LONG-TERM INTERSECTION CLOSURE in Santa Fe Springs

Caltrans will fully close the intersection of Alondra Boulevard, Marquardt Avenue and South Firestone Boulevard in the city of Santa Fe Springs beginning on Monday morning, August 4 at 6 a.m.

Summer Driving Tips

Taking a road trip this summer? A few hours of prep now might save you from being stranded on the side of the road, a big repair bill and/or a ruined vacation.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Closures for the 2012 Rose Parade

If you’re headed to the Rose Parade or float viewing in Pasadena this weekend, consider leaving your car at home and taking transit instead. Metro has a handy guide (pdf) that tells you how to do it. But, if you absolutely must drive, keep in mind that the ramps listed below (and part of Pasadena Ave.) will be closed. So be sure to plan ahead, use alternate routes, expect some congestion, be patient, etc.

Ventura Freeway (SR-134)

Eastbound Orange Grove Blvd. off-ramp
TIME: 8 p.m. on 1/1 to noon on 1/2

Westbound Orange Grove Blvd. on-ramp
TIME: 2 a.m. on 1/2 to noon on 1/2

Foothill Freeway (I-210)

Westbound Sierra Madre Blvd. off-ramp
TIME: 8 p.m. on 1/1 to 4 p.m. on 1/2

Eastbound Sierra Madre Blvd./San Gabriel Blvd. off-ramp
TIME: 8 p.m. on 1/1 to 4 p.m. on 1/2

Long Beach Freeway (SR-710)

Southbound Del Mar Blvd. off-ramp
TIME: 8 p.m. on 1/1 to 11 a.m. on 1/2

Northbound Del Mar Blvd. on-ramp
TIME: 8 p.m. on 1/1 to 10 a.m. on 1/2

Northbound California Blvd. on-ramp
TIME: 6 p.m. on 1/1 to 11 a.m. on 1/2

Pasadena Avenue

Columbia St. to Del Mar Blvd.
TIME: 8 p.m. on 1/1 to noon on 1/2

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Federal Funds for SR-60 Bridge

On Thursday, Dec. 22, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that $2 million in quick release emergency funds to be made immediately available to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the Paramount Boulevard bridge set ablaze by a fuel tanker explosion on the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) in the City of Montebello.

The quick release emergency funds will help to cover the costs of the demolition of the Paramount Blvd. bridge, slab replacements, and other clean-up operations that began after the flames from the tanker truck were doused on Wednesday, Dec. 14. The funds will also help to cover costs associated with the construction of a new bridge.

The design process is still on-going and it is expected that the construction of the bridge could take 6 to 8 months.

For questions about this repair project, please call 213-897-3656.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Eastbound SR-60 Lane Closures Tonight

Montebello — The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close up to three lanes on eastbound Pomona Freeway (State Route 60) from Wilcox Avenue to Paramount Boulevard at 9 p.m. (12/22) until 5 a.m.

Tonight’s work involves boring, soil testing and pavement striping.

The northbound Paramount Boulevard on-ramp to westbound SR-60 is closed temporarily. The southbound Paramount Boulevard on-ramp to eastbound SR-60 is closed indefinitely. All other ramps are open.

The lane closures are part of a construction project that is replacing the Paramount Boulevard bridge, which was damaged December 14 after a tanker truck caught fire on eastbound SR-60 at Paramount Boulevard.

Closures are subject to change. Detours will be signed.

The latest freeway traffic information can be obtained on the Caltrans website (www.dot.ca.gov) by accessing the Quickmaps feature under ‘Highlights.’

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Westbound SR-60 Closed Tuesday Night for More Bridge Demo

Westbound SR-60 will be closed again late Tuesday night through early Wednesday morning (December 20-21) to continue demolition of the Paramount Boulevard bridge. Crews will be removing bridge columns and abutments, and restriping pavement. If all goes well, they should be able to finish the demo tonight. The closures are as follows:

Westbound SR-60: All lanes will be closed from 11 p.m. on 12/20 to 5 a.m. on 12/21 from San Gabriel Boulevard to Paramount Boulevard.

Eastbound SR-60: Two lanes will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. on 12/20, and three (of four) lanes will be closed at midnight from Wilcox Avenue to Paramount Boulevard. All lanes will be open at 5 a.m. on 12/21.

