California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

September 27, 2010
District 7 - Los Angeles
Kelly Markham
(213) 897-0303

Caltrans Breaks Ground on San Fernando Valley I-5 Bus/Carpool Lane Project

Los Angeles – Caltrans today broke ground on a $140.2 million project on the Golden State Freeway (I-5) that will ease traffic congestion and improve air quality in the San Fernando Valley. The project is partially financed ($31.2 million) by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). An additional $25.2 million came from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by California voters in 2006.

"We are working around the clock with the federal government to ensure that Recovery Act funding is dispensed to California quickly, effectively and responsibly," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "Funding from the Recovery Act and Proposition 1B is paying for vital projects that will improve our state's transportation infrastructure for generations to come while stimulating our economy, creating jobs, and helping drive California down the road to economic recovery."

The project will build nearly seven miles (3.4 miles in each direction) of new bus/carpool lanes on the Golden State Freeway between the Ronald Reagan Freeway (SR-118) and the Hollywood Freeway (SR-170). It will also reconstruct the connector to provide a direct bus/carpool lane connector between I-5 and SR-170, replace sections of concrete pavement, and widen four undercrossings. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2015. The contractor is Flatiron West.

"This project will encourage commuters to carpool and use transit, which will help reduce traffic congestion, gasoline consumption, and improve the air quality in the San Fernando Valley," said Caltrans Director Cindy McKim.

"I-5 is the backbone of the state's freeway system and an important part of our economy," said Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles. "The improvements we're undertaking now will benefit residents, commuters, commercial vehicles and California as a whole by improving mobility in this important corridor."

Interstate 5 in the San Fernando Valley is one of Southern California's busiest with an average daily traffic volume that can exceed 300,000. Carpool lanes carry two to three times more people at peak traffic hours than conventional lanes and typically save motorists about a minute per mile. Currently, there are 492 miles of bus/carpool lanes in Los Angeles County, about 34 percent of all such lanes in the state.

"Metro is proud to have been part of this collaboration by contributing $11.5 million from Prop C monies towards this phase of the I-5 HOV Improvement Project," said Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board Chair and County Supervisor Don Knabe. "This improvement will increase the capacity of the I-5 throughout the San Fernando Valley. At Metro, we strive for improvements in regional mobility and sustainability. Today's groundbreaking is an example of good partnerships in accomplishing these goals."

"The I-5 HOV Improvement Project will bring much needed freeway improvements and increase the number of carpool miles for the San Fernando Valley," said Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority First Vice Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "I was proud to fight for Los Angeles County's share of Proposition 1B bonds for the I-5 HOV lanes, and today this project will create much needed construction jobs using federal Recovery Act funds."

To date, nearly $6 billion in Proposition 1B funding has been allocated by Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission to more than 1,000 projects statewide. Under Governor Schwarzenegger's leadership, California has obligated nearly $2.5 billion in Recovery Act funding obligated to 965 highway, local street, and job training transportation projects statewide. For more information on the Recovery Act visit: