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Officals break ground on the I-5 HOV Improvement Project, SR-134 to Magnolia Boulevard, on April 27 in Burbank. Left to right: District 7 Director Mike Miles, City of Burbank Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes, Mayor of Los Angeles County and Second Vice Chair of Metro's Board of Directors Michael Antonovich, City of Burbank Mayor Anja Reinke, CHP Altadena Area Commander Bill Dance.

HOV Déjà Vu: District 7 Breaks Ground on Even MORE Carpool Lanes on I-5!
by  Kelly Markham
Issue Date: 05/2011

The April 27 groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of another project that is transforming I-5 in the San Fernando Valley.

The Golden State Freeway (I-5) in the San Fernando Valley is a hotbed of construction activity. Drive I-5 from the Ventura Freeway (SR-134) to the Antelope Freeway (SR-14) -- a distance of about 17 miles -- and you’ll pass through six construction projects in progress. The most recent broke ground on April 27 in the parking lot of the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station, with a river of cars on I-5 serving as the backdrop. The project: high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes between SR-134 and Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank.

The $57.8 million project, financed by Proposition C, is building 5.4 miles (2.7 miles in each direction) of HOV lanes and constructing sound walls and retaining walls. This stretch of I-5 is a terrific candidate for carpool lanes. It has an average daily traffic volume of nearly 250,000 vehicles -- a number that will only increase as the population continues to grow.

“Investing in I-5 will benefit all Californians,” said District 7 Director Mike Miles, who served as master of ceremonies for the event. “I-5 is one of the state’s most important freeways. It provides a critical north-south link that runs from Mexico to Canada, helps power the economic engine of the state, and transports the things we all use every day.”

Investing in HOV lanes has numerous benefits, including alleviating congestion, encouraging carpooling, improving air quality, and reducing traffic on city streets.

HOV lanes typically carry two to three times more people at peak traffic hours than regular lanes and reduce congestion in all lanes. To put that in perspective, carpoolers with a daily roundtrip commute of 25 miles will save over two hours every week. In a year, they’ll save the equivalent of 12 eight-hour work days.

District 7’s partner agency, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), is helping to make these benefits possible.

“This project is long overdue,” said Mayor of Los Angeles County and Metro Board of Directors Second Vice Chair Michael Antonovich. “I-5 moves goods from the ports to the Antelope Valley and out to the nation. It’s the backbone of the freeway system.”

The project will be completed in late 2014. The contractor is Security Paving of Sun Valley, Calif.

In addition to this HOV project, other improvements in progress on I-5 in the San Fernando Valley include HOV lanes between the Ronald Reagan Freeway (SR-118) and the Hollywood Freeway (SR-170) and between SR-170 and Buena Vista Street, direct HOV connectors at the I-5/SR-14 and I-5/SR-170 interchanges, Western Avenue interchange improvements, and pavement rehabilitation between the Foothill Freeway (I-210) and SR-118.

District 7 Director Mike Miles served as the event's master of ceremonies. Michael Antonovich, Mayor of Los Angeles County and Second Vice Chair of Metro's Board of Directors, with District 7 Director Mike Miles. CHP Altadena Area Commander Bill Dance spoke about motorist safety on I-5 and the dangers of texting while driving.