I-5 Empire Project update: upcoming construction activities and closures

Here’s the news release from Caltrans; Metro is a funding partner on the project:

The construction activities and closures listed below will occur during the week of July 20-25, 2014, as part of the I-5 Empire Project in Burbank, a series of freeway improvements between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street. More information about the project is here. Construction activities and closures are subject to change.

Major Construction Activities for the Week of July 20-25, 2014

Daytime work except where noted.

  • Fill placement between the San Fernando Boulevard tunnel and the Lincoln Street/Victory Place intersection.
  • Removal of vegetation along southbound I-5 between Scott Road and Burbank Boulevard.
  • Construction of a boring pit at Victory Place and Wilson Avenue.
  • Manhole work at Victory Place and Empire Center Drive (the signaled intersection near Wendy’s and Catherine’s).
  • The Gas Company will perform utility removal/relocation work near the intersection of Empire Avenue and Victory Place and on San Fernando Boulevard between the northbound Scott Road off-ramp and Grismer Avenue. Some of this work will be performed at night. Please be attentive to lane closures and watch for workers in the construction zone.

What to Expect: Residents and businesses close to the freeway may notice vibration and construction noise, but it will not exceed levels permitted by state, federal and local regulations. Also, the contractor is using approved dust-control measures to minimize airborne particles, but some dust is expected. Additionally, motorists should be attentive to new traffic patterns created by restriping of travel lanes and concrete barriers. Please proceed cautiously and watch for workers.

Closures for the Week of July 20-25, 2014

Northbound I-5 Closures


  • Burbank Boulevard/Walnut Avenue on-ramp: A permanent closure was implemented on July 16, 2014.

Southbound I-5 Closures


  • Scott Road off-ramp: Permanent closure. This ramp will be integrated into the Empire interchange, which will open in mid-2016
  • Victory Boulevard/Lincoln Street on-ramp: Permanent closure. This ramp will be integrated into the Empire interchange, which will open in mid-2016

Resources for Motorists

  • Project Information:Information about the project is here.
  • Closure Information: Closure information for this and other freeway projects is also available on the Caltrans website and the I-5 website.

For the safety of the construction crew and motorists, please be attentive to closures, slow for the cone zone, and move over one lane where possible.

Caltrans thanks motorists for their patience and understanding during construction. For more information, visit I-5info.com.


I-5 Empire Project groundbreaking

This morning, Metro Board Director Ara Najarian and Deputy CEO Lindy Lee participated in groundbreaking ceremonies for the Empire Project which will enhance travel along Interstate 5 in Burbank. Metro is supplying $180 million of the total $355 million budget and improvements include a new carpool lane, building a new interchange at I-5 and Empire Avenue, reconstructing the Burbank Boulevard overcrossing and realigning ramps, elevating the railroad at Buena Vista Street and San Fernando Boulevard. The project will relieve congestion, improve traffic flow and provide easier access to Bob Hope Airport and shopping centers.

NB I-5 freeway extended weekend closure Nov. 16 – 18

Caltrans is advising motorists who plan on traveling northbound on the I-5 this weekend to avoid the area or expect significant delays due to full freeway, lane, ramp and connector closures. Here’s the full release from Caltrans:

Caltrans is advising northbound Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5) motorists from Orange County heading into Los Angeles County that they could expect delays of 60 to 90-minutes this weekend if they don’t use alternate routes or avoid the area during an extended closure from Valley View Avenue to Carmenita Road that begins Saturday, November 16 at 12:01 a.m. and continues through Monday, Nov. 18 at 5 a.m.  Traffic will be the heaviest throughout the day and night on Saturday.

The extended weekend closure on northbound I-5  includes one on-ramp, one lane, and one freeway connector. Since November 1, Caltrans has displayed closure and alternate route information on various routes leading to the northbound I-5 and the westbound State Route 91 connector.  Electronic Message Signs (EMS) and Portable EMS are in place to redirect northbound I-5 traffic to use State Routes 22, 57, 91 and I-605.

The following closures will be in place this weekend:

Sat., Nov. 16 at 12:01 a.m. to Mon., Nov. 18 at 5 a.m.

CLOSED continuously throughout the weekend:

  • one of three lanes on northbound I-5 from Valley View Ave. to Carmenita Rd.;
  • the freeway connector transition from westbound State Route 91 to northbound I-5;
  • the northbound I-5 on-ramp at Valley View Ave. (closure begins Fri, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.)

Two directional FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES on northbound I-5 ONLY from Valley View Avenue to Carmenita Road, will take place overnight Saturday and Sunday.

Each full freeway closure will last from four to seven hours.

  • Overnight, Saturday, Nov. 16: 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m.
  •  Overnight, Monday, Nov. 18:  1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

OPEN:  All (3 of 3) southbound I-5 lanes will remain open for motorists throughout the weekend from Carmenita Road to Valley View Avenue.

