The California Transportation Commission (CTC) on Wednesday approved the award of $516 million in new SB-1 grants for Metro’s local transportation improvements, including:
•$150 million in Solutions for Congested Corridors Program funds for the I-105 ExpressLanes Expansion. The project will build ExpressLanes on the 105 for 16 miles between the 405 and 605 — a very busy stretch of freeway used by many people to travel to and from LAX. There will be two ExpressLanes in each direction, including the existing HOV lane that will be converted to an ExpressLane. The project is expected to reduce daily vehicle delays in both the ExpressLanes and general purpose lanes — and shave minutes off travel time in all lanes.
•$25 million in Local Partnership Program funds for NextGen Bus Improvements to provide faster and more frequent bus service to Metro riders. The NextGen plan was approved by Metro’s Board of Directors in October and will eventually result in buses running every five to 10 minutes for 83 percent of Metro’s current riders compared to around 48 percent today. NextGen will be implemented in three phases, beginning Sunday, Dec. 13. Please see this Source post for a rundown of the upcoming changes. This funding will go toward speed and reliability improvements, including all-door boarding, transit signal priority and bus priority lanes.
•$5.5 million in Local Partnership Program funds for La Canada Flintridge Soundwall Improvements along the busy I-210 freeway. The 210 is a primary connector between the San Gabriel Valley and points east and the I-5 freeway. These funds will build four soundwall segments in La Canada-Flintridge.
•$217.9 million in Trade Corridor Enhancement Program funds for the SR 57/SR 60 Confluence Chokepoint Relief Program to make the notorious interchange safer by reducing weaving and smoothing out traffic flow through the interchange. The funds will construct highway improvements and bypass connectors to reduce accidents and alleviate a truck bottleneck at a location that is critical to goods movement operations across the region, state and nation.
•$118 million in Trade Corridor Enhancement Program funds for SR 91 Goods Movement Corridor Projects. The money will help modify the I-605/SR-91 interchange to improve and add capacity to the connector ramps, add an auxilliary lane on the eastbound 91 between the 710 and Cherry Avenue and help bring the 91 up to current freeway standards.
SB-1 is the gas tax and transportation program approved by the California Legislature in 2017 and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown to rebuild and modernize the state’s transportation system.
In this cycle, the recommended awards to Los Angeles County represents about 25 percent of the CTC’s total awards statewide, which is a similar share to what Metro received in the first cycle of SB-1 grants. That’s a good haul considering that L.A. County has about a quarter of the state’s population — and three percent of the U.S. population, as well as more than eight million registered vehicles, the nation’s busiest port complex and one of the busiest airports in country.
Staff from Metro’s Countywide Planning team worked with numerous Metro departments, local agency partners and Caltrans to successfully complete applications for these programs. We’re very grateful to all of these partners who have contributed to these successful applications — this is a competitive process and it takes a ton of work to make the case for these projects and receive funding. We will continue to work closely with partner departments and agencies to see these projects completed.
Metro would also like to express its gratitude to the California Transportation Commission for its continued support and interest in improving roads and transit in Los Angeles County. We believe these projects will benefit the local quality of life, economy and environment in our region.