Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Helpful Holiday Travel Reminder from Caltrans

As the Labor Day weekend approaches, Caltrans reminds motorists to plan ahead and leave early for holiday travel destinations. Caltrans will suspend all on-going construction activity beginning Friday, Sept. 2 at 5 a.m. through Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. There will be no scheduled closures of lanes, ramps and connectors on any of the 42 freeways and highways in Los Angeles County and Ventura County, except for any unforeseen emergencies or incidents. For statewide road conditions, call 800-427-7623; and for real-time traffic information, dial 511 or visit www.Go511.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

I-5 Pavement in North L.A. County is Getting a Makeover

Get ready for a smoother I-5 in north Los Angeles County! Caltrans broke ground today on a project that will repave I-5 in both directions between Lake Hughes Road in Castaic and Vista Del Lago Road -- about 14 miles. The project will also replace traffic sensors in the pavement, install curb ramps that meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and add two traffic cameras, which will enhance Caltrans' ability to monitor traffic in the area and manage congestion. The project will wrap up next summer.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Caltrans Has Rock Climbers

Today, Caltrans rock climbers (or scalers) removed loose rocks and debris along the slopes of Topanga Canyon Boulevard (SR-27) approximately two miles north of Pacific Coast Highway, inside of Topanga State Park. The rocks and debris had to be removed to help prevent rock slides and mudslides that occur during heavy rains.

Interestingly enough, all of the employees pictured have professional rock climbing certifications . The team of rock climbers for today’s project included a geologist, maintenance superintendent and maintenance supervisor, storm water coordinator, and a geotechnical engineer.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Murals Unveiled, Realities Unavoidable

Today, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) unveiled graffiti vandal-resistant mural replicas of George Sportelli's "Tony Curtis" and John Wehrle's "Galileo, Jupiter and Apollo" along the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) between Grand Avenue and Alameda Street. One of the two pieces of Ruben Soto's "I Know Who I Am” and Frank Romero's "Going to the Olympics" were stolen over the weekend. A police report has been taken.

Muralists Ruben Soto and George Sportelli attended the event.

Night Closure of Western Avenue in Glendale

The portion of Western Avenue in Glendale that runs under I-5 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday this week. Reason for the closure: Crews are doing bridge work related to the I-5/Western Avenue Interchange Improvement Project, and the road will be closed to protect motorists. As always, detours will be posted to help you get around the closure.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Murals Are Back, Remember Those?

Damage caused by vandals along Los Angeles freeways costs us millions of dollars annually. In many cases vandals have targeted murals along Los Angeles freeways.

To combat such vandalism, the Caltrans Transportation Art Program, working in conjunction with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) and the muralists, with the support costs provided by Wells Fargo and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), have initiated the second phase of the Mobile Mural Demonstration Project.

This project is an innovative way to improve freeway aesthetics and reduce disruptions to traffic, at a no cost to taxpayers, and reduce work zone injuries to motorist and maintenance workers.

The mural replicas will be unveiled on US 101 in downtown Los Angeles between Alameda St. and Grand Ave., Monday, August 22 at 10 a.m.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

On Monday, August 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Santa Fe Springs Town Center Social Hall, Caltrans District 7, in collaboration with the City of Santa Fe Springs, will hold an informational meeting about the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects coming to construction this fall and throughout 2012. The six freeway widening projects extend from the Orange County/Los Angeles County line to I-605. Caltrans right of way, design, construction, and traffic operations staff will be on hand to address your questions about the corridor improvements. The public is welcome. The address is: 11710 Telegraph Road, Santa Fe Springs, 90670. For more information, call Caltrans Public Affairs at 213-897-3656, or visit the I-5 Corridor website at http://www.I-5info.com/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Questions about I-5 Construction? Here’s How to Get Answers

During the next four years, Caltrans is undertaking major improvements to the I-5 corridor from Orange County to Kern County -- everything from pavement work to adding carpool lanes and new interchanges. If you have questions about the improvements, check out the I-5 website. It has fact sheets, closure notices, brochures, photos, construction videos, and many more resources to keep you informed.

