, under the direction of the OCTA board, plan for future transportation services and projects throughout Orange County,

For more information about the OC bus system, visit www.OCBus.com and all that OCTA does for Orange County transportation at www.octa.net.


Traffic congestion is heavy for motorists trying to enter northbound I-15 from Railroad Canyon Road in Lake Elsinore. Construction will start late this spring on a new interchange, which is funded in part by the state gas tax.

I-15 Railroad Canyon Road Interchange Project Ready for Construction

Construction of the Interstate 15 Railroad Canyon Road Interchange in Lake Elsinore moved another step forward on March 11 with RCTC’s selection of a contractor for this long-awaited project. The Commission awarded the $29 million contract to Riverside Construction Company, which was the lowest bidder from a field of 11.

RCTC is building the project in partnership with Caltrans and the City of Lake Elsinore to serve the needs of the area’s growing population and recreational visitors. Benefits and features include:

  • Safety: Building new auxiliary lanes on I-15 to help drivers enter and exit the highway and reduce traffic back-ups
  • Capacity: Adding two new lanes on Railroad Canyon Road through the interchange and new lanes to the on-ramps and off-ramps with I-15
  • Traffic Flow: Replacing the northbound diamond off-ramp with a hook-style on-ramp and off-ramp that both connect to Grape Street
  • Clean Air: Reducing the number of idling vehicles waiting to enter/exit I-15, which will improve air quality
  • Access: Constructing sidewalks and bike lanes along Railroad Canyon Road

Project construction is expected to start in late spring and the new interchange is expected to open by late 2022. The project took nearly 20 years to get to the starting line, due to environmental approvals, design variations, and challenges to secure funding. The state gasoline tax is providing $15 million toward the cost of construction, and Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fees, also known as developer fees, are funding more than $17 million.

“It’s about time,” said Commissioner Robert “Bob” Magee, who also serves as a Lake Elsinore City Council Member. “We are relieved and excited that work is finally on the horizon. This project will increase safety, capacity, traffic flow, clean air, and access for Lake Elsinore drivers and visitors. Please be patient while we build this new interchange.”

During construction, drivers should expect periodic closures to lanes and ramps, slow down, allow extra travel time, watch for construction crews and equipment, be aware of changing conditions, follow detours, and stay connected through the project’s communication channels:

I-15 Railroad Canyon Road Interchange Construction to Start 

Social media: @railroadcanyon

Websiterctc.org/railroadcanyon

Emailrailroadcanyon@rctc.org

Helpline: 877-500-RR15

Learn more


TCA Ends Effort to Extend 241 Toll Road, Unanimously Supports Three-Project Solution to South Orange County Traffic Relief

The Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Board of Directors approved a report today, which in cooperation with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), outlines three near-term projects that address South Orange County traffic relief.

These mobility improvement projects provide the necessary transportation benefits to fulfill the intent of the South County Traffic Relief Effort (SCTRE) Project. This formally concludes the SCTRE and completes the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) effort to extend the 241 Toll Road.

The Board action advances an untolled extension of Los Patrones Parkway (Alternative 22 Untolled) for further consideration, which would provide significant traffic relief with minimal environmental and community impacts.

Based on current traffic modeling and traffic projections, extending Los Patrones Parkway as an untolled county major thoroughfare accomplishes TCA’s efforts to complete the southern extension of the 241 Toll Road. As planned, the 241 Toll Road will transition into the untolled regional roadway network, similar to the 261 Toll Road and Jamboree Road.

“After a robust four-year public engagement effort, we are happy we have a solution that represents both the community’s input and technical analysis. The Los Patrones Parkway Extension will result in significant regional mobility improvements,” said Christina Shea, F/ETCA Chairwoman and Irvine Mayor. “Our approval means that all other alternatives, including all routes that connect directly to Interstate 5, are removed from consideration; and this concludes TCA’s effort to extend the 241 Toll Road.”

Caltrans received approximately 1,650 comments on the SCTRE Scoping Document through the February 10, 2020, deadline. The three projects are a result of the study’s technical analysis, significant public input and a collaborative effort between TCA, OCTA and Caltrans.

The three near-term transportation improvement projects moving forward are:

  • Alternative 22 Untolled – Extending Los Patrones Parkway untolled from its current terminus at Cow Camp Road to Avenida La Pata.
  • High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Extension to the County Line: Constructing one HOV lane in each direction on I-5 between Avenida Pico and the San Diego Countyline, as envisioned in OCTA’s 2008 South County Major Investment Study (SOCMIS) and its 2018 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
  • Ortega Highway Widening: Completing the less than one-mile widening of Ortega Highway (SR 74) between Calle Entradero in San Juan Capistrano to the city/county border, as envisioned in OCTA’s 2008 SOCMIS and its 2018 LRTP.

“This is a victory for all South County residents. My goal has always been to increase regional mobility and safety for the region; an untolled Los Patrones Parkway extension does exactly that,” said Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District Orange County Supervisor, TCA Director and OCTA Director. “It has been three years since I developed this alternative with OC Public Works and I am thrilled to see it finally moving forward. I am proud of the work done by my team at the County, OCTA and TCA to make this alternative a reality.”

The agencies recognize that additional multimodal transportation improvements will be necessary in the future to accommodate population and employment growth as well as changes in development and travel patterns. OCTA will continue to lead the South County Multimodal Study that began last year, with Caltrans and local stakeholders, to examine the transportation needs of the region over the next 20-plus years and can incorporate projects into future Long-Range Transportation Plans.

“After 15 months of hard work, as a Director on OCTA and TCA, I am very pleased with these regional traffic relief solutions, which provide the mobility we need without significant community or environmental impacts,” said Joe Muller, TCA Director, OCTA Director and Dana Point Councilman. “It is important for elected officials to listen to the public and consider the impact to local communities. It takes leadership to help local, state and regional agencies align with the public interest to provide improved mobility for the drivers in Orange County.”

In addition to voting to advance an untolled Los Patrones Parkway extension, the F/ETCA Board directed its staff to work with the County and to create a project development plan that will come back to the Board. The F/ETCA Board also voted to support the OCTA and Caltrans efforts to advance the I-5 HOV extension project and the Ortega Highway widening project in San Juan Capistrano.

“Planning, funding and delivering an effective, balanced and sustainable transportation system is fundamental for Orange County to continue thriving as a desirable place to live, work and visit for generations to come,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove. “All of the agencies are jointly committed to playing their respective roles in ensuring this effort is successful.”

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