OC roller rink owner Bob Labriola is "pleased to death" after learning that new lanes will be added to the 405 Freeway without infringing on his rink which neighbors the popular highway. Over a billion dollars in Measure-M taxes will add one lane in each direction from Euclid Avenue to the 605. Vikki Vargas reports from Fountain Valley for the NBC4 News at 9 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2012.
New lanes are coming to San Diego (405) Freeway in Orange County thanks to a voter-approved half-cent sales tax approved in 2006.
After hours of debate, the Orange County Transit Authority board voted 12-4 on Monday in favor of a plan that adds one lane in each direction from Euclid Avenue to I-605. Construction is estimated to cost $1.3 billion dollars, money that will come from Measure M.
“I think there’s enough land to add a lane without cutting into my building,” said Bob Labriola, owner of Skate Rink.
Labriola is the first to admit traffic on the 405 near his roller-skating rink can be a problem.
By adding one lane in each direction, the OCTA expects to make room for 1,200 more cars per hour during peak traffic times. Authorities had mulled the idea of adding carpool and toll lanes, a move that would have wiped out four businesses.
“There is disappointment, bit it’s a good first step. We can widen the freeway and leave options for later. It’s better than doing nothing,” said Miguel Pulido, OCTA board member.
The Fountain Valley Skate Center is home to numerous national champions. It has been here since the disco era and is one of just two roller rinks in the county.
“If this skate rink wasn’t here, don’t know what we’d do, have to go to San Diego,” said Nadia D’Ambrosio.
Longtime skaters worried the freeway expansion would stop them in their tracks. Instead they will keep on rolling and so will the cars outside.
Cal Trans also gets a say in the final plan to start construction in about two years.