Ramps: The northbound Paramount Boulevard on-ramp to westbound SR-60 is closed temporarily. The southbound Paramount Boulevard on-ramp to eastbound SR-60 is closed indefinitely. All other ramps are open.

The closures are part of a construction project that is replacing the Paramount Boulevard bridge, which was damaged December 14 after a tanker truck caught fire on eastbound SR-60 at Paramount Boulevard.

The latest freeway traffic information can be obtained on the Caltrans website (
www.dot.ca.gov) by accessing the Quickmaps feature under ‘Highlights.’

Monday, December 19, 2011

Westbound SR-60 Closed Monday Night for Bridge Demo


The westbound Pomona Freeway (SR-60) will be closed late Monday night through early Tuesday morning (December 19-20) to continue demolition of the Paramount Boulevard bridge. Details:

Westbound SR-60: All lanes will be closed from 11 p.m. on 12/19 to 5 a.m. on 12/20 from San Gabriel Boulevard to Paramount Boulevard.

Eastbound SR-60: Two lanes will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. on 12/19, and three (of four) lanes will be closed at midnight from Wilcox Avenue to Paramount Boulevard. All lanes will be open at 5 a.m. on 12/20.

Ramps: The northbound Paramount Boulevard on-ramp to westbound SR-60 is closed temporarily. The southbound Paramount Boulevard on-ramp to eastbound SR-60 is closed indefinitely. All other ramps are open.

Closures are subject to change. Detours will be signed.

The closures are part of a construction project that is replacing the Paramount Boulevard bridge, which was damaged December 14 after a tanker truck caught fire on eastbound SR-60 at Paramount Boulevard.

The latest freeway traffic information can be obtained on the Caltrans website (
www.dot.ca.gov) by accessing the Quickmaps feature under ‘Highlights.’

Photo: Crews demolish the eastbound side the Paramount Boulevard bridge over SR-60.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Update on SR-60 Reopening and Bridge Demolition

Montebello — Demolition of the bridge above the westbound Pomona Freeway (SR-60) will occur from Sunday to Tuesday between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. nightly. Up to three lanes of eastbound SR-60 will be closed. Westbound SR-60 will be fully closed between San Gabriel Boulevard and Garfield Avenue. Motorists should expect delays.

Motorists are advised to plan ahead, be patient, and use alternate routes or public transportation, if possible. Signed detours are in place. The latest freeway traffic information can be obtained on the Caltrans website: www.dot.ca.gov by accessing the Quickmaps feature.

Caltrans reminds motorists to “Slow For The Cone Zone.”

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 3: Update on SR-60 Reopening and Bridge Demolition



Caltrans is working to re-open both directions of the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) to traffic by mid-day Saturday, December 17, after the discovery of hazardous materials delayed a planned reopening today.

Eastbound and westbound SR-60, bordering the communities of East Los Angeles, Monterey Park and Montebello, has been closed since Wednesday afternoon between the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) and the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) after a tanker truck caught fire on eastbound SR-60 at Paramount Boulevard. There were no serious injuries.

Currently, utility work continues on the Paramount Bridge above eastbound SR-60. Following that, demolition of the eastbound portion of the bridge will resume; the westbound side has been determined to be safe and will not be demolished at this time. Pavement work is expected to begin late today.

The westbound SR-60 closure has been shortened from I-605 to Rosemead Boulevard. The freeway connector transition from northbound and southbound I-710 to eastbound SR-60 remains closed.

Caltrans, with its emergency contractor Flatiron Construction, is working around the clock to complete the repairs that will allow the freeway to reopen. The Department is cognizant of the impacts this closure is having on the local communities and is doing everything possible to shorten their inconvenience. In the meantime, Caltrans is taking advantage of the closure to perform various maintenance activities on the freeway.

Motorists are advised to plan ahead, be patient, and use alternate routes or public transportation, if possible. Signed detours are in place. The latest freeway traffic information can be obtained on the Caltrans website: www.dot.ca.gov by accessing the Quickmaps feature.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SR-60 Closure Now Shorter!

As of 2 p.m. today, the SR-60 closure (due to yesterday’s tanker fire) has been shortened. The westbound closure limit is now Rosemead Boulevard. The eastbound closure limit is still I-710.

