Officials this morning celebrated the groundbreaking of the $215 million I-5/Florence Avenue Interchange Project in Downey. Representing Metro at the press event were L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Don Knabe, Board Member Diane DuBois and Metro Deputy CEO Lindy Lee.
Once completed, the interchange project will add one HOV lane and a general purpose lane in each direction of the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) as well as increase vehicle capacity on Florence Avenue. Metro contributed nearly $128 million of the total cost of the project. Construction will be overseen by Caltrans.
The press release from Caltrans is below:
DOWNEY and SANTA FE SPRINGS — Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) began construction on a $215 million project on the Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5) that will ease traffic congestion for the more than 170,000 motorists who travel it daily.
“This project will be good for commuters and good for the economy, as I-5 is a key route for the movement of people, goods and services throughout California” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “All the improvements to I-5 by Caltrans and our transportation partners will ultimately improve traffic flow and safety and decrease surface street traffic for those who live, work and travel along this important highway corridor.”
The Florence Avenue Project, which extends from Orr and Day Road in Santa Fe Springs to just south of the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) in Downey, will add one carpool lane and one general purpose lane in each direction of I-5. The Florence Avenue overcrossing and the Orr and Day Road overcrossing will also be widened for better traffic flow and enhanced safety, and the Florence Avenue Interchange will be reconfigured. Construction is anticipated to be completed in fall 2019.
Caltrans is investing $3.2 billion to significantly improve I-5 in Los Angeles County from Burbank to the Kern County line and from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to the San Gabriel River Freeway (Interstate 605). The Florence Avenue Project is part of a package of six construction projects totaling $1.6 billion that will widen the Interstate 5 South Corridor by adding one carpool lane and one general purpose lane in each direction from the Orange County line to the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605). Once completed, the projects will improve corridor mobility from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to the I-605, provide congestion relief, safety improvements and better facilitate the movement of goods and services.
“This stretch of Interstate 5 to the Orange County line is the backbone of Southern California commerce,” said Metro Board member and Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. “It has been in need of upgrading for years and now the major work is being done.”
Interstate 5 has been identified by Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration as part of the Tier 1 Freight Network, for having the highest truck volumes and providing essential connectivity to and between key freight gateways and regions. Designating sections of highway in such a way helps states like California direct their road maintenance and improvement resources where they can have the biggest economic impact.
These improvements to I-5 are funded through a combination of federal, state and local resources, including $7 million in State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) funds and $128 million in Metro funding. For more information on all the I-5 corridor improvements, please visit www.I-5info.com.