An overcrossing for a bridge on Pacific Coast Highway in Wilmington will be dedicated in memory of Sen. Jenny Oropeza Monday.
Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, who succeeded Oropeza, will be joined by her family members, friends and community leaders at the 10:30 a.m. dedication ceremony at the Wilmington Senior Citizen Center.
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 Pacific Coast Highway on Alameda Street in Wilmington, Lieu said.
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 said.
Lieu, elected in a 2011 special election to succeed Oropeza, thought it was appropriate to honor the late assemblywoman and her legacy by naming the overcrossing after her. Lieu authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 79, which was adopted by the Legislature in 2012, dedicating the portion of Pacific Coast Highway 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, which she served on 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 Oct. 20, 2010 from a blood clot in her abdomen at age 53, but was re-elected less than two weeks later.