Additionally, the eastbound SR-60 San Gabriel Boulevard ramp is open. Open westbound ramps include Atlantic Boulevard and Garfield Avenue.

We will be working around the clock to open the entire freeway in both directions by the evening commute tomorrow.

SR-60 to Open By Friday Evening Commute

Caltrans expects to re-open both directions of the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) to traffic by the evening commute on Friday, December 16. The freeway was closed Wednesday afternoon between the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) and the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) after a tanker truck caught fire on eastbound SR-60 at Paramount Boulevard. There were no serious injuries.

Demolition of the east side of the Paramount Boulevard bridge will begin this afternoon. Currently, engineers are taking core samples to assess damage to the west side of the bridge. Based on the results of the assessment, a decision will be made later today about whether the west side needs to be demolished as well. An emergency contract has been awarded to Flatiron Construction to perform the work.

Paramount Boulevard near the accident site is closed. Most of SR-60 between I-710 and I-605 is also closed, but some ramps are open. Open eastbound ramps include San Gabriel Boulevard, Rosemead Boulevard, Santa Anita Avenue, and Durfee Avenue. Open westbound ramps include Atlantic Boulevard and Garfield Avenue. Caltrans is taking advantage of the closure of SR-60, which has an average daily traffic volume of 220,000 vehicles, to conduct intensive maintenance operations.

Motorists are advised to plan ahead, be patient, and use alternate routes. Signed detours are in place and the Caltrans Traffic Management Team is on site. Electronic signs will be used to direct holiday shoppers to the Montebello Town Square Shopping Center.


Photo: Fire damage to column supporting the Paramount Boulevard bridge over eastbound SR-60.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From the Archives: 20 Years Ago - Christo’s Umbrellas

Most of the calls we’ve been getting about I-5's Tejon Pass as of late are from motorists asking about road conditions. But in 1991, the Tejon Pass was a hot topic for another reason: Christo’s umbrellas.

Twenty years ago, the Pass, best known for its severe winter weather, was transformed into a giant palette by famed environmental artist Christo. The project, called “The Umbrellas Joint Project for Japan and USA,” was a temporary installation consisting of 3,100 octagonal umbrellas, each standing nearly 20 feet tall, randomly placed along the countryside through the Tejon Pass and 72 miles north of Tokyo. A team of people opened the umbrellas at dawn, while crowds watched from frontage roads, taking photos and eating picnic breakfasts. The goal of the exhibit was to reflect the similarities in the ways of life of two inland valleys in the U.S. and Japan.

Caltrans wrote the unprecedented encroachment permit for the umbrellas and devised the traffic management plan for the exhibit area. Special “No Parking” signs were erected to prevent people from parking on the freeway (yep, it happened), and electronic signs were used to direct motorists to frontage roads to view the installation. Despite the thousands of people who turned out to see the umbrellas, the congestion that many had worried about never materialized. Three weeks after the yellow umbrellas went up, they were taken down and recycled.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10 Freeway Public Meeting Set for Tonight

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will host a public information meeting tonight (December 13) beginning at 6 p.m. to discuss the status of the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV or carpool) lane construction project between Puente Avenue and the Orange Freeway (SR-57).

Participants will have an opportunity to provide comments and ask questions regarding project elements and environmental impacts, such as: noise abatement, air quality, traffic circulation, potential property acquisitions, construction impacts, schedule, and federal, state and local funding commitments.

The meeting will take place at Cal Poly Pomona’s Bronco Student Center-Ursa Minor Room 2135 (3801 West Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768). Complimentary parking is available in Lot C after 5:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to come at any time between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. A live webcast of this meeting, along with Twitter updates will be provided, and can be found at the District 7 website, at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/travel/projects/details.php?id=30.

Caltrans personnel will be available to answer questions and discuss issues regarding the I-10 HOV project and other ongoing efforts to promote congestion relief in the area.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Angeles Crest Highway Closure

Caltrans District 8 (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties) closed the Angeles Crest Highway (SR-2) between Vincent’s Gap and Islip Saddle today for the winter. This stretch of mountain highway, is located west of Wrightwood. Caltrans closes this section every winter due to avalanche activity and motorist safety.

