2011 Brings Large Construction Projects to District 7
This year, several large construction projects begin on Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County and miles of pavement rehabilitation will start on US-101 in Ventura County.
Welcome to 2011! The first decade of the new millennium is over and every passing year brings California closer to the demographic and economic data found in California’s Transportation Plan 2025.
In Los Angeles County, freeway traffic volumes on Interstate 5 are projected to double by 2030. Population in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties is expected to increase 16% by 2020, from 13 to 15 million people, and 57% growth in the Inland Empire means an estimated 5 million people.
Larger projects coming to District 7 in 2011 will benefit the region with continuity of the carpool lane system, improved freeway operations and congestion relief brought on by years of a growing population and expanded communities. District 7 invests years of planning to bring projects to construction annually. But this year, especially when job creation and stimulus spending are the buzz words for a new decade, bringing work to the region is an economic boost.
Here is a glimpse of how District 7 is working to improve regional mobility in 2011:
Two on-going projects on the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5) include a High Occupancy Vehicle, (HOV, or carpool lane) direct connector at State Route 14 just south of Santa Clarita and another project to construct 6.8 miles of HOV lanes from SR-118 to SR-170. The HOV direct connector is nearly 60% complete.
Additionally, six projects will begin this year on the I-5 corridor to construct 7.1 miles of HOV lanes, roadway widening and interchange improvements. The northern section of I-5 in Los Angeles County will gain a 3.7 mile truck lane in both directions from Route 14 to Pico Canyon Road in Santa Clarita. A 1.8 mile HOV lane (2.7 miles total) will be added in each direction from State Route 134 to Magnolia Boulevard in Glendale and 2.2 HOV miles (4.4 miles total) in each direction will be added at Cohasset Street to Sheldon Street in Burbank. Also in Glendale, Caltrans will improve the interchange at Western Avenue between Sonora Avenue and Allen Avenue.
The southern section of I-5 in Los Angeles County will see two large construction projects begin mid-2011: The Carmenita Interchange Improvement Project in Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk and a roadway widening project from the Coyote Creek overcrossing to Marquardt Avenue in Santa Fe Springs. These projects are the beginning of I-5 improvements, a series of six projects that will widen the corridor from Interstate 605 to the Orange County line. Additional segments are scheduled to begin construction late 2012 or early 2013.
Three pavement rehabilitation projects on Interstate 101 in Ventura County and northern Los Angeles County will begin this summer. One project traverses Calabasas, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village to rehab 7.1 miles of roadway and another will replace pavement slabs along 24.4 miles of US-101 between Santa Rosa Road to just west of the Padre Juan Canyon Road overcrossing. The third is a 12.6 mile slab replacement project from the Los Angeles County line through Thousand Oaks and Camarillo.
Beginning late 2011 or early 2012 in northern Ventura County, a joint project between District 7 and District 5 (Santa Barbara County) will build the first HOV lanes in Ventura County. The lanes will extend 3 miles in each direction through the coastal communities of Mussel Shoals, La Conchita and Tank Farm ending in Santa Barbara County.
Caltrans and its transportation partners will begin major construction in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on two iconic bridges: the Schuyler Heim Bridge (SR-47) and the Gerald Desmond Bridge. Once reconstructed, the Gerald Desmond Bridge will be adopted into the State Highway system. Work on the Schuyler Heim Bridge Replacement Project begins summer 2011 to replace the lift bridge with a fixed-span structure. A $1 billion design/build contract for the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project is expected to be in place by winter 2011 and work begins spring 2012 with Caltrans conducting oversight during construction.
This summer, HOT Lanes will join the Los Angeles County freeway system. Caltrans, Metro and local mobility partners will begin a one-year demonstration project to convert eleven HOV lane miles to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, or Express Lanes at two locations: on I-10 from downtown Los Angeles to I-605 and on I-110 from 182nd Street/Artesia Transit Center to Adams Boulevard. HOT lanes will require solo drivers to pay a toll to use the lanes, but carpoolers will continue to ride for free. The benefit of these facilities include reduced congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, increased travel time savings and improved trip reliability.
More construction projects will begin this year on several other freeways and highways in District 7. As Caltrans and its partners continue to focus dollars on moving people rather than moving vehicles, carpool lanes, high speed rail and mass transit will be among the leading solutions that the California Transportation Plan for 2025 envisions for a sustainable transportation system.