UPDATE, AUG. 2021 — The project web page on metro.net is no longer active as the project seeks funding. The FEIS/R can be viewed at the links below.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) for the Northwest 138 Corridor Improvement Project has been released for public review; view it online here. The two alternatives studied seek to make Highway 138 safer between the I-5 and SR-14 in the northern part of Los Angeles County — in particular by improving sight lines and bringing the highly-trafficked road up to modern standards.
Under the “Locally Preferred Alternative” in the FEIS/R, the 138 would be:
- A freeway (six-lane divided) between the I-5 interchange and Gorman Post Road.
- An expressway (six-lane divided) between Gorman Post Road and 300th Street West with access limited to intersections.
- An expressway (four-lane divided) between 300th Street West and 240th Street West with access limited to intersections.
- A limited access conventional highway (four-lane) between 240th Street West and the SR-14 with limited access restrictions.
This alternative would also improve the I-5/138 and 138/14 junctions and improve the 138 bridge that crosses the 14 freeway.
The main corridor proposed for the preferred alternative extends generally along or near the existing SR-138 highway for approximately 36 miles from I-5 to SR-14. Portions of SR-138 not used for the proposed improvements would remain and serve as a local access road only.
Three alternatives were studied as part of the FEIS/R: a no-build alternative, Alternative 1 (freeway/expressway + Antelope Acres Variation Option) and Alternative 2, which is the preferred alternative as it would best meet the project’s purpose and need.
The study was funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by county voters in 2008. It’s important to know that funding for final design and construction of this project has not yet been identified although the project is eligible for multiple local and state funding sources.
If money can be secured, the project would be built in phases or as needed based on demand. Short-term and mid-term improvements will focus on operational and safety improvements, including intersection improvements, shoulder widening and curve corrections. These improvements may be implemented in a phased approach and will require further coordination with Caltrans District 7 and the adjacent High Desert communities.
Why did Metro/Caltrans not make a determination of significance for climate change (page 460)? In 2017, there seems to be ample guidance and case law that the agency would not need to claim “speculative.”