When the freeway facilities re-open on Monday morning, November 18, the public will notice these new features on the freeway and on local streets:

  • three northbound lanes from approximately Valley View Ave. to Alondra Blvd. will have been re-striped and shifted to the right (east).   One of the three lanes will be an entirely new lane as part of the I-5 HOV Widening Project.
  • a new temporary northbound I-5 on-ramp at Freeway Drive in Santa Fe Springs will open.  This on-ramp will temporarily replace the northbound I-5 on-ramp at Alondra Blvd. that closed in June, 2013 prior to the demolition of the Alondra Blvd. Bridge.
  • a new signalized intersection at Alondra Blvd. and Freeway Dr. in Santa Fe Springs, will be fully operational for local motorists.
  • Alondra Blvd. remains closed from Freeway Dr. to Marquardt Ave. during reconstruction of the new Alondra Blvd. Bridge, that is scheduled to reopen in fall 2014.

The on-going construction on the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) from the Orange County line to I-605 is part of the $1.6 billion I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects to widen the freeway by adding one general purpose lane and one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or carpool lane, in both directions from the Los Angeles County/Orange County line to I-605. The projects are overseen by Caltrans and funding is administered by Metro.

The construction work during the November 16 -18 weekend is part of the $110 million I-5 HOV Widening and Alondra Boulevard Bridge Project  to construct one carpool lane and one general purpose lane in each direction from North Fork Coyote Creek Bridge to Marquardt Avenue.  The project also includes reconstructing overcrossings at Alondra Boulevard and North Fork Coyote Creek, and realigning and upgrading adjacent frontage roads. The contractor for this project is C. C. Myers, Inc. of Anaheim, CA.

The public is encouraged to sign-up to receive email notifications on freeway lane and ramp closures and local city street closures by calling the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects Toll-Free Information line at (855) 454-6335 or by visiting www.I-5info.com

Freeway Traffic Information:  For timely, accurate and accessible real-time freeway traffic information and travel times, visit Caltrans Quick Map http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/  Caltrans Quick Map

Metro Live call-in show set for Thursday, Oct. 17 on TV and streaming on the web

Here’s an opportunity to offer your opinions and ask questions of Metro officials. Metro will host a one-hour call-in TV show on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Called Metro Live, the show also will stream on the web at citytv.org.

Discuss Metro’s on-going and future street and highway projects with new Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois — Councilmember for the city of Lakewood — and Doug Failing, Metro Executive Director of Highway Projects.

The show will focus on Metro’s multi-pronged approach to battling traffic congestion — specifically as it pertains to major street and highway projects it is funding in partnership with Caltrans (the California Department of Transportation).

Metro Live will be accepting advance questions from the web but they must include a name and city location. Send questions to livechat@metro.net.

Metro oversees one of the largest bus and rail networks in the nation. But it also oversees three half cent sales taxes that provide funding for streets and highways. With this funding, the highway program is tackling some of the region’s thorniest traffic problems.

Viewers are invited to call in questions about on-going construction, like the I-405 and the I-5 widening, gridlock, potholes and efforts to better manage traffic flow between major streets and freeways.

Find out what projects are quickly headed for completion. (And which aren’t.) Learn why the modernization of goods movement from the ports is essential to our health and our pocketbooks as it creates millions of jobs locally and elsewhere. Ask questions about the ExpressLanes project on the I-110 and I-10 freeways and find out why tollways could be part of future highway construction and funding plans … and which highways might make sense.

Metro Live will air on Santa Monica City TV 16 and L.A. County TV 36 and will stream live on the web at citytv.org. Metro Live is co-produced by Metro and Santa Monica CityTV.

I-5/I-10 interchange to close for swarm maintenance in East Los Angeles

Heads up, motorists, Caltrans is closing sections of the I-5/I-10 interchange on Sunday, Oct 6 for maintenance. The closure will take place from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. Coincidentally, CicLAvia is on the same day, so why not use this another excuse to go car-free?

Here’s the release from Caltrans:

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will deploy 200 personnel and community service workers for “swarm” maintenance on Sunday, October 6 in closed sections of the I-5/I-10 interchange from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Crews will remove litter and graffiti, trim trees, clear weeds, repair guardrail and irrigation, re-stripe the roadway, re-lamp overhead lights, and replace signs.  Motorist should expect delays.  Signed detours will be in place.

The closures will occur at the following locations:


Westbound I-10 to northbound I-5 connector

Southbound I-5 to eastbound I-10 connector


Southbound I-5 Mission off-ramp

Westbound I-10 State Street off-ramp

Northbound I-5 State Street on-ramp

Northbound I-5 Marengo Street on-ramp

Southbound I-5 Mission onramp

Eastbound I-10 Mission on-ramp

“Move over and slow down when you see when see crews at work,” said Acting District 7 Director Carrie Bowen.

Generally, crews only have a short closure window within the I-5/I-10 interchange.  By increasing the window to seven hours and placing hundreds of personnel into one closure, crews will be able accomplish several tasks all at once.

“With budget and resource cutbacks, we have to be innovative and find different ways to accomplish our mission,” said Bowen.  “By placing multiple crews into one closure we were able to make significant improvements to the roadway and landscape, enhance safety, and save on future costs.”

Upcoming ramp closures for I-5 truck lane project

The latest from Caltrans on the I-5 between Pico Canyon/Lyons and the SR-14:

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) plans to implement the closures listed below as part of a project that is constructing a truck lane on southbound I-5 between Pico Canyon Road/Lyons Avenue and the Antelope Valley Freeway (SR-14).

Ramp closures will be staggered. Detours will be signed. No unusual levels of dust, noise or vibration are expected. Closures are subject to change.

For the safety of the construction crew and motorists, please be attentive to closures, slow for the cone zone, and move over one lane where possible.

Closure information for this and other freeway projects is available on the Caltrans website: http://www.lcswebreports.dot.ca.gov/lcswebreports/

For real-time traffic information, visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov, go511.com, or call 5-1-1.

Closure Dates: Sunday, Sept. 22, through Friday, Sept. 27, 2013



  • Up to three lanes of northbound I-5 between the end of the existing truck lane and Lyons Ave.9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Note: At least one lane will be open at all times. The most restrictive closures (i.e., the most lanes closed) will occur between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.



  • Up to three lanes of southbound I-5 between Lyons Ave. and the end of the existing truck lane — 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Note: At least one lane will be open at all times. The most restrictive closures (i.e., the most lanes closed) will occur between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.


  • Southbound I-5 to northbound SR-14 — 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


  • Calgrove Blvd. — 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

About the Project

The project is adding a truck lane to the outside of southbound I-5 by paving the median area and outside shoulder, and shifting the mixed-flow lanes inward. Median retaining walls and two short sections of outside retaining walls will be built to accommodate this widening.

The truck lane will extend from Pico Canyon Road/Lyons Avenue to SR-14, a distance of 3.7 miles.

This project will ease traffic delays, improve goods movement, absorb traffic growth due to population increase (both residential and commercial), and enhance safety by separating truck traffic from passenger vehicles.

Construction began in May 2012 and will be completed in 2014. Funds administered by Metro.

For more information, visit www.I-5info.com.

Southbound I-5 off-ramp to Quail Lake Rd. and westbound SR-138 connector to southbound I-5 to close for 3 weeks

A motorist advisory from Caltrans:

WHAT: The southbound I-5 off-ramp to Quail Lake Road and the westbound SR-138 connector to southbound I-5 will close Friday, September 6, 2013, at 1 a.m. and reopen Monday, September 30, 2013, at 10 a.m.

TRAFFIC IMPACTS: Motorists will be unable to exit southbound I-5 at Quail Lake Road and to connect to southbound I-5 from westbound SR-138. Detours will be posted.

REASON FOR CLOSURES: Crews will be placing new concrete pavement as part of a project that is rehabilitating the lanes and outside shoulders I-5 in both directions from just south of the Vista Del Lago Road overcrossing to the Kern County Line, a distance of 15.4 miles.

MOTORIST RESOURCES: Here are some resources that can help motorists make smart choices about their travel and avoid construction delays:

  • Call 5-1-1 to get driving times.
  • Pay attention to electronic message signs for live traffic information.
  • Information about the southbound I-5 bypass lane: http://i-5info.com/2013/08/30/sb-i-5-temporary-bypass-lane-beginning-sept-3-i-5-between-vista-del-lago-to-kern-county/

For the safety of the construction crew and motorists, please be attentive to closures and slow for the cone zone.

Repairs set to begin for SR-2/I-5 connector

About a month and a half ago, a tanker fire damaged the tunnel that connects the northbound I-5 to the northbound SR-2. Caltrans has now completed structural testing and is set to implement repairs. Work is scheduled to begin in October.

Here’s the full press release from Caltrans:

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has completed structural testing of the tanker-fire damaged northbound SR-2 to northbound I-5 connector and has determined solutions that will repair the damaged walls, columns, outrigger beams, and pavement.  The repair work is expected to begin in October and finish before Christmas.  The overall cost of repairs is currently estimated at $16.5 million.

The following solutions will be used to allow the safe opening of the connector:

  • Hydrodemolition will remove any degraded concrete from the surface of the structure.
  • Shotcrete is a slurry of concrete that is sprayed at a high velocity to fill damaged voids.
  • Epoxy injections will help seal cracks in the concrete and provide additional strength to the structure.
  • Repave the damaged roadway.
  • Upgrade the connector’s lighting, metal beam guardrail, and add anti-graffiti coated paint.

Currently, the project is in the design phase to detail what sections need repair or need to be upgraded by the future contractor.

“After several rounds of exhaustive tests, we are confident that our solutions will be quick and cost effective,” said Acting District 7 Director Carrie Bowen.  “Emergency projects are always fluid, but we are moving as much red tape as possible to safely open this connector for all motorists.”

The intense heat from the tanker fire on July 13 caused extensive damage to the pavement, walls, support structures, drainage, and lighting within the northbound SR-2/northbound I-5 connector tunnel, requiring it to be closed.

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, May 8: Distance-based road usage, green ports, social media outreach, transit use and city usage

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.

Photo by Diyanski via Flickr

Photo by Diyanski via Flickr

Advocates of distance-based road pricing look to Oregon (Road Pricing)

As vehicles become more fuel efficient, fuel tax revenues continue to shrink. That’s one of the reasons eyes are on Oregon, as it explores a distance-based road usage charging system for the state. The feds no doubt are watching, too. Here are the details.    

L.A. is a leader in green ports, Mayor says (Los Angeles Times)

The world looks to L.A. for ways to reduce pollution, Mayor Villaraigosa said at a ports conference this week. He cites a modernization of the Port of L.A. and the state’s tough emissions law. He also could add Metro’s efforts to improve mobility to and from the ports by work on the I-5 and I-710 south, as well as the Alameda East Corridor. The story doesn’t mention it, so we will.

Public agencies lag behind in social media outreach (Transportation Issues Daily)

Social media is changing the way organizations engage with the public. And public agencies are not up-to-speed on conveying messages via mobile media. Okay. We buy that. Any suggestions for what Metro could do? 

What public transit teaches us about how people use cities (The Atlantic: Cities)

Ridership is an identifyer of how and at what time people use — or don’t use — transit: whether movement is centralized, decentralized or has mutiple focal points. Three videos track travel patterns on public transit in San Francisco, Geneva and Zurich. Interesting to see Californians up and about before folks in two of the great European business centers. We can also see that at 1 and 2 a.m. it’s lights out in Zurich, while San Francisco is on the move. Wonder what L.A. would look like.

Update: New I-5/SR-170 connector will open on May 8


Rain has delayed the connector opening and related closures by one day.

Here’s the press release from Caltrans:

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will open a new I-5/SR-170 connector on Tuesday, May 7, at 5 a.m. The connector is a three-lane, mixed-flow connector going from the northbound Hollywood Freeway (SR-170) to the northbound Golden State Freeway (I-5). Northbound SR-170 traffic will merge with the three outside lanes of northbound I-5.

Construction began on the 2,400-foot connector in late 2010. It is part of a project that is also constructing a high occupancy vehicle (HOV, or carpool) lane in each direction of I-5 between SR-170 and the Ronald Reagan Freeway (SR-118), a distance of 3.4 miles, and a direct HOV connector between I-5 and SR-170. The direct HOV connector will enable freeway-to-freeway transfers without exiting the carpool lane.

The project will alleviate congestion, encourage carpooling, improve air quality, and provide a smoother ride for motorists. The work is part of Caltrans’ effort to provide motorists with a seamless carpool lane network in California.

Work began in August 2010 and is on track for completion in mid-2014. Caltrans thanks motorists for their patience and understanding during construction.

For more information, visit www.I-5info.com.

Upcoming Closures Related to This Project

The week of May 6, crews will remove remaining falsework and complete striping on the new I-5/SR-170 connector, requiring night closures of northbound I-5 between Sheldon Street and Osborne Street and southbound I-5 between the I-5/SR-170 interchange and Sheldon Street, as well as night closures of southbound I-5 on-ramps at Terra Bella Street and Osborne Street. Closure details:


Northbound I-5 between Sheldon Street and Osborne Street
Southbound I-5 between the I-5/SR-170 interchange and Sheldon Street 


Northbound I-5 Closure
Tuesday night, May 7, through Wednesday morning, May 8, 2013
11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Southbound I-5 Closure
Wednesday night, May 8, through Friday morning, May 10, 2013
11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m.

DETOURS (see map below)

Northbound I-5 detour: Traffic will be detoured off the freeway at Lankershim Blvd. and onto San Fernando Road. Motorists will re-enter northbound I-5 from Osborne Street. Detour signs will be posted.

Southbound I-5 detour: Traffic will be detoured off I-5 at the I-5/SR-170 interchange and onto southbound SR-170. Motorists will reenter southbound I-5 from Laurel Canyon Blvd. Detour signs will be posted.