Projects keep traffic flowing

by TOMOYA SHIMURA

The intersection of Culver Drive and University Drive is undergoing a major widening as part of a $79 million investment.

The project will add three lanes to the northbound Culver approach – two right-turn lanes and another through lane. It is scheduled for completion later this year.

This is one of 21 transportation projects the city has launched to keep traffic moving, which include:

  • Widening University Drive, from MacArthur Boulevard to Campus Drive
  • Synchronizing more than 200 traffic signals on major streets
  • Synchronizing 40 signals at Irvine freeway and tollroad ramps
  • Adding “smart” lights that use artificial intelligence to adjust to traffic flow
  • Adding signals that cut left-turn wait times

“We have a lot of projects going on right now to help facilitate traffic flow,” said Jaimee Bourgeois, Irvine’s traffic engineer.


Here’s a look at several projects currently underway:

Widening Culver-University intersection

This $5.1 million project will widen the intersection by adding two northbound right-turn lanes and a new northbound through lane on Culver Drive. Right now, there is no right turn lane there. The project will minimize the amount of time people have to wait to go through or make right turns. Construction is scheduled to be completed in October.

 


Traffic light synchronization continues

More than 200 traffic signals on all major streets have been synchronized, cutting the average drive time by 10-15 percent. Progress continues in extending this synchronization to freeway on-ramps. Caltrans is upgrading 40 Irvine signals at ramps to the 5 and 405 freeways and 261 and 133 toll roads. This will give the city uninterrupted synchronization on all major streets.

 


New traffic signals cut down left-turn wait times

The city has installed traffic signals with a flashing yellow arrow, which allows drivers to make a left turn if it’s safe to do so, at the intersections of Tesla at Irvine Center Drive, Odyssey at Irvine Center Drive, and Oldfield at Rockfield Boulevard, and will soon be installing the signals at Florence at Culver Drive, and Towngate at Sand Canyon Avenue. The city will monitor the five intersections for at least six months to measure the effectiveness of the program.