MOORLACH UPDATE — Bridge Bash — August 16, 2013

The southbound San Diego (405) Freeway bridge to the Garden Grove (22) Freeway heading east has been replaced to make room for carpool lanes. That is the good news. The bad news is that the old bridge, which traverses the San Diego Freeway, will be torn down between 9 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Consequently, to prevent drivers from dodging massive slabs of busted concrete falling from 28 feet overhead, the entire 405 will be closed between the 605 and 22 freeways. It will not be possible to get through that area unless you take surface street detours. Please plan accordingly.

The Marina del Rey Patch provides the first piece below on this topic. The second piece was provided by the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch, the Fountain Valley Patch, and the Aliso Viejo Patch. I meant to say I-Phone instead of I-Pad, as my wife has become a great navigator when we drive together, telling me if the freeway ahead is green, yellow or red. The third piece is from ABC Channel 7 Los Angeles and includes a link to the video portion (which also aired on Channel 13). And the fourth and final piece is from FOX 11 News.

The OC Register’s The Current has a piece by columnist Barbara Venezia that closes out the set with the fifth piece below. I’m providing the beginning of the column and wishing the Mansoors all the best on their nuptials.

Have a great weekend and please avoid the Bridge Bash.


Headed South? Look Out for ‘Bridge Bash’ 405 Closure in Orange County

The 405 freeway closure in the Westminster area will affect motorists Saturday night and Sunday.

Posted by John Schreiber (Editor)

Marina del Rey residents who want to drive to San Diego or Orange County this weekend better make plans for detours as a segment of the busy San Diego (405) Freeway in the Westminster area will be closed in both directions.

"It’s sort of like the Carmageddon of Orange County," said Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, who also serves on the board of directors of the Orange County Transportation Authority.

"Think ahead so you’re not frustrated because there are alternative courses to take," Moorlach said.

Moorlach and other Orange County officials have been sounding the alarms this month warning of the 20-hour closure of the San Diego Freeway in both directions from 9 p.m. Saturday through 5 p.m. Sunday, from the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway to Valley View Street in Westminster.

The closure will let workers raze the bridge linking the southbound San Diego Freeway to eastbound Garden Grove (22) Freeway. Orange County Transportation Authority officials are calling it the "Bridge Bash" project.

"We’re calling it the Bridge Bash because Carmageddon’s taken," Moorlach said with a chuckle.

Moorlach is pleased with the effort to inform the public.

"It’s on all the Amber Alert signs," Moorlach said. "We’re in an age of social media where everyone seems informed, but if you’re not then sorry, but OCTA has done a rather effective job of getting the message out."

The southbound San Diego Freeway connector to the eastbound Garden Grove Freeway has been reconstructed to add a new carpool connecting lane, and because the new connector opened on July 29, workers must raze the old one.

The bridge cannot be demolished one half at a time for technical reasons related to its older design, OCTA officials say.

The demolition will require 50 pieces of equipment, including four large excavators, and about 60 to 70 workers.

The work will cost about $700,000, and if it goes beyond 5 p.m. Sunday the contractor, Cleveland Wrecking Company, will have to foot the bill of about $35,000 per hour from then on, so there’s an incentive to complete it on time, OCTA officials say.

The new bridge will be 34 feet tall, versus 28 feet for the old one, which was built in 1965.

The average daily traffic on the connector is about 63,000 vehicles. The average daily traffic on the San Diego Freeway in the area is about 370,000 during the week and 350,000 on the weekend.

The work is part of the $277 million West County Connectors project, which was started in 2010 and will connect carpool lanes on the San Diego, San Gabriel River and Garden Grove freeways. The project also includes a second carpool lane for the San Diego Freeway between the Garden Grove and San Gabriel River freeways.

The project is expected to be finished in late 2014 or early 2015.

During the closure, northbound San Diego Freeway motorists were advised to take the following detours:

· Exit Beach Boulevard and turn right; take the westbound Garden Grove Freeway on-ramp to reconnect with northbound San Diego Freeway.

· Exit Westminster Avenue (east) and turn left, turn right on Bolsa Chica Road and take the westbound Garden Grove Freeway on-ramp to reconnect with the northbound San Diego Freeway, or

· Exit Valley View Street and turn left on Garden Grove Boulevard, turn right on Valley View Street and take the westbound Garden Grove Freeway on- ramp to reconnect with northbound San Diego Freeway.

