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Route 14 HOV lane event dignataries prepare to ceremonially open the road

ROUTE 14 HOV LANES: THE ROAD AHEAD
by  Judy Gish
Issue Date: 10/2006

Caltrans dedicates the final phase of a five-phase HOV lane project on Route 14

The north section of Los Angeles County is one of the fastest growing in the State and Caltrans is keeping pace.

On August 18, a mere 14 months after its official groundbreaking ceremony, the 6.2- mile, $41- million High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV, or carpool) lane on the Antelope Valley Freeway (Route 14) from Mountain Springs Road to Avenue P-8 in Palmdale opened to traffic. The new lanes comprise the final phase of a $153 million five-stage project that began in 1996 at San Fernando Road near Santa Clarita.

“We have come a long way in the last eight years. The first HOV lane was from San Fernando Road to Sand Canyon. Today we have 36 miles of continuous HOV lanes from Santa Clarita to Palmdale,” said Chief Deputy Raja Mitwasi, who presided over the ceremony. “What does that mean? For those who will use the HOV lanes day in and day out, they will save one minute per mile. That’s a lot of time that people in the Antelope Valley can spend with their families.”

Mitwasi had high praise for Project Manager Osama Megalla and Resident Engineers Alvaro Carranza and Hin Hartanto as well as Tim Chen and Mike Matheny from contractor R and L Brosamer.

Both Senator George Runner and Assembly Member Sharon Runner attended the ceremony. Senator Runner recognized that freeway construction can be difficult and dangerous work. “I want to thank Caltrans for getting these things done, and done quickly,” he said. “It’s a tough job.”

The HOV lane program is a cooperative effort between Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), and is funded through a combination of federal, state and local resources.

 “Metro is committed to working with Caltrans to expand the High Occupancy Vehicle lane network in Palmdale and throughout Los Angeles County,” said Metro Board and Glendale City Council member Ara Najarian.

California leads the nation in carpool lane miles. In Los Angeles County, there are 440 lane miles of HOV facilities, approximately 35 percent of the total 1,236 HOV lane miles in the State. HOV lanes in Los Angeles County carry close to 725,000 people per day.

“Caltrans is dedicated to developing transportation options that are based on moving people rather than vehicles,” Mitwasi said, adding that “carpool lanes also benefit regular lane users in overall reduced congestion and the entire community benefits from fewer emissions and improved air quality.”

Chief Deputy Raja Mitwasi tells the group we have come a long way Senator George Runner expands on the HOV lane benefits Assembly Member Sharon Runner addresses the ceremony The road is successfully launched