Friday, September 30, 2011

I-710 Full Freeway Closures this Weekend

Two Full Freeway Closures are happening this weekend on the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) as part of the Long Life Pavement Rehabilitation Project from Firestone Boulevard to Slauson Avenue.

FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES will occur in both directions:
• Friday (9/30) at 11:59 p.m. until Saturday (10/1) at 6 a.m.
• Sunday (10/2) at 11 p.m. until Monday (10/3) at 5 a.m.

CLOSED ramps and connectors throughout the weekend:
• On-ramps to N/B 710: from Imperial Highway, Firestone Blvd. & Florence Ave.
• On-ramps to S/B 710: from Atlantic Blvd., Florence Ave. & Firestone Blvd.
• Off-ramps from N/B 710: to Florence Ave. & Firestone Blvd.
• Eastbound & westbound I-105 connector to northbound I-710.

Motorists are reminded of a 45 mph speed limit and narrow lane widths during the Extended Weekend Closures. This freeway segment is a designated Construction Zone where a 45 mph limit will be enforced by the California Highway Patrol. Due to narrow lane widths, oversized loads are not permitted. Plan ahead and use alternate routes and detours. The closure schedule is weather-permitting and is subject to change. The work is part of a $65 million project to rehabilitate aging pavement and provide the roadway with several decades of service life, improved pavement performance and a smoother ride for the traveling public. The project is estimated to complete by spring 2012.

For more information on the I-710 full freeway closure schedule, visit or follow us on Twitter or right here at The Caltrans Connector blog at

55-Hour Closure: Northbound US 101 California Street Off-Ramp

If you'll be traveling northbound on US 101 through Ventura this weekend, make a mental note: the California Street off-ramp will be closed for 55 hours as part of a $52 million project that's replacing concrete slabs and repaving ramps on US 101 between Santa Rosa Road and the Padre Juan Canyon Road overcrossing. Details: The closure will begin at 11 p.m. on Friday, September 30, and the ramp will reopen by Monday, October 3, at 6 a.m. Detours will be signed, so you'll have some help getting around the closure.

As always, slow for the cone zone and move over one lane when you see amber lights flashing in a construction zone. You can help keep our workers safe!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Delays on Topanga Canyon Boulevard (SR-27)

Caltrans will close one lane of Topanga Canyon Boulevard (SR-27) to remove loose rocks and debris along slopes on Tuesday, October 4 and Wednesday, October 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The work will occur 1.5 miles north of Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1).

Motorists should expect 30 to 45 minute delays and consider alternate routes. Traffic control will be in place. Closures are subject to change.

Rock climbers will ascend slopes to clear rocks and debris that could potentially fall onto the highway during rainy weather.
Be sure to check local traffic reports before heading out. You can also try or dial 5-1-1.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Preliminary Work Begins for I-5 Carmenita Project

Caltrans began utility relocation work this week as part of the Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5) Carmenita Road Interchange Project. The work involves the removal and relocation of utility lines beneath the I-5 freeway surface—in both directions— in the City of Santa Fe Springs.

Work zones are in place on Freeway Drive, near Marquardt Avenue (off northbound I-5); and on Alondra Boulevard at Marquardt Avenue (off southbound I-5). Work at these sites will continue through early-May 2012.

During daytime hours, the public can expect to see crews working behind fencing and concrete barriers on the local streets mentioned above. For your safety and for that of the work crews, please reduce travel speed and obey traffic signals, signing and flagging operations in the construction work zone. Partial and temporary closures on Freeway Drive are planned to take place in mid-February 2012.

For more information on the Carmenita Road Interchange Project, visit the
I-5 Corridor website at or call the Toll-Free Hotline at 855-454-6335.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

From the Archives: Don't Cuss

Click It or Ticket. Slow for the Cone Zone. Report Drunk Drivers -- Call 911.

These are all messages that have been displayed on Caltrans' electronic signs in recent years. But here's one that hasn't been seen in decades: Don't Cuss -- Try Carpools or Bus. It's an old slogan (the undated photo looks to be from the early 1980s), but the message could not be more relevant today, once you get past those amazingly wide lapels. As congestion increases, carpooling and transit remain two of the best ways to spend less time in your car. You can also run errands during off-peak hours, use real-time traffic info services like 511, try alternate routes, and if possible, take advantage of flex time at work so you're not driving during rush hour. And if you do find yourself stuck in traffic, don't cuss. Next time, try a carpool or bus. Or light rail. Or bike. Or maybe even walk.

