Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Traffic Advisory: Night Closures of Osborne Street in Arleta

If you live or work in Arleta and drive in the area at night, you’ll want to avoid Osborne Street near I-5 this week.

As part of the carpool lane project underway on I-5 between SR-170 and SR-118, crews are removing the temporary construction supports that were installed for the freeway widening. To ensure safety, Osborne Street between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Arleta Avenue will be closed through Friday, December 2, from midnight to 5 a.m.

Traffic is being detoured off this section of Osborne Street. (See the The construction notice for a map.) All lanes will remain open on I-5 during the closure.

Photo: Crews remove temporary construction supports from Osborne Street overpass Tuesday night.

Want more info about work on I-5? You got it! Check out

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Caltrans District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties) will host three meetings in December to provide information about planning for the Arroyo Seco Parkway (State Route110) and surrounding corridor that is a designated National Scenic Byway. A Corridor Management Plan will be created by a team of consultants working for Caltrans in partnership with the Southern California Association of Governments. The consultant team, led by the IBI Group, will present an overview of the project and seek community input through interactive workshops. These meetings will be the same in content and process and are being offered at the following locations in the Arroyo Seco area:

Monday, December 5, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., South Pasadena Civic Library Community Room, 1115 El Centro Street, South Pasadena, 91030

Tuesday, December 6, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Highland Park Ebell Club, 131 S. Avenue 57, Los Angeles, 90042

Thursday, December 8, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Castelar Elementary School, 840 Yale Street, Los Angeles, 90012

For more information about:
The Arroyo Seco Parkway, please visit
The National Scenic Byway program, please visit

You may also contact Caltrans Public Affairs at (213) 897-3656.

(1940 vintage photo of The Arroyo Seco Parkway)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Caltrans Answers Your Questions

A: How will traffic will be this holiday weekend?

A good question. There are several factors (weather, traffic accidents, events, etc.) that can affect traffic on any given day, so it is best to be prepared before leaving for your destination.

There are quite a few resources to use: or dial 5-1-1

Listen to your local radio and television stations

Drive safe!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Caltrans in the News: Five Big Freeway Projects

Just in case you missed it, KTLA ran a story yesterday billed as a "crash course in construction zones" that focuses on five big construction projects underway or coming soon: carpool lanes on I-405, I-5, and I-10; paving on SR-710; and the upcoming Express Lanes project, which will construct high-occupancy toll lanes on I-10 and I-110. You can find out more about these projects on the Caltrans website and the dedicated I-5 website.

One key point the story doesn't mention is that almost all of the construction on these projects is done at night to minimize traffic impacts. Generally speaking, the cones go down at 10 p.m. and are picked up by 6 a.m. But there may be some long-term ramp closures, which you can find out about online. 511 is also a great resource to help you make smart choices about your commute.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New I-5 Western Ave. Off-Ramp is Open!

If you find yourself driving northbound on I-5 in Glendale, you can be one of the first motorists to try out the new, improved off-ramp to Western Avenue, which just opened Saturday morning. New configuration, new pavement, new signals, new everything!

The ramp is part of the Western Avenue Interchange Project, which is reconfiguring the Western Avenue on- and off-ramps so that they begin and end at a signalized intersection with Flower Street. Next up: reconfiguring the I-5 on-ramp and widening Western Avenue. The project will be completed next summer.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Caltrans Works with DOT to Offer Training Opportunities for Women

Attention women and those who know or are related to women:

The California Department of Transportation District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties) supports the continuous learning paths of currently enrolled college students, by participating in the U.S. Department of Transportation Entrepreneurial Training Women and Girls Internship Program. We provide opportunities that give students professional experience, aligned with their major of study, to help develop their careers.
For more information regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation Entrepreneurial Training Women and Girls Internship Program, please visit their website, at

I-10 Long-Term Off-Ramp Closures begin Monday, Nov. 21

Caltrans will close the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) westbound Frazier Street off-ramp and the eastbound Francisquito Avenue off-ramp in Baldwin Park beginning Monday, November 21 as part of the $165 million HOV, or carpool lane construction project. Motorists attempting to access local businesses along Frazier Street and Francisquito Avenue will experience delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes. These ramp closures are expected to continue until spring 2012.

Suggested detour exiting westbound I-10: Exit at Baldwin Park Boulevard; turn right to Francisquito Avenue; then turn left onto Frazier St.
Suggested detour exiting eastbound I-10: Exit at Baldwin Park Boulevard; Merge onto Dalewood Street; turn right on Baldwin Park Boulevard; turn right onto Francsiquito Ave.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Real Insiders Read Inside 7

Before there was a Caltrans blog, there was our monthly on-line newsletter, "Inside 7." Well, those days are back, friends. The new issue is available now at the following link:

Check out a number of exciting articles (including one on the new blog!) from a slew of projects starting on I-5 to new Maintenance techniques, a new materials lab, Caltrans goes Hollywood, and more.

Inside 7 complements the daily blog by allowing us more in-depth coverage of our activities. Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I-5 Community Meeting Tonight in Downey

You’re invited to attend a Community Meeting tonight in Downey to learn about the Florence Avenue Interchange Project, which will add a carpool lane and mixed-flow lane to I-5 in both directions from north of Orr and Day Road to the I-605 bridge. Work will begin in mid-2013. Caltrans staff will also provide an overview of five other projects on I-5 between the Orange County line and I-605. Meeting details:

When: November 15, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center, 7810 Quill Dr. in Downey

Parking: Plenty of free parking is available at the site.