Southbound San Diego Freeway motorists have the following detours:

· Exit Studebaker Road and turn right, turn left on East Second Street/Westminster Avenue, continue on Westminster Avenue to access southbound San Diego Freeway;

· Merge onto northbound San Gabriel River Freeway, exit Katella Avenue and turn right, turn right on Valley View Street to access southbound San Diego Freeway.

Southbound motorists on the San Gabriel River Freeway should use the following detour:

· Exit Willow Street and turn right, turn left on Studebaker Road, turn left on east Second Street/Westminster Avenue, continue on Westminster Avenue to access southbound San Diego Freeway.

Motorists on Seventh Street and eastbound Garden Grove Freeway should merge on northbound San Gabriel River Freeway, exit Katella Avenue and turn right, turn right on Valley View Street to access southbound San Diego Freeway.

City News Service

LA-Bound this Weekend? Avoid I-405 ‘Bridge Bash’ Traffic Snarl

The I-405 Freeway will be closed in both directions Saturday night through Sunday afternoon from the I-605 junction to Valley View Street.

Posted by Adam Townsend (Editor)

Huge jackhammers mounted on the jointed arms of earthmover-like vehicles will be knocking apart the I-405 connector to the 22 Freeway this weekend, and Orange County officials are urging motorists to avoid the area during the accompanying 20-hour 405 closure.

"Instead of going to San Diego on the 405, use the [I-5 Freeway]," said OC Second District Supervisor John Moorlach at a Thursday press conference near the doomed connector. "Be creative; use your iPad. There are so many opportunities for us to have detours."

Moorlach referred to relatively light traffic that accompanied the the 2011 freeway closure and demolition of the Mullholland Drive bridge in Los Angeles.

"The good thing about ‘Carmageddon’ is when it happened, it was a non-event," he said. "That’s what we’re hoping for here."

Lisa Ramsey, the District 12 deputy director for the California Department of Transportation, described the demolition process. First, some of the 70 workers on the project will lay steal plates on the roadbed below to protect the asphalt from falling debris.

Then, the jackhammers will chip away at the concrete and workers will use cutting equipment to cut the steel cable embedded inside the connector, which now sees about 370,000 vehicles per day, she said.

The debris will be piled at the roadside for later recycling, Ramsey said.

The project will be finished late next year or early in 2015, said Orange County Transportation Authority CEO Darrell Johnson. The project will link carpool lanes from the 405 to the 22 and the 605, allowing a seamless transition without all the weaving among lanes motorists have had to navigate in the past, he said.

The $277 million project will smooth the traffic flow, add safety and save motorists an average of five to six minutes, Johnson said.

If you simply can’t avoid the stretch of the 405 in question during the 9 p.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday closure, these detours will be open and marked:

Heading south on I-405 exit on Studebaker Road and then follow the signs. Or, merge onto I-605 north. Exit Katella Avenue and follow the signs.

Heading north on I-405, take the Beach Boulevard exit and follow the signs. Drivers can also take Valley View Street, but that exit is right at the closure, so there will likely be a bottleneck there.

Photos by Adam Townsend

‘Bridge Bash’ project to close 405 Freeway in Orange County

Eileen Frere

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (KABC) — Orange County gets its own version of "Carmageddon" this weekend. Some are calling it "Bridge Bash," "Orange Jam" and "A Clogwork Orange." And it’s coming this weekend to the busy 405 Freeway.

A 4-mile stretch of the 405 will be shut down between Valley View Street and the 605 Freeway from Saturday at 9 p.m. until Sunday at 5 p.m.

The stretch of the 405 Freeway is considered one of the busiest in the country: an average of 370,000 vehicles travel through each day.

But starting Saturday at 9 p.m., the 405 will shut down completely between the 605 Freeway and Valley View Street in Westminster.

The 20-hour closure, dubbed "Bridge Bash," will have crews demolishing the old bridge linking the southbound 405 Freeway to the eastbound 22 Freeway.

"It’s not quite ‘Carmageddon,’ but sort of like ‘Carmageddon,’ and we want to get this done as quickly and expeditiously as possible," said Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach.

