Inside Seven
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On October 14, District 7 hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Puente Hills Mall to mark the opening of the new SR-60 westbound HOV lane between the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) and the Orange Freeway (SR-57).

Pomona Freeway HOV Lanes Open, Eastside Commuters Rejoice!
by  Kelly Markham
Issue Date: 11/2010

Carpoolers traveling between the San Gabriel Valley and Downtown Los Angeles can now save a minute per mile – and solo commuters benefit, too!

[Click on photos to read captions.]

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of cruising at 55 miles per hour in a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane at peak commute hours. Admit it: it kind of feels like you’re freeway royalty, comfortably isolated from the struggles of the vehicular commoners puttering along, doing 30. And now motorists who use the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) can experience that distinct frisson of HOV pleasure, too!

On Thursday morning, October 14, just in time for the morning commute, District 7 opened the new westbound HOV lane between the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) and the Orange Freeway (SR-57), helping to reduce congestion between Downtown Los Angeles and points east. The eastbound HOV lane opened September 27.

To mark the occasion, District 7 hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Puente Hills Mall in the City of Industry, the parking-lot location providing an excellent view of SR-60 traffic.

“These lanes will benefit everyone—local residents, commuters and commercial vehicles,” said District 7 Director and Master of Ceremonies Mike Miles. “They’ll ease congestion, enhance safety improve air quality, and promote carpooling.”

Indeed, the $122.6 million project will improve commutes for about a quarter million people who use SR-60 each day, saving carpoolers about a minute per mile. Since the new HOV lanes feed into the direct connector at the SR-57 interchange, transferring between freeways is easier, too. And it’s not just carpoolers who benefit. Every vehicle in the HOV lane takes at least two vehicles out of the mixed-flow lane, which reduces congestion for everyone.

In addition to building 11.5 miles of HOV lanes in both directions, the project also constructed soundwalls and retaining walls and realigned ramps. Skanska was the contractor on the project, which broke ground in April 2007.

Event speakers included City of Industry Councilman Tim Spohn, California Highway Patrol Captain Dan Minor, and Los Angeles County Supervisor/Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board Chair Don Knabe.

“Metro remains committed to funding a variety of transportation alternatives that get solo drivers out of their cars and either onto public transportation or into a carpool or vanpool,” said Knabe.

About 65 people attended the event, including staff from numerous elected official offices, reporters, representatives from the San Gabriel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, Caltrans and Skanska staff, and a handful of community members.

“I was so glad to see the lane open this morning,” said one woman who stopped by the ribbon-cutting on her way to the mall. “We’ve been waiting for this for years.”

Missed the ribbon-cutting? Check out the video!

 

About 65 people attended the ribbon-cutting event, including Caltrans and Skanska staff who worked on the project, pictured here. District 7 Director Mike Miles served as master of ceremonies for the ribbon-cutting, undeterred by a brief rain shower. East Region Maintenance and Special Crews flawlessly handled event setup and breakdown. Left to right: Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, District 7 Director Mike Miles, California Highway Patrol Captain Dan Minor.