Firestone Boulevard ramps will close permanently, plus other closures and work on the I-5 South

More traffic news for commuters … this time for the I-5 South. Here’s the release from Caltrans:

Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5)

Firestone Boulevard Ramps Will Permanently Close

 NORWALK – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled the following lane, ramp, connector and full freeway closures as part of the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) South Corridor Improvement Projects from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to I-605:


Wednesday, April 3 at 7 p.m. – the northbound I-5 Firestone Boulevard off-ramp.

New date and time! - the southbound I-5 Firestone Boulevard on-ramp.  

Note:  the northbound I-5 Firestone Blvd. off-ramp exits from the #1 lane, the far left lane.

Digital portable message signs are at the ramps to notify the motoring public. Motorists can exit at the Rosecrans Avenue, Norwalk Boulevard or Imperial Highway off-ramps.

ON-RAMP FULL CLOSURES:  Daytime,  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monday, April 1,   Tuesday, April  2,  and  Thursday, April 4

  • Northbound I-5 on-ramps at Alondra Blvd and Norwalk Blvd/San Antonio Dr. Motorists can access northbound I-5 at the Carmenita Road on-ramp.

Wednesday, April 3

  • Northbound I-5 on-ramp at Alondra Blvd.

Motorists can access northbound I-5 at the Carmenita Road on-ramp.

ON-RAMP FULL CLOSURES: Overnight,  7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Wednesday, April 3

  • Southbound I-5 on-ramps at Norwalk Blvd/San Antonio Dr.,  S. Firestone Blvd., Imperial Highway, Pioneer Blvd. and Rosecrans Ave.

LANE CLOSURES:  Nightly, 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Monday, April 1, Tuesday, April 2 and Thursday, April 4

  • Northbound and southbound I-5 – Up to two lanes from Florence Ave to Firestone Blvd. Continue reading

Foothill Extension interactive map offers construction and detour updates

Construction Activity Map: 

Construction continues on the Foothill Gold Line project — the 11.5-mile extension from Pasadena to Azusa — with the resulting street closures and other impacts. If you travel or live in that direction, it could be worth it to sign up on their website for periodic construction notices via email. They also have an interactive map (above) that offers updates about points along the route, including lane and road closures and detours. The map above will take you to When you get there click on the area in question to benefit from the interactive updates.

Below are construction highlights just issued.


Nine bridges are under construction in the city of Azusa at three crossings (Foothill Blvd., Palm Dr. and Citrus Ave.) – six new bridges and three modifications.Utility relocation and mass grading continues throughout the corridor city, and improvements at the first major at-grade crossing (Dalton Ave.) has begun. Dalton Ave closed to traffic in February and will continue to be closed until the end of April. Track and ties are being installed for the future relocated freight line (pictured above). 

Demolition of the old 700-ft long single-track San Gabriel River Bridge is now complete (pictured left). Crews will continue with the removal of existing abutments as they prepare for a new dual-track bridge will be built in the future.

The Duarte station is the first of six new stations to start construction. Early this month, FTC poured concrete for the platform foundations. Additionally, Highland Ave was the first of nearly two dozen at-grade crossings to begin construction. Construction began in early February and was completed on March 11 when street was re-opened for public use.

Construction of the crossing improvements at California Ave began on March 9. As a reminder, California Ave at the railroad crossing will be closed for the next five months as this work is completed. Additionally, work at the Monrovia Gold Line Station has also begun and will be on-going.

Demolition is complete on the old Colorado Blvd bridge. Crews have begun construction on the new bridge abutment walls. Work is also underway on the Arcadia Gold Line Station.

Gold Line Operations Campus Update

Crews have started work on the foundation for the main building for the operations campus. Pictured right, crews are building the foundation for the blow-down pit that will allow future maintenance crews to clean under the light rail vehicles.

Azusa to Montclair Update:

At their March 6, 2013 meeting, the Construction Authority board of directors certified the  Final Environmental Impact Report for the Azusa to Montclair segment of the project; selecting the Locally Preferred Alternative for the next phase of the Foothill Extension. The Authority will start preparing for advanced conceptual engineering and design, ultimately readying the now-certified project for nearly $1 billion in funding. 

A Few Easy Ways to Stay Updated:

Have you dropped by a public information office lately? If not, come by! There are three offices available to the community for questions or comments:

400 N Santa Anita Ave, Suite 101-B, Arcadia, CA 91006
(Northeast corner of Santa Anita Ave. and La Porte St.)
Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays ONLY:  8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

406 E. Huntington Drive, Suite 202, Monrovia, CA 91016
(Construction Authority Offices)
Hours: Mondays through Friday:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

1300 W. Optical Drive, Suite 500, Azusa, CA 91702
Hours: Mondays through Friday:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Other Community Resources Include: 

Other Community Resources Include:

Full southbound 405 closure scheduled for Monday night … weather permitting

Get ready for a full southbound lane closure on the I-405 between the 101 and Getty Center Drive on Monday night (4/1-2) only. Sepulveda Boulevard will remain open. The closure is necessary so that rebuilding work can continue on the Mulholland Bridge. Metro has just released the following details:

Southbound I-405 Freeway Closure between U.S. 101 and Getty Center Drive Ramps Planned Monday Night, April 1, 2013

The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project contractor is scheduled to implement a full directional southbound I-405 freeway closure for approximately four miles between the U.S. 101 freeway and Getty Center Dr. ramps on the night of Monday, April 1, 2013.

The contractor will continue installing falsework structures for the reconstruction of the Mulholland Bridge. Similar work was previously performed on the bridge on March 8 and 23. 

Ramps within the freeway closures limits may begin to close as early as 7 p.m. and freeway lanes will begin to close as early as 10 p.m., leading up to the full southbound directional freeway closure beginning at 12 a.m. and ending at 5 a.m., weather permitting. 