You can also call the toll-free I-5 hotline: (855) 454-6335. This is NOT a recording. You’ll talk to a real person.

We know that construction can be disruptive, and we thank you for your patience. The payoff will be enhanced safety, improved traffic flow, better air quality, and reduced congestion.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stabilizing Slopes on the Angeles Crest Highway (SR-2)

The Station Fire, one of the worst fires in Los Angeles County's history, destroyed thousands acres of vegetation in the Angeles National Forest in August 2009. Many of the slopes were left bare of vegetation making them susceptible to mudslides and debris flows during heavy rains. During late 2009 and early 2010, heavy rains washed out several slopes including sections of the Angeles Crest Highway (SR-2).

To repair the highway we used several solutions, in some locations where the soil had to be stabilized Geotechnical Engineer Sam Sukiasian and Engineering Geologist Gustavo Ortega prescribed the use of geogrid. Geogrid is a plastic mesh material that acts like a root system where slopes are absent of plants.

To repair the washed out sections, construction crews compacted soil, then every two to three feet several yards of the geogrid was laid on top of the soil, and then the soil was compacted on top of the geogrid. For example, as pictured (April 2011) above, geogrid was used every three feet on a slope that was approximately 250 feet tall and 100 feet wide.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Caltrans Prepares Public for Another 710 Closure

Caltrans District 7 Public Information Officer Maria Raptis tells KABC News all about a 55-hour closure on I-710 this weekend from the I-105 Connector to Atlantic Boulevard in the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, South Gate and Downey.

Motorists are advised to use alternate routes.

The closure, one of 10 that have been scheduled between Aug. 8 and Oct. 17, is part of $65 million project to rehabilitate the pavement on the 710 Freeway from Firestone Boulevard to Slauson Avenue.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Commission Allocates $$$ for Transportation Projects

The California Transportation Commission (the folks who decide which transportation projects get funded) today allocated $2.2 billion for 146 new projects (pdf) -- everything from installing curbs to constructing badly needed carpool lanes. A bunch of those 146 projects are in District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties). Here are some of the biggest:

■ $190.2 million to rehabilitate 37 lane miles of the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) from South Gate to Monterey Park to improve safety and ride quality.

■ $131.6 million to construct high occupancy vehicle (HOV or carpool) lanes on US 101 from Mussel Shoals in Ventura County to just south of Casitas Pass Road.

■ $130 million to rehabilitate 127 lane miles of the Golden State Freeway (I-5) from Vista Del Lago Road to the Kern County Line to improve safety and ride quality.

■ $100.7 million to rehabilitate 48 lane miles of the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) from the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to the Orange Freeway (SR-57) to improve safety and ride quality.

The funding for all this work included $863 million from Proposition 1B, the 2006 voter-approved transportation bond. Thank you, voters! Without you, these ambitious projects would not be possible.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

High Desert Corridor

The High Desert Corridor (HDC) project to extend State Route 138 (a.k.a the Palmdale Freeway) will help to increase the capacity of east-west roadways to handle existing and future traffic is currently in the environmental impact review process.

If and when the project gets the go ahead, the HDC will help to improve accessibility within and between communities of Palmdale and Adelanto, access to regional airports, and meet existing and future demands for goods movement.

Visit the project web site for more information.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Caltrans Funds Another Bike Lane

A 2.5-mile bicycle lane project on Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks was among the 24 Bicycle Transportation grants totalling $7.2 million awarded by the California Department of Transportation for Fiscal Year 2010/2011.

The Caltrans grant of $450,000 represents about 25 percent of the Thousand Oaks bike lane's estimated cost; the remainder will be composed of other grants and various city funds.

Grants are funneled through the Department's Bicycle Transportation Account, an annual program that provides state funds for city and county projects that improve safety and convenience for bicycle commuters.

