The project that broke ground this morning will widen the 5 freeway for 1.2 miles between Shoemaker and Silverbow avenues by adding a general purpose lane and HOV lane in both directions. The project will also widen three bridges over the freeway — at Shoemaker, Rosecrans and Bloomfield. Metro is contributing $42 million of the $214 million cost of the project, with Metro’s money coming from Prop C (1990) and Measure R (2008) sales tax increases approved by county voters.
This is one of six projects that will add a general purpose lane and a carpool lane to the 5 freeway for seven miles in both directions from the 605 freeway junction to the border between L.A. and Orange counties. That border is a well-known bottleneck — Orange County has widened the 5 and added a carpool lane whereas the 5 remains three or four lanes north of the county line. The completion date for all of the projects is 2016.
Below is the program from today’s ceremony and a project map. The news release from Caltrans is posted after the jump.
And here’s a project map:
More Congestion Relief Coming to Santa Ana Freeway
Caltrans begins third of six I-5 South Corridor projects
NORWALK – Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today began construction on a $214 million project on the Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5) that will significantly lower traffic congestion while improving safety.
The work is part of the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects, a $1.6 billion package of six projects extending seven miles from the Los Angeles County/Orange County line to the San Gabriel River Freeway (Interstate 605). More than 220,000 vehicles travel this section of I-5 daily.
“Caltrans is making a solid investment on the Santa Ana Freeway that will reduce traffic congestion, provide jobs and support economic growth,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.
The project that began today (the I-5 Carpool Lane Widening/Rosecrans and Bloomfield Bridges Project) is funded by federal, state, and local financing, including $147 million from Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond, $24 million from state transportation funds, and $42 million from Metro’s Proposition C and Measure R.
“Metro is proud to program about 60 percent of the $1.6 billion funding for these long overdue corridor projects,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Don Knabe. “It’s more than a worthwhile investment; it’s an essential one that will make a huge difference in the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who commute on this corridor.”
The project will add one carpool lane and one regular lane in each direction from Shoemaker Avenue to Silverbow Avenue; reconstruct the Rosecrans, Bloomfield and Shoemaker bridges; build a pedestrian overcrossing at Silverbow Avenue; and upgrade the Firestone Boulevard frontage road. Flatiron West, Inc. of San Marcos is the prime contractor.
“The I-5 Corridor projects illustrate how Metro and Caltrans are working together to bring congestion relief to our entire region.” said Metro Board 1st Vice Chair Diane DuBois.
Caltrans’ partners for the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects include Metro and the Federal Highway Administration, with the support of the I-5 Consortium Cities Joint Powers Authority and the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. For more information on all of the projects, please see the attached file.
As important as this project is, must we have a political showoff for every single little project that breaks ground??? It verges on pathetic! Then again, they are politicians…
$178 for one mile ($214/1.2)!
What a joke! A bunch of politicians turning sand in a parking lot. That is as bad as the one for the 605 sound wall. Then they even had plastic under it.
The time, effort, delay, and expenses that these incur are not worth it. Hold a press confrence instead at a local high school or city hall.