What:  Falsework construction to support the reconstruction of the MulhollandBridge

When:  Full directional southbound freeway closure is anticipated to occur on Monday, April 1, 2013, weather permitting.  Ramps within the freeway closures limits may begin to close as early as 7 pm and freeway lanes will begin to close as early as 10 p.m., leading up to the full directional freeway closure beginning at 12 a.m.

Where: Between 101 freeway and Getty Center Dr. ramps

What to expect:

  • Sepulveda Blvd. will remain open within the freeway closure limits and will be used as a detour route.  Detour maps are available at    
  • Emergency access will be maintained at all times
  • For a listing of daily closures and latest updates visit our website at or follow us on twitter: and Facebook at

Transportation headlines, Friday, March 29

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

U.S. report backs high-speed rail revenue and ridership numbers (L.A. Times) 

The General Accounting Office says that numbers included in the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s business plan for the bullet train are realistic, although they have drawn considerable criticism from some politicians who aim to derail the project. The GAO says the biggest challenge for the project is coming up with the $51 billion combined it will need from the federal government and private interests; the overall cost to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles is currently estimated at about $68 billion.

Worst traffic gridlock in 18 years in Santa Monica? (Santa Monica Dispatch)

One woman thinks the congestion in downtown SaMo has never been worse than it was on a recent Saturday — with the construction of the Expo Line on Colorado Avenue apparently not helping. Commenters feel otherwise, saying it doesn’t help when people such as the writer of this piece insist on driving a few blocks instead of walking or taking transit.

Compare the urban density of U.S. urban areas (Greater Greater Washington) 

Cool breakdown of urban areas. Only four cities in the country have peak densities of more than 100,000 people per square mile — New York, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco. Los Angeles’ density tops out at 94,000 per square mile, mostly in the central city area. That’s very dense compared to many large cities. Check out the maps. Peak density is different than overall density of the region; the L.A. region is pretty dense by both measures, not to mention it’s overall population.

Zip Car now available at Los Angeles Union Station

Here’s the announcement from Metro:

Zip Car, the Nation’s largest car sharing service, is now available at Los Angeles Union Station! There are currently 4 cars on site; 2 are located in Lot B at the front of the station and 2 are near the Mozaic Apartments. For a nominal fee, users have access to a vehicle, gas, insurance and up to 180 miles per day.  Zip Car is available for rent by the hour or on a daily basis if needed.  The recent merger of Zip Car with Avis Rental Cars ensures that supply will be able to meet the growing demand for this flexible transportation service that can support your transit commute. To register or to learn more about Zip Car, please visit

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, March 27

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Metro Transportation Library and Archive a ‘mover and shaker!’ (Library Journal) 

A very nice nod to Metro librarian Kenn Bicknell for his work in developing the Metro library. Excerpt:

He has made the Metro Transportation Library a leader in deploying online tools and technology to bring library resources to users, says Matthew Barrett, Archives and Records Management administrator for the county Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Bicknell’s work at Metro has raised the library’s national profile and serves as a model for other small libraries and other cultural institutions in the Los Angeles region, Barrett says. [snip]

Use of the library’s online resources has exploded, in part because voters in 2008 approved a $40 billion upgrade to L.A. transit systems. Online access of the library’s collection grew exponentially, from 140,400 page views in FY07 to 4.3 million in FY11 (the latest available figures). “The numbers are so fast and so big, we know we’re doing something right,” Bicknell says.

The number of subscribers to Bicknell’s five-day-a-week blog digest with links to news on transportation and urban planning issues has grown more than 50 percent from 93,171 in FY09 to 140,993 in FY11. “It’s rewarding to feel like you’re driving the water cooler conversation,” Bicknell says.

Well said. My three cents: it’s pretty difficult to plan a future without some understanding of  the past. Many of the transit and road projects pursued by Metro have a long, rich history and the library has done an outstanding job of preserving it.

Los Angeles loses in first round of ‘Parking Madness’ tournament (D.C. Streetsblog)

In a stunning upset, downtown Los Angeles was ousted by downtown Dallas in the first round of the Streetsblog tournament to determine which American city has the most sprawling parking lots. The tournament began with 16 cities and so far Tulsa and Milwaukee have also advanced to the Elite Eight. Louisville holds a comfortable lead over San Diego in yesterday’s park-off and Cleveland versus Spokane was just posted. Go Cleveland!

How the Highland Park Transit Village will look from the street (Patch) 

The developers of an 80-unit building to be constructed on three city of Los Angeles parking lots in Highland Park brought some video renderings to a neighborhood council to persuade members that their project won’t be unsightly or overwhelm downtown Highland Park. I think it will be good for the area — businesses need residents to survive and thrive and it makes a lot of sense to build near transit. The parking lots are a stone’s throw from the Gold Line’s Highland Park station; it’s a 15-minute ride from there to Union Station.

High-speed rail’s strongest backers now express reservations (L.A. Times)

First, headline is a little misleading: as the story makes clear, there are other ‘strong’ backers of the project who don’t have reservations. Nonetheless, some project proponents have taken issue with the so-called ‘blended’ approach that would allow bullet trains to share tracks with commuter trains in Northern California. The concern is that will prevent trains from traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the state-mandated two hours, 40 minutes and that slower trains will need to be subsidized because they can’t compete with airlines.

Of course, there are probably many motorists and people who take planes who would be more than happy to take a train between the Bay Area and Los Angeles in five hours or so — instead of the 10- to 12-hour journey now required on Amtrak (when trains are on schedule). But the state Legislature chose to pursue the fast, most expensive option for high-speed rail, leading to the kind of controversies described in the preceding paragraph.