Friday, September 23, 2011

CANCELED! No Full Closure on I-710 this Weekend

Caltrans has canceled a Full Freeway Closure scheduled on the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) this weekend (September 23-26) as part of the Long Life Pavement Rehabilitation Project from Firestone Boulevard to Slauson Avenue in several communities from Bell to Downey.

Each weekend since August 5, 2011, Caltrans has conducted a series of six consecutive full freeway closures on this route in both directions. The next full freeway closure is scheduled for Friday, September 30 through Monday, October 3

But, nightly weeknight work will take place beginning Sunday, September 25 through Thursday, September 29. Some minor work will take place in the center median - in both directions - to prepare for the next series of Extended Weekend Closures. Two lanes in each direction between Firestone Boulevard and Slauson Avenue will be closed to re-stripe lanes and to place a moveable median barrier on the southbound I-710 center median. No ramps will be closed within these limits.

For more information on the I-710 full freeway closure schedule, visit or follow us on Twitter or right here at The Caltrans Connector blog at

Full Freeway Closure on northbound I-405

A full freeway closure is planned on northbound I-405 between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Boulevard tomorrow night, Saturday, September 24 and continuing overnight until Sunday at 7 a.m. Ramps within the freeway closures may begin to close as early as 7 p.m. on Saturday night, but lane closures begin at 11 p.m.

This closure is needed during the removal and replacement of some overhead signs and their support structures on northbound I-405. Sepulveda Boulevard will remain open and will be used as a detour. Detour maps are available at Work is weather permitting and subject to change. The
I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project hotline is (213) 922-3665.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Your Questions Answered: Lane Closure Info

Question: I like to avoid construction zones when possible so I don't get caught in a backup. How can I find out about closure locations and times?

Answer: There's an easy way to get information about closures -- visit the Planned Lane Closures page on the Caltrans website. Just enter the freeway, date(s) and time period, and you'll be given a list of all the closures for the area you designated, including lane, ramp and connector closures. Keep in mind that the closures listed are primarily construction closures, so maintenance and emergency closures won't be included.

Also, if you live or work next to a major construction project, give us a call at (213) 897-3656 and we can add you to the closure distribution list for the project, which means you'll get a weekly list of closures delivered to your in-box automatically.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I-10: Soundwalls and Aesthetics

As part of the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane project in Baldwin Park, soundwalls are being constructed to reduce the noise emitted from the freeway. Caltrans cares about aesthetics too. The blocks used to build the soundwall were patterned after the scenic and rolling San Gabriel Mountains that can be seen from I-10.

This $165 million project is expected to complete fall 2011. The HOV lane will be added to reduce congestion, encourage carpooling, and improve air quality.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

55-Hour Closure: Northbound 101 Victoria Ave. Off-Ramp

If you'll be traveling northbound on US 101 through Ventura this weekend, make a mental note: the Victoria Avenue off-ramp will be closed for 55 hours as part of a $52 million project that's replacing concrete slabs and repaving ramps on US 101 between Santa Rosa Road and the Padre Juan Canyon Road overcrossing. Details: The closure will begin at 11 p.m. on Friday, September 23, and the ramp will reopen by Monday, September 26, at 6 a.m. Detours will be signed, so you'll have some help getting around the closure.

As always, slow for the cone zone and move over one lane when you see amber lights flashing in a construction zone. You can help keep our workers safe!

Monday, September 19, 2011

W.O.W.W. – It’s Watch Out for Wildlife Week

Today, Caltrans kicks off “Watch Out for Wildlife (WOW) Awareness Week,” which strives to reduce wildlife-related injuries on the state’s highways. The campaign attempts to enhance the efforts of government agencies, universities, and nonprofit organizations that establish safe highway passage for wildlife in California. The Defenders of Wildlife, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting native animals and plants, estimates that 1.5 million animals are hit on the nation’s roadways each year. In addition, more than 200 people are killed in collisions with deer, elk and other wildlife. Wildlife-vehicle collisions cause $1 billion in property damage.

The campaign is sponsored by Caltrans, the California Department of Fish and Game, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis. Caltrans believes the awareness week will assist in planning for the conservation of natural resources while providing safe and effective transportation.

Caltrans and Defenders of Wildlife offer a few tips for motorists in wildlife country:
• Be alert when driving in wildlife areas.
• If you see an animal cross the road, know that another may be following.
• Don’t litter. It could entice animals to venture onto the road.

For more information on Watch Out for Wildlife, along with additional tips on avoiding collisions with wild animals, go to

Read last Friday’s blog item at The Caltrans Connector about what District 7 is doing to construct wildlife corridors in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Caltrans Answers Your Questions: Storm Water Project on SR-22

We were recently asked, “what kind of landscape project is that on SR-22 near Studebaker Rd. in Long Beach?”