Bring your curiosity and your questions. We hope to see you there!

For more information about I-5 projects, check out the I-5 website:

Monday, November 14, 2011

We Don't Just Maintain the Roads, We Fix Them

In the old days, Caltrans Maintenance workers had to be able to fix just about anything the road could dish out. Those skills are called for less often in the Time of Contractors, when virtually all paving projects are put out for bid.

District 7 would like to change that, both to ensure that road building knowledge is preserved and to afford Maintenance employees enhanced opportunities. To this end, the district has begun performing its own paving operations where possible.

“In the rural districts, they really do everything,” said Dan Freeman, District 7 Deputy Director of Maintenance. “Because we are in an urban area, our folks spend most of their time with more mundane work such as filling potholes and repairing guardrail.”

Maintenance Manager Alphonso Sanchez said employees have performed five paving jobs so far on I-5 and I-10, improving the freeway and saving taxpayer dollars. Training is on the job, with the more experienced workers teaching the others.

On various recent operations, crews have had the chance to use concrete saws, backhoes with jackhammers and various cement finishing tools.

“By the third time around, they looked like pros out there,” said East Region Manager Alphonso Sanchez, who is spearheading the effort. “I am really proud of those guys.”

Do-it-ourselves paving work not only sharpens and augments employees’ skills but allows for a more immediate response to pavement issues.

“We are teaching our people how to do an even better job of serving the public,” Freeman said.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day Parade Closures

We love a parade! And to ensure that there will be no mingling of motorists with marching bands at the 8th Annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade tomorrow, we'll be closing a few ramps from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closure details:

> Eastbound SR-118 off-ramp at Laurel Canyon Boulevard
> Northbound I-5 off-ramp at San Fernando Mission Boulevard
> One lane of northbound I-5 off-ramp at Chatsworth Drive
> One lane of southbound I-5 off-ramp at San Fernando Mission Boulevard

Construction-related closures will be suspended for the holiday, so head out to Pacoima and enjoy the parade!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Which road are you driving on? Angeles Crest Highway or Angeles Forest Highway?

Daily we receive calls about road conditions in the Angeles National Forest (ANF), but in many cases motorists don’t know the difference between the Angeles Crest Highway (aka “The Crest” or SR-2 or Highway 2) and the Angeles Forest Highway (N3).

Here are some quick facts:
SR-2 begins at entrance of the ANF and ends at the intersection of SR-138 near Wrightwood. N3 begins on the north side of the ANF, near the Antelope Valley Freeway (SR-14) and ends at the intersection of SR-2.

SR-2 is a westbound and eastbound highway and N3 is a northbound and southbound road.

SR-2 is a state highway and is maintained and operated by Caltrans. N3 is a county road and is maintained by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

Both are beautiful highways in a jewel of a forest, but they are different.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Arroyo Seco Parkway Featured on KCET's Departures

KCET’s online Departures program is currently featuring a fantastic multi-part series on Highland Park, which includes a terrific segment on the history of the Arroyo Seco Parkway. Producers interviewed Caltrans’ own Linda Taira, Corridor and Special Studies Branch Chief, for the segment. Linda explains the origin and design of the Parkway, which is commonly known as the first freeway in the United States. But, as Linda suggests, it’s not really a freeway in the modern sense of the word. It was designed for cars going about 45 miles per hour and is more of an arterial than a freeway. Nevertheless, the Parkway taught designers a lot about how to build the freeway system we have today. Check out the series for more on this historic roadway and the surrounding community.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Duarte Gets a Sound Solution to Freeway Noise

Caltrans, Metro and the city of Duarte participated in a joint ceremony today to celebrate completion of a $2.3 million, 14-ft. high masonry block soundwall on the west side of the 210 Freeway between Highland and Duncannon Avenues.
The soundwall was constructed by Caltrans with funding from Metro and the support and persistence of elected officials and the local community.
Duarte High School, a grateful beneficiary of the soundwall's benefits due to its adjacent location, hosted the ceremony.
"This soundwall shows how powerful a community can be when it comes together to promote a cause, particularly on behalf of its children," said Caltrans District Director Mike Miles. "The Department likes nothing better than to provide freeway improvements that serve local communities."

Construction Notice: Soil Placement in Arleta

If you live or work in Arleta, you already know that Caltrans is in the middle of a construction project that's building a carpool lane on I-5 between SR-170 and SR-118. As part of the project, crews will be placing dirt behind the new retaining wall on Sharp Avenue next week at night. The dirt is necessary to create a foundation for the wider freeway. There won't be any closures, but if you drive by, you'll notice a lot of activity. Details:

When: Nov. 7 – 11, 2011, Monday through Friday, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Where: Along Sharp Avenue between Montague Street and Branford Street. (The work area is indicated in blue on the map.

Questions? Call the toll-free I-5 hotline at (855) 454-6335 or check out the I-5 website:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cutting Green House Gases and Keeping California Moving

This month Caltrans is hosting workshops in Sacramento and Los Angeles to discuss the California Interregional Blueprint (CIB). CIB is a futuristic plan to improve California’s transit, rail, aviation, and highways, meet federal guidelines to garner more funding, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Initiated by state legislation, Caltrans is working with our regional partners in an effort to use new tools and technologies to investigate ways to get all of the transportation modes to work together effectively.