Huntington Beach Mayor Don Hansen
issued an announcement today that he, as Chairman of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Regional and Highways Committee, has managed to convince the members of his committee that the 19th Street Bridge
- currently still shown on the Master Plan of Arterial Highways as a transportation corridor between Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach - should be removed from consideration forever. You can read his announcement below.WHAT ABOUT NEWPORT BEACH?
I contacted Hansen after I received his information because I, and mo
st other observers, were under the impression that the removal of the 19th Street Bridge required the agreement of the city councils of Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa AND Newport Beach. Both Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa have taken official positions opposing the bridge, but as far as I know Newport Beach has not."AN EXCEPTION IS WARRANTED"
His response to that question was: "I am advancing an exception to policy. We will never achieve consensus and my fellow committee members agreed an exception was warranted
." Well, this is good news if he and his fellow-committee members can convince the full OCTA Board on this issue at their meeting on March 12th.(Corrects typo in Hansen's release)
I guess we'll see.
BANNING RANCH DEVELOPMENT AT RISK?
In the meantime, I suspect our good neighbors over in Newport Beach are NOT
happy with this end-run. If upheld by the full OCTA Board, this might throw a major monkey wrench into the plans to develop Banning Ranch. We'll see...
HERE'S HANSEN'S ANNOUNCEMENT
HANSEN SECURES COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF 19TH STREET BRIDGE ELIMINATION
Huntington Beach Mayor Don Hansen, the current chairman of the Orange County Transportation Authority's Regional Planning and Highways Committee, was able to secure the committee's approval of the full removal of the 19th Street/Banning Bridge from the County's Master Plan of Arterial Highways (MPAH) at their meeting this morning.
The recommendation passed the committee unanimously and will now be forwarded to the full OCTA Board for consideration. If approved by the OCTA Board, the bridge will be permanently removed from the County's Master Plan.
"It is time to put this contentious issue to behind us once and for all" said Mayor Hansen. In the committee meeting, Hansen cited long standing opposition by the community, combined with the reaffirmed positions of Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa calling for the removal of the bridge from the MPAH.
In January, Mayor Hansen, along with County Supervisor John Moorlach hosted a community forum to gain input on potential bridge scenarios. The overcapacity crowd of 600+ residents were clear - no bridge.
Mayor Hansen credits this community meeting with helping create the momentum to finally deliver a solution.
Hansen said, "The community meeting gave me the momentum necessary to advance this issue at OCTA. While it was a charged environment that evening, I am grateful to the neighbors who came and expressed their views. We are now one step away from a solution many in our community have desired for decades."
The full board will take up this issue Monday March 10th at 9 AM. The public is welcome and encouraged to provided comment.
Labels: 19th Street Bridge, Banning Ranch, Don Hansen