It is actually a storm water project. It is what we call a biological filtration canal or bioswale. Bioswales use native plants rather than concrete as a natural means to reduce erosion and treat storm water by filtering out contaminants that runoff the freeway. Under direction of Caltrans engineers, landscape architects, and biologists, an earthen canal was constructed, native plants were planted, and mulch was applied. In addition to the environmental and structural benefits, some have commented that the plants have improved the aesthetics of the area.

Skirball Wildlife Crossing Will Protect Animals and Motorists

Caltrans Senior Enviromental Planner Barbara Marquez (left) was interviewed this morning by KTLA’s Ginger Chan about wildlife crossings -- the new Skirball wildlife crossing in particular. The Skirball crossing, now under construction, is part of the required environmental mitigation (pdf) for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project.

One of the most common questions/jokes we get about the wildlife crossing is whether signs will be posted to direct animals to the crossing point. No signs necessary. A perimeter fence will be constructed to funnel the wildlife to the new Skirball overpass, which will have a 10-foot wide travel path on the south side for animals. (Two-legged creatures can use it as well.) A concrete wall on the east side will direct them to the bridge and keep them from crossing Skirball Center Drive. More fencing will direct them back and forth from the Sepulveda Trail area. Plans also include planting native vegetation that allow cover for animals as they journey toward their destination.

Why build a wildlife crossing at all? In short, freeways fragment habitat, which can isolate animals, restrict gene pools, and significantly reduce animal populations -- even lead to extinction. Wildlife crossings help preserve habitats by allowing animals to spread out and travel safely. They also reduce accidents caused by cars hitting animals, so they make our freeways safer for motorists as well. Plus, we ALL benefit from protecting the environment and preserving our unique ecology.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Caltrans will close portions of SR-110 for construction in downtown Los Angeles.
This $25 million project will add outside merging lanes, improve the SR-110/I-10 interchange and several ramps which will enhance access to downtown. The following schedule will be in effect:
Nightly, Monday, Sept.19 through Thursday, 9/23
•10 p.m. to 5 a.m. – All connectors from southbound 110 to the east & westbound I-10.
•11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
– Up to three lanes from Washington Boulevard to 8th Street.
– 9th and 11th Street off-ramps.
– 8th Street on-ramp.
•10 p.m. to 6 a.m. – Connectors to northbound SR-110
Sunday, 9/18 through Thursday, 9/22
• 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
– East- and westbound Olympic Blvd. between Byram and Sunbury St.
– East- and westbound 9th St between Golden Ave and Georgia St.
• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– East- and westbound Pico Blvd between Cherry St and Albany St.
– North- and southbound Francisco Blvd between 9th St and 8th St.

El Departamento del Transporte de California (Caltrans) informó que deberá cerrar varios segmentos de la autopista 110 en los próximos días debido a obras de construcción. Este es el horario:
De la noche del lunes 19 de septiembre al viernes 23 de septiembre
• 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. – Todas las conexiones del SR 110 al este y oeste de la autopista Santa Monica (I-10).
• 11 p.m. a 5 a.m.
Hasta tres carriles desde Washington Boulevard hasta la Calle 8.
Rampas de salida a las calles 9 y 11.
Rampa de entrada a la calle 8.
• 10 p.m. a 6 a.m. – Conexiones al norte del SR-110

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Caltrans Kicks Off Charitable Campaign

Caltrans employees and representatives from nonprofit organizations gathered on the Plaza of the District Office Building Wednesday afternoon for the launch of the annual California State Employee Charitable Campaign (CSECC). CSECC allows state workers to support charitable organizations through a payroll deduction. Thanks to the generosity of state employees, thousands of nonprofits are currently being supported by more than $7.2 million pledged this past year. Of that total, $663,000 came from Caltrans staff.

The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board screens nonprofits to ensure their eligibility but does not endorse them in any way. State employees may choose to donate to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Special guests at today’s kick-off included Fox 11 Meteorologist/Traffic Reporter Rick Dickert (at the podium in the photo), CHP Officer Rick Quintero, and Assembly Members Mike Davis, Mike Eng, Isadore Hall and Bonnie Lowenthal.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Full Closure of I-210 for Gold Line Project

As part of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension project, the Rosemead Blvd., Michillinda Blvd., and Baldwin Ave. on-ramps to the eastbound Foothill Freeway (I-210) will close at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13.

