Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger flanked by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (R) and Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Chair David Fleming (L) discusses the benefits of the newly completed interchange..

by  Judy Gish
Issue Date: 11/2007

The U.S.101/I-405 Interchange improvements make travel easier for drivers and passengers of the 550,000 vehicles that pass through it daily.

To paraphrase Bob Dylan, the times they are a-interchanging, particularly at the junction of U.S. 101 and I-405.

A $46 million interchange improvement project, started in Spring 2005, completed recently to the gratitude of motorists who now can access both freeways without having to traverse several lanes of traffic. The project extended an auxiliary lane leading to the northbound connector and relocated on-ramps, enhancing safety and increasing capacity.

With average annual traffic volumes of 555,000 vehicles, the 101/405 is among the busiest in the nation and is vital to the interests of both motorists and goods movement locally and statewide.

“After years of planning and two years of work, we have a safer and smoother interchange for 550,000 vehicles each day,” said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at a project dedication event on October 19, adding that the project is expected to save motorists a collective 11,000 hours a day in travel time.

“All of this was made possible by great teamwork,” he added. “If we continue to work together like this, our infrastructure investments will be just as successful and just as beneficial to the people and economy of California.” 

A year ago, California voters approved $20 billion in bonds for Strategic Growth Plan projects to improve California’s transportation infrastructure, the Governor said. The Proposition 1B bonds will fund repairs, reduce congestion, improve bridge safety, expand public transit and improve port security throughout the state. “The 101/405 interchange expansion is the kind of relief motorists can expect as projects begin under Proposition 1B.”

The press conference was held on the roof of the Sherman Oaks Galleria parking structure, which provided an ideal view of the interchange.  Governor Schwarzenegger was joined on the podium by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Chair David Fleming.

Mayor Villaraigosa thanked Governor Schwarzenegger for “the partnership which is
getting traffic moving here in Los Angeles and throughout the state.” He added that “Anyone who’s ever driven here in Los Angeles knows that the 101-405 Improvement Project is a big thing, a huge improvement in the commute of Angelinos.”

Representing Caltrans at the event was California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 7 Director Doug Failing, as well as numerous others who worked on the project, including Resident Engineers Jagdish Patel and Vladimir Gurfinkel and Construction Area Senior Ghassan Dagher.

Caltrans thanks the Cheesecake Factory at the Galleria for donating refreshments (cheesecakes, of course!), Starbucks for donating coffee and Galleria management company Douglas Emmett for providing the site and staff to facilitate parking and set up.

The men of the 101/405 Interchange Improvement Project: (Top, L to R) Steve Mueller, Project Manager, Steve P. Rados (Contractor); District Director Doug Failing; Jagdish Patel, Senior Resident Engineer; Ghassan Dagher, Construction Division Area Chief; Everet Tam-Sing, Caltrans Structures; Jasraj Singh, Caltrans Structures;(Bottom, L to R) Hooshang Alishahi, Bridge Engineer; Addis Ambaye, Caltrans Structures; Vladimir Gurfinkel, Resident Engineer; Rashid Ansarie, Assistant Resident Engineer; George Boules, Caltrans Structures. U.S. 101/I-405 Interchange in 1963 (L) and 1958 (R). Senior Resident Engineer Jagdish Patel explains the interchange improvements to a reporter at the press conference. The 101/405 interchange as it looks in 2007.