SR-2 has sustained damage in recent years from avalanche activity resulting in road loss. In the event that this occurs the opening could be delayed. Caltrans will alert the public and media once SR-2 is ready to reopen, expectedly in spring 2012.

For freeway and highway conditions please go to www.ie511.org or www.go511.com. You can also dial 5-1-1.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Worth Watching: District 7 Director Mike Miles on Metro Motion

The winter edition of Metro Motion (Metro's quarterly show on transporation issues) features Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles discussing how Caltrans and Metro work together to squeeze more capacity out of freeways and to develop a multi-modal transit network. Miles shares his insights on how Caltrans is tackling congestion and how you can be part of the solution. The whole show is worth watching, but if you're short on time, Miles' interview begins at 3:30.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Better Access to Downtown L.A. on the Harbor Freeway

Since early 2010, Caltrans has been improving the Harbor Freeway (SR 110) through downtown Los Angeles by adding lanes, upgrading the interchange with the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) and enhancing several ramps.

When completed in spring 2013, the $25 million project will enable a smoother transition between SR-110 and I-10 as southbound SR-110 traffic entering from 8th Street will now remain in one lane to access eastbound I-10, thus eliminating weaving across several lanes and providing improved access to the downtown corridor.

Below are some recent construction photos:


Monday, December 5, 2011

Your Questions Answered

Question: You’ve recently repaved southbound I-5 between Templin Highway and Lake Hughes Road in Castaic. Why is it taking so long to finish putting the reflectors between lanes?

Answer: You probably already know that Caltrans does almost all construction work at night. The benefit of working at night, of course, is that traffic volumes are lower, so fewer people are inconvenienced when we have to close lanes. The drawback is that it’s colder at night, and for many paving operations, the ambient air temperature and the pavement surface temperature must be above a certain point. If it’s too cold, the work can’t be completed. Rain can also cause delays.

Exactly how warm it must be depends on the operation and the materials being used. In the case of reflector installation, the magic number is usually about 50 degrees. So, as soon as Mother Nature cooperates, crews will get busy on those I-5 reflectors.

Friday, December 2, 2011

“Scooter” the Storm Drain Robot in Santa Monica

District 7’s Storm Water Unit used “Scooter” a remote controlled four-wheeled robot to inspect storm drains along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) for the past couple of weeks.

Apparently, concrete was poured into the storm drains by an unknown entity. To be able to access the extent of damage (or blockage), maintenance crews cleared the drains of debris so that “Scooter” along with his operators could visually inspect the drains via the camera attached to the robot’s head. Fortunately, Time Warner Cable’s Beat the Traffic sent us a video of the robot in action.

Maintenance crews closed one lane of the southbound Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1). Work occurred Thursday, December 1 and Friday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. between California Incline and the Santa Monica Pier.

video

CALTRANS RECOGNIZED FOR SAFETY CONTRIBUTIONS

As further demonstration that safety is Caltrans' number one priority, the Department has been awarded the U.S. Department of Transportation's 2011 National Roadway Safety Award for developing an innovative safety software program that makes it easier for local transportation agencies to prioritize safety projects.

The application determines which projects offer the greatest potential of reducing fatalities and injuries on California’s local roads. These projects will save lives and provide a projected $743 million in safety benefits as a result of fewer vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities on local roads.

“We strive to be the leader in roadway safety,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Safety is an essential component of every one of our state and local projects. This award for our Highway Safety Improvement Program drives us to continue efforts on innovative solutions that improve the safety of California’s roads for everyone.”

The software, known as “California’s Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Application and Evaluation Tool for Local Roadways,” also provides Caltrans a better way to analyze safety projects submitted by local agencies and award funding to those projects that will increase roadway safety the most.

Under Caltrans’ direction, the University of California Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center also contributed to the creation of the HSIP Tool.

The National Roadway Safety Awards is a biennial competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Roadway Safety Foundation to recognize roadway safety achievements that move the nation “toward zero deaths” on highways and local roads.

With the assistance of the HSIP tool, Caltrans awarded $75 million in federal funding to 179 safety projects statewide in Fiscal Year 2010-11. For more information about these projects, please visit: http://www.dot.ca.gov/docs/ApprovedprojectlistHSIP.pdf