The freeway will close from 12 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 14. Traffic will be detoured onto Foothill Blvd. The freeway and on-ramps are expected reopen by 6:00 a.m.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I-5 Carmenita Interchange Project Schedules Preliminary Work

As part of the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Project extending from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to I-605, Caltrans will start pre-construction work for the Carmenita Road Interchange Project by late September. The work involves utility line removal and relocation beneath the freeway surface that will result in local street closures and delays for several weeks on and near Freeway Drive in the City of Santa Fe Springs. A construction schedule and detour routes for this preliminary work will be available soon. Please call the I-5 Corridor Toll-Free Hotline at 855-454-6335 to sign up to receive email notifications of upcoming closures, or visit the website at

Friday, September 9, 2011

Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team

You have probably heard or read the news headlines about an automobile versus a school bus in East Los Angeles, a semi-truck fire in a tunnel on the Golden State Freeway (I-5) in Newhall, or an officer involved traffic accident in Torrance, when incidents like these occur the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) is on its way. Along with this specialized group of CHP officers is a Caltrans’ engineer.

The MAIT provides an essential service to the state, as well as local law enforcement agencies to help solve some of the worst and complex traffic accidents. Investigations include the reconstruction of an incident and a study of the factors that may have contributed to the incident. The factors include environmental, human and mechanical and are associated with the three phases of a collision which are pre-collision, at-collision and post-collision. The ultimate objective of the program is to use of the identified factors to prevent collisions of a similar nature from recurring.

Full Freeway Closures on I-710 This Weekend

Beginning tonight and continuing through Monday morning, September 12, Caltrans will be closing I-710 in both directions TWICE to replace aging pavement as part of the Long-Life Pavement Rehabilitation Project from Firestone Boulevard to Slauson Avenue. Ramps and connectors will be affected as well.

Here's the closure schedule:

All freeway lanes closed:

> Friday at 11:59 p.m. until Saturday at 6 a.m.

> Sunday at 11 p.m. until Monday at 5 a.m.

Closed ramps:

> On-ramps to northbound I-710: Imperial Highway, Firestone Blvd. and Florence Avenue

> On-ramps to southbound I-710: Atlantic Boulevard, Florence Avenue and Firestone Boulevard

> Off-ramps from southbound I-710: Florence Avenue and Firestone Boulevard

Closed connectors:

> Eastbound and westbound I-105 connector to northbound I-710

There will be signed detours in place, so you'll be able to get around the closure. To avoid delays, you may want to avoid I-710 and use an alternate route.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Caltrans Answers Your Questions: San Gabriel Canyon Road (SR-39)

Q: When will the closed section of SR-39 in the Angeles National Forest open to the public?

A: Unfortunately, the current condition of the highway is unsafe for public use and will remain closed indefinitely.

Currently, Caltrans has four projects to repair sections of the highway that were washed away by heavy storms. The projects will help ensure that the highway can be used as a service road for Caltrans maintenance, CHP, US Forest Service and other public safety vehicles that need to reach various parts of the Angeles National Forest for regular and emergencies operations.

Need Help on the Freeway? Dial #399

If you find yourself stranded on the freeway, dial #399 to summon the Freeway Service Patrol, or FSP. FSP is a team of tow truck drivers who patrol major freeways looking for disabled vehicles. And they do more than tow. They can help you change a tire, refill your radiator, jump your battery, temporarily repair a leaking hose, give you enough gas to get you to the nearest gas station, and yes, if you need it, they'll tow your car to a safe location off the freeway.

The idea behind the FSP is that by getting disabled vehicles moving again -- or off the freeway -- congestion is reduced and stranded motorists are taken out of harm's way.

So how much will it cost you? Brace yourself ... it costs nothing. Whether you call FSP by dialing #399 or they stop to help before you have a chance to call, FSP services are 100% free.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Caltrans Answers Your Questions: SR-134 HOV Lane

Q: Will the HOV or carpool lane on the westbound Ventura Freeway (SR-134) just before the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) Interchange be adjusted to help vehicles move over earlier to get to the connector roads?

A: When the Hollywood Way On-ramp Project on westbound SR-134 was opened to the public in April, the lanes of the mainline freeway and HOV were reconfigured. After additional research and observation by our HOV Operations Unit, a half-mile of the HOV lane will be deleted to provide more time and space for vehicles to move over into connector lanes for SR-170 or US 101.

The lane is expected to be deleted by late September.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vincent Thomas Bridge Wraps

Recently, we were was asked, “Why is the VTB, wrapped in plastic?”

The VTB (Vincent Thomas Bridge), in Long Beach, is undergoing usual maintenance. Caltrans maintenance crew members are preparing the surface of the bridge for new paint. The white plastic wrap will prevent paint and water from falling onto motorists below while crews at work.

The VTB is located on the SR-47. It is a cable-suspension bridge, which is approximately 6062 ft long and opened in 1964.