The construction is part of a $277-million West County Connectors Project spanning 6 miles and passing through six cities. It’s expected to be finished by late 2014 or early 2015. Officials say it will ease congestion by connecting carpool lanes on the 405, 605 and the 22.

"This will allow drivers to stay in those carpool lanes from the 405, 22, 605 and not have to weave and merge through there," said Darrell Johnson, chief executive officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Authorities urge people to avoid the area this weekend until the demolition and cleanup is finished by 5 p.m. Sunday.

"If you do have to drive please just make the appropriate plans and be sure to allocate extra time," said Moorlach.

It’s The OC’s Turn With ‘Bridge Bash’ – 405 Closed This Weekend

By: Alexandra Limon, Orange County Reporter

Posted by: FOX 11 Web Staff

By: Bob DeCastro, Reporter

Westminster, CA – (FOX 11 / AP) Officials want Southern Californians to be prepared for another freeway closure that will route thousands of cars onto side streets next weekend.

The local newspaper media reports that nearly four southbound miles of Interstate 405 in Orange County will be closed for 20 hours starting late Saturday.

A portion of the freeway’s northbound lanes will also be closed.

The so-called Bridge Bash closure is part of a $277-million project to link carpool lanes between three local freeways.

On an average weekend summer day, more than 300,000 vehicles pass through the stretch of freeway that will be disrupted by the bridge demolition.

The project has had more than two years of construction-related delays and is scheduled to continue through next year.

From Bob DeCastro:

Commuters are calling the event Bridge Bash, Orange Jam, and a Clogwork Orange. Whatever you want to call it, it will be a big traffic headache. Nearly four miles of Interstate 405 in Orange County will be closed for 20 hours starting late Saturday.

It’s all part of a $277-million, 2-year project to join carpool lanes. The 50 year old connector bridge linking the I-405S to 22 E will be demolished. The new connector was opened a few weeks ago.

On an average weekend, more than 700,000 vehicles pass through the stretch of freeway.

The closure begin 9 PM Saturday and end at 5 PM on Sunday. The detours are complicated and will go through six different Orange County Cities.

For more info, check out the Orange County Transit Authority Website.

From Alexandra Limon:

Bridge bash, the orange jam, 22 skidoo, whatever you want to call it – it all stands for the same thing: the busiest section of the 405 freeway is shutting down.

"We’re trying to keep it as short as possible, we understand closing a major freeway is never convenient however," said Shawn Nelson, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Crews have been working on the project for a year and a half. For the next step: northbound 405 will close at valley view and the southbound 405 will close between the 605 and the 22. That section of freeway will stay closed for 20 hours, from 9pm Saturday to 5pm Sunday.

"This closure is necessary to demolish the old bridge that link southbound 405 to the eastbound 22 freeway," said Darrell Johnson, CEO of the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Though demolishing the old bridge is necessary, it’s not necessarily convenient. Some 370,000 drivers travel on that section of the 405 daily.

"We know on the weekends when everyone wants to visit relatives or friends, over the weekend it gets almost more congested all day long," said Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach.

The bridge bash will cost $700,000, but it’s part of the $277 million West County Connectors Project. The project is happening so drivers can stay in the carpool lane when merging from one freeway to another. That will help them save time, and it’s safer.




Did Mansoor marry? What’s the latest on honoring the OC AIDS advocate who died July 17? And just what happened with Lynn Selich’s campaign to keep her brother’s killer in jail?

It’s time for an update column, as inquiring minds want to know: Did Assemblyman Allan Mansoor really get married? What happened with OC Race Craft high-performance driving events at the Great Park?

Were Lynn Selich’s efforts to keep the convicted murderer of her brother in jail successful?

Have plans firmed up to celebrate the life of fallen OC AIDS advocate Shelly Virkstis?

You asked, I followed up, and here are some recaps and updates.

On Jan. 2, I let the cat out of the bag that Mansoor had proposed to his girlfriend of two years, Janniffer Grubisich, in November. The couple just married on Aug. 3 in Fallbrook at a large wedding, Mansoor reported. Afterward, the newlyweds took a short trip to Catalina – but Mansoor had to get back to work on Assembly business in Sacramento. “We are planning a real honeymoon somewhere tropical later,” Mansoor told me. How’s he adjusting to married life? “I’m on top of the world. She’s the best thing to ever happen to me,” he said. Has he decided to run for Supervisor John ‍Moorlach‍’‍s seat in 2014? Mansoor said whoever holds the seat should have strong ties to the district – which he does. Though still noncommittal, he said if he runs he’ll be successful and looks forward to participating in another Feet to the Fire Forum in 2014 with his opponents.


August 13


Jenifer B. McKim of the OC Register addressed a continuing topic in “Tollways may hire sued bankers – Bonds: A deal with 2 investment banks is possible despite litigation related to O.C.’s bankruptcy.” Goldman Sachs & Co. did not do business with Bob Citron and was one of the two “clean” firms selected by the County to be the lead underwriters of its bankruptcy recovery bond issuances. However, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) took exception to Goldman for somehow not informing them about their decision to not do business with Citron. It was an awkward hissy fit, as the biggest public supporter of Citron during the campaign was the Executive Director of OCTA. Salomon Brothers Inc. served the County creditably as its primary financial advisor during the bankruptcy, but merged with Smith Barney, a defendant in litigation by the County, in 1997. You can now see some of the noise that was swirling around when certain professional relationship decisions had to be made. Here are a few selected paragraphs:

Toll road board members today will consider hiring Goldman Sachs & Co. and Salomon Smith Barney as underwriters, although some members are concerned about their past.

“I am still today not comfortable with Goldman Sachs as a co-senior manager,” said county Supervisor Todd Spitzer.

The decision comes four months after the agency canceled plans to hire financial adviser Douglas S. Montague after conflict over his involvement in the bankruptcy. Montague was sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

County Treasurer John M. Moorlach, who criticized Montague’s proposed appointment, said he supported hiring the two firms because they are the most qualified and litigation should end soon. Neither firm could be reached for comment.

The Orange County Transportation Authority sued Goldman Sachs and now is appealing the case it lost, alleging the company failed to warn it about former county Treasurer Robert Citron’s risky investments. Similarly, the county is suing Smith Barney over ill-fated investments.

August 14


OC Register business columnist Jonathan Lansner did his perspective on “Let’s review bankruptcy culpability.” Here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

Sorry, David Letterman, but here’s my list – in order of rising culpability – of the Top 10 Parties Who Could Have Stopped Bob If They Had Been Paying Attention:

(10) Pool investors

(9) Mike Stamenson

(8) Local media: In front of a recent national gathering of business journalists, John Moorlach, doomsayer-now-treasurer, chided the county’s two daily newspapers for missing the warning signs of impending disaster in 1994. You know, he’s right.

(7) O.C.’s accountants

(6) County staff

(5) O.C. voters: Take out the local phone book. Point to a name. Guilty! The public had the option of booting Bob in early 1994, but chose to defeat Moorlach, who ran on a “The pool is gonna blow” platform.

(4) Wall Street

(3) Merrill supervisors

(2) O.C. Supervisors

And the No. 1 Culpable Party is . . . Bob, of course. The buck still stops at the top.


The front page of the OC Register, top-of-the-fold, had the following headline: “The recall roll call.” It had two related articles. The first was titled “The secretary of state certifies the ballot where 135 contenders – and pretenders – will compete for Gov. Gray Davis’ job.” The second was titled “Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffet to advise friend Arnold Schwarzenegger.” It was written by Jim Finkle and John Gittelsohn, with Mary Ann Milbourn contributing. Here are two paragraphs from the piece:

Warren Buffett, a legendary investor and the world’s second-richest man, will serve as senior economic adviser to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the recall campaign for California governor, Schwarzenegger said Wednesday.

“You couldn’t bring in a heavier, bigger hitter than Warren Buffett,” said John Moorlach, Orange County’s Republican treasurer, who in 1994 sounded early alarms about county financial problems that resulted in the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.


The Daily Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent published my editorial submission, “Taking steps to correct poor oversight,” that provided the UPDATE that I shared a few days ago in MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 2 — August 7, 2013. It’s worth another look.

I can still clearly remember a telephone conversation that I had with Newport Beach Republican leader extraordinaire, Buck Johns, some fourteen years ago.

