SoCal’s First-Ever Texas U-Turn

Engineers love acronyms. If given the choice to use a simple name or a long one that can be abbreviated, they’ll generally take the latter. Our team at the Bridge Project is no different, with the introduction of the PAUC (Port Access Under Crossing). One of the innovative features of the Bridge Project is a “Texas U-turn” at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and SR-47 on Terminal Island.

Common in the Longhorn State, a Texas U-turn is a lane that enables vehicles traveling on one side of a one-way frontage road to U-turn onto the opposite frontage road (typically crossing over or under a freeway or expressway). In this case, the U-turn will run under Ocean Boulevard overpass on Terminal Island to allow trucks and other vehicles unabated movement onto Pier T or eastbound Ocean Boulevard over the current (and future) bridge. Scheduled to open in 2019, this roadway will accelerate goods movement for truckers and Port tenants in the area, and provide safe and smoother driving through the intersection for everyone.

Going into the project, it was clear that we could use the term “Texas U-turn” to describe its function, but the roadway needed a name, preferably one that was uniquely Californian. After laboring through options such as Long Beach Loop Around, Terminal Island Turnaround, and even SoCal Slingshot, the Bridge Project team landed on “Port Access Under Crossing,” or PAUC (rhymes with rock).

Full disclosure, it’s only the communications folks on the Bridge Project who entertain themselves with naming options for the PAUC. Everyone else on the team calls it the PAUC. On the monthly bridge tours though, our tour guides ask attendees about a name for the PAUC, and we get some inventive responses. If a good idea for what to call the Texas U turn strikes you, comment on our Facebook post here.