This program is an example of Caltrans' committment to providing a variety of safe transportation options for California citizens.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Public Welcome to I-5 South Corridor Workshop on August 15

On Monday, August 15, from 6-8 p.m., at the Norwalk City Hall, Caltrans District 7, in collaboration with the City of Norwalk, will hold a public meeting on the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects coming to construction this fall and throughout 2012 extending from the Orange/Los Angeles County line to I-605. Caltrans will present six projects as they relate to the Norwalk community for design, right of way and construction. Learn about how you can stay informed about the roadwork involving freeway widening and constructing two lanes in each direction. The public is welcome. A similar meeting will be held in Santa Fe Springs on August 22. For more information, call Norwalk City Hall at 562-929-5700 or Caltrans Public Affairs at 213-897-3656.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Night Closure of Paxton Street in Arleta

If you use Paxton Street in Arleta, make a mental note: Paxton will be closed between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Arleta Avenue between midnight and 5 a.m. next Monday, August 8, through Thursday, August 11. Not to worry -- detours will posted, and you won't have to go that far out of your way. Reason for the closure: Crews will demolish the railing on the I-5 bridge over Paxton Street to widen the freeway for a carpool lane. If you live in the area, you may hear some construction noise, but it won't exceed levels allowed by state and federal regulations. Apologies for the inconvenience. It won't last long.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Caltrans Behind the Cones: Concrete Pour

If you've ever wondered what exactly is going on when you drive by a construction zone at night, here's a peek behind the closure cones. This video (1:09) shows a concrete pouring operation in July for the I-5/Western Avenue Interchange Improvement Project. Crews were pouring concrete for a retaining wall to support the widening of the Western Avenue off-ramp. The operation took about two weeks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Caltrans Branch Chief Provides SR-110 Info for KCET Series

Linda Taira, Caltrans District 7 Corridor and Special Studies Branch Chief, was interviewed today by KCET about the Arroyo Seco Parkway, aka SR-110 or the Pasadena Freeway. (It's the first freeway in the West, by the way.) Linda spoke about the history of the Parkway, its status as a National Scenic Byway and the Corridor Management Plan that will strive to strike a balance between cultural/historic preservation and safety and mobility. The interview will be part of KCET’s Departure series on Highland Park. To see Linda in action, check out the series online in October.

In the photo, Linda is standing on the east side of the Parkway, just off the bike path near the Arroyo Seco Stables. Yep, that's actual water in the "dry stream"!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I-710 Full Freeway Closures begin this weekend

Motorists travelling Interstate 710 this weekend from just south of Atlantic/Bandini Boulevards to Imperial Highway will navigate through 2 full freeway closures, detours, a 45 mph construction zone, and delays. Beginning Friday, August 5 at midnight until Saturday at 6 am, I-710 will fully close in both directions within these limits. The good news is that for 40 hours beginning Saturday at 6 am, one side of the freeway -using only 5 lanes - will open for all motorists (except those with oversized loads) until Sunday at 11 pm when the second full freeway closure begins. All lanes will re-open for the Monday morning (8/8) commute. The on-going work involves removing aging pavement and replacing it with Long Life Pavement. Ten full freeway closures in this location are planned each weekend through October.

Late at Night at the I-5/Western Ave. Interchange

If you use the I-5/Western Avenue interchange in Glendale, no doubt you’ve noticed the construction work going on in the area. We’re in the middle of an interchange modification project that’s realigning ramps and ultimately will improve traffic flow and reduce congestion. The project will wrap up in about a year. Most of the work is done at night, so you won’t see much going on when you drive by. But we’ve put together a slideshow of July’s big concrete pour. See the construction crews in action!

Work on I-5 in the San Fernando Valley

Caltrans is constructing a carpool lane on the Golden State Freeway (I-5) between the Ventura Freeway (SR-134) and Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank.

As part of the project, crews will begin removing vegetation (such as trees, shrubs, grass, etc.) and compacting soil. This will make way for the widening of the freeway. There may be construction noise during this operation.

Where: Southbound I-5 between Western Avenue and just pass Paula Avenue

When: Thursday, August 4, 2011 through Friday, August 12, 2011
7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The construction schedule is subject to change.