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City Manager Proposes Plan to Keep Trash Trucks Off North Irvine Streets

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Irvine officials believe they’ve come up with a way to get an increasing number of trash trucks off City streets in North Irvine: build a new street for the trucks to use instead.
 
Having closed the All American Asphalt plant last year, Irvine is now moving to head off what City Manager Oliver Chi called “one of the last quality-of-life issue in North Irvine”: increasing truck traffic to and from the Bowerman Landfill about a mile east of the 241 toll road along Bee Canyon Road.
 
The County is planning to phase out the Olinda Alpha Landfill in Brea starting next year, and the hundreds of trash trucks now topping off that facility will be diverted to the two remaining landfills in OC, the Prima Deshecha Landfill in San Juan Capistrano and Bowerman.

“Currently these trucks exit from the 405, 5, and 241 Freeways onto city streets to access the landfill,” Chi wrote in a report to the City Council. “Truck traffic along city streets has a negative impact on quality of life in the North Irvine area including traffic, noise and pollution.”

In preliminary discussions with the County and the toll roads agency, a potential work-around has taken shape, Chi said.

“Construction of a new public off ramp or accessway from the [133 Freeway] directly serving the Bowerman Landfill would divert the majority of truck traffic from local city streets — alleviating quality of life concerns for residents and extending the life of the street pavement — particularly on Sand Canyon Avenue,” he wrote, adding: “The new off ramp will also shorten the drop off time for each truck at the landfill, helping to keep solid waste rates as low as possible and driving air quality improvements to the region.”

The County is also offering to give the City an easement on vacant undevelopable land adjacent to the proposed Gateway Village project at Jamboree Road and Portola Parkway, to be used as a fire buffer for the new village. This would free up space in the Gateway Village parcel that otherwise would have gone to the fire buffer, which would increase the buildable acreage of the project.

In return for the truck solution and the easement, the City would promise to help defend the landfill against any claims brought by future Gateway Village residents over legally permitted operations there. The City also would work to ensure that all potential developers and potential buyers in Gateway Village are aware of the landfill’s presence and operations before they commit to build or buy.

Funding for the new ramp and road would come from waste disposal fees, Chi told the Council at its June 11 meeting.

The Council unanimously passed a resolution to empower the City staff to continue talks with the County and toll roads agency with the goal of concluding an agreement that can be brought back for the Council’s review and approval.

Before the vote, Vice Mayor Larry Agran requested that the staff begin to reach out to City residents and bring them into the process.
“This is a very important matter and the fact that residents who may be affected have not been brought into the process is something that we need to address right away,” Agran said. Chi agreed “absolutely” to include residents in the process going forward.

Roger Bloom

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