I had lamented that I had found such a mess in the then-Treasurer Bob Citron’s portfolio. “It may not be a good thing to win this election,” I shared.

In response, he stated, in his Arkansas-style, “Detect and key-rect.” “Detect and correct” then became a theme of mine since entering public life as an Orange County elected official.

Nearly two years ago, as I was Supervisor-elect and waiting to be sworn into the position, an inmate in one of our County Jail facilities was brutally murdered by fellow inmates under the watch of three jailers.

This is Orange County, not Gotham City. One should not be in fear for one’s life when in our County jails. How could such a heinous act have occurred?

Flash forward and we find that it occurred because of an upside-down culture with some of our Deputy Sheriff jailers that allowed inmates to run portions of the Theo Lacy Jail. They only seemed to act like referees and gate-keepers, allowing inmates to utilize their pecking-order to keep things under control. Turning a blind-eye to physical punishment by inmate leadership upon other inmates is something out of a warped movie, not a civilized and progressive county like ours. This inappropriate behavior was detected.

Now we are correcting it. I was sworn in on December 5th, 2006. It took my office, in conjunction with the efforts of the other Board offices, the CEO’s office, the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office and County Counsel this long to get an Office of Independent Review structured, established, and, as of yesterday, staffed with its first Director, Stephen Connolly. The process involved numerous meetings over an extended period of time with our partners trying to shape a structure that would be beneficial to all involved. As you can imagine, this idea was not supported by our former Sheriff, Michael Carona.

Our former Sheriff believed that the Grand Jury was an adequate oversight body. Unfortunately, it takes a new Grand Jury a few months to get oriented, a few months to investigate matters of importance to them, and then a few months to write their reports. Their twelve months of service flies by and there is no corporate knowledge as the next Grand Jury is comprised with another 19 fresh faces. If you want to have minimal oversight, then the Grand Jury is your vehicle.

The legal costs for dealing with the death in the jail, including the settlement paid, should be eliminated in the future. We currently have some 30 lawsuits of a similar nature emanating out of the Sheriff’s Department.

A better form of oversight to reduce this activity was necessary. I can still recall having a lengthy telephone discussion fourteen years ago with the Foreman of the 1993-1994 Grand Jury, Jim Cooper, about the inappropriateness of then-Treasurer Citron’s investment strategies. That Grand Jury, a supposed oversight body, did nothing with this information. I often wondered out loud in stump speeches during my campaign against Mr. Citron, “Where is the oversight?” Consequently, within weeks of the filing of bankruptcy protection the 1995 Board of Supervisors established an oversight committee for the County Treasurer’s office.

An Office of Independent Review will be involved in Sheriff’s Department investigations. It will determine if the investigations conducted by the Internal Affairs Division of the Sheriff’s Department were done in an appropriate and professional manner and whether the dispositions are fair and correct.

Instead of having a Department which investigates itself–keeping the analytical activities secret and the results hidden–with a customary conclusion in a brief report that oftentimes states that the, “Investigatee’s conduct was appropriate under the circumstances,” we will have another set of trusted eyes on the proceedings. We will also have recommendations to the Sheriff’s Department to make modifications that will reduce such incidents from occurring in the future.

This approach has saved Los Angeles County a considerable amount of money in reduced litigation settlements and improved efficiencies, policies and procedures. Like my mother used to tell me, “Sometimes you have to spend a dime to make a quarter.”

It is also good conservative policy to have some form of independent review over your paramilitary organizations. We have a civilian that is the Commander-in-Chief of our military. We have civilians that serve as Secretaries for our military branches. Public safety officials work to protect us and we should not fear any imbalance in their efforts. But we should not let them operate in a vacuum, free from transparency.

I am very pleased that our new Sheriff, Sandra Hutchens, is not only familiar with the purpose and necessity of an Office of Independent Review, but is also a strong proponent of this endeavor. Accordingly, I am very pleased with her enthusiastic support of our new Office of Independent Review Director, Stephen Connolly.

We have a new Sheriff. We have new video cameras in the Theo Lacy Jail. We now have an Office of Independent Review. We should be moving in the direction of a new and appropriate culture in our jails. Detect and correct.

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