An overcrossing for a bridge on Pacific Coast Highway in Wilmington was dedicated Monday in memory of Sen. Jenny Oropeza, who led efforts to get it completed by the planned opening of the Alameda Corridor.
Shortly after taking her seat in the Assembly in 2000, Oropeza became aware that all of the planned bridges on the Alameda Corridor would be completed by the time of its scheduled opening in 2002, except for the bridge on PCH at Alameda Street, said Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, who succeeded Oropeza.
Oropeza, D-Long Beach, brought together representatives from the state, county and city governments, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, railroads and affected businesses, and they were able to find the $107 million necessary to build the overcrossing, Lieu told attendees at the dedication ceremony held at the Wilmington Senior Citizen Center.
Lieu, who won a 2011 special election to succeed Oropeza, authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 79, which was adopted by the Legislature in 2012, dedicating the portion of PCH the Honorable Jenny Oropeza Memorial Overcrossing.
Oropeza began her political career in 1988 by being elected to the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education. In 1994, she became the first Latina elected to the Long Beach City Council, serving on that panel until being elected to the Assembly in 2000.
Oropeza was elected to the state Senate in 2006, representing portions of the South Bay and Westside. She died on Oct. 20, 2010, from a blood clot in her abdomen at the age of 53.
—City News Service
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