Thursday, April 26, 2012

Northbound I-5 Closure in San Fernando Valley

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED! Rain this week has delayed the closure. See new dates below.
If you drive I-5 in the San Fernando Valley, this blog post is for you! Beginning next this Sunday, May 6, through June 1 May 24, northbound I-5 will be closed at night (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.) between Sheldon Street and Paxton Street, Friday and Saturday nights excepted. The following ramps in the area will also be closed during the freeway closure: 

    > Branford St. off-ramp
    > Osborne St. on- and off-ramps
    > Van Nuys Blvd. off-ramp

Why the closure? Crews will be working on the new carpool lane connector between I-5 and SR-170 and on the ramps. We don’t want you to get lost, so signed detours will be posted. Check out the map below for details.

As with all closures, there’s a chance the schedule could change. Rain, for example, can delay work. But we’ll do our best to keep things on track. 

Questions? Check out the I-5 website or give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 hotline at (855) 454-6335. We’re here to help. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Full Freeway Closure of Eastbound Pomona Freeway (SR-60) for Paramount Blvd. Bridge Repair

Date:        April 23, 2012   
District 7:  Los Angeles & Ventura Counties      
Contact:    Patrick Chandler   
Phone:      213-897-3630

Full Freeway Closure of Eastbound Pomona Freeway (SR-60)
for Paramount Blvd. Bridge Repair

Montebello — Caltrans will close the eastbound Pomona Freeway (SR-60) from the Wilcox Avenue/Garfield Avenue off-ramp to Paramount Boulevard nightly from Tuesday, April 24 to Thursday, April 26 to erect 17 girders as part of the Paramount Boulevard bridge repair project. Up to two lanes of the westbound SR-60 will be closed.

The closure times are as follows:
April 24 – 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
April 25 – 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
April 26 – 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Detour for eastbound SR-60 traffic:
East on Via Campo
North on Markland Dr.
East of Potrero Grande Dr.
South on Hill Dr./San Gabriel Blvd.
West on Center Dr. to eastbound SR-60

Construction crews will use two cranes to place 17, 122-foot long, 70-ton precast concrete girders on top of the bridge supports above eastbound SR-60.  Crews have been able to place five to six girders per night.  During construction it is expected that noise and vibrations will not exceed federally accepted levels. 

The latest freeway traffic information can be obtained on the Caltrans website: by accessing the Quickmaps feature.

The Paramount Boulevard bridge was demolished after it was severely damaged by a fuel tanker truck fire last December 14, 2011.  Ortiz Enterprises, Inc. of Irvine, Calif. is the contractor on this $5 million emergency project.  The funds for this project will be reimbursed by the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program.  This project is expected to finish June 2012.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

My, How Pasadena’s (Community) Gardens Grow

Last week, on April 11, the City of Pasadena officially opened a community garden at 701 Pasadena Avenue across from Huntington Hospital near State Route 710. Caltrans has owned the land since the 60’s and recently leased it to the city in October 2011 at $100 a year for five-years.

Two years ago, the City of Pasadena Community Gardens contacted the department with its request to lease the parcel for a community garden.  Pasadena Community Gardens organization will act as the garden’s manager and organize volunteers to toil its soil.  Now, it’s just a vacant plot of shady land, but soon it will be a true vegetable and flower garden. The plans also include a serene area to sit, think and simply enjoy the scenery.

Caltrans recognizes this partnership as a successful collaboration demonstrating a good use of unused land and the department has similar arrangements with the Arlington Gardens, also in Pasadena, and with the City of Los Angeles Lowell Avenue/Huntington Drive garden in El Sereno. 

At last week’s opening, members of Pasadena Community Gardens walked spectators around showing where the growing beds may be placed, the teaching area, and the spot just for relaxing. Much work lays ahead to transform the plot of shaded land into a thriving community for gardeners, students of gardening--- and quiet thinkers.  So, go  visit and watch this garden grow.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today’s Date:  April 19, 2012   
District: 7 -- Los Angeles/Ventura       
Contact:   Patrick Chandler           
Phone:   (213) 897-3630       



LOS ANGELES – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California Highway Patrol, and the City of Los Angeles partnered to launch the 2012 anti-litter campaign with a press conference to highlight the impacts of litter as part of Caltrans Don’t Trash California and Keep California Beautiful’s Littering Is Wrong Too campaign.  Showcased were home furnishings, cigarette butts, license plates, grocery carts, futons, food wrappers and many other trash items – all found on the freeway.

Caltrans Storm Water’s inspection robot “Scooter” was in attendance to showcase how trash can clog up freeway storm drains and contaminate water that ends up in rivers, lakes, and the ocean.

Every year Caltrans spends millions of dollars to fight litter and vandalism on Los Angeles freeways and highways. 

“Litter wastes valuable taxable dollars and it puts motorists and our employees in danger’s way daily,” said Deputy District Director of Maintenance Dan Freeman.  “When Caltrans sweepers, trucks, and maintenance workers have to clear litter from the freeway the chances for severe or fatal injuries increases for motorists and Caltrans employees.”

In the last fiscal year District 7 spent $1.8 million year picking up 23,655 cubic yards of litter and also spent $1.8 million cleaning up 2.5 million square feet of graffiti.

Statewide, Caltrans spent over $43 million to remove more than 150,000 cubic yards of litter, trash, and debris from our state highways.  Enough litter to fill 9,560 garbage trucks.  If each truck was lined up end-to-end it would stretch almost 50 miles.  “Obviously, this is not the best use of valuable tax dollars and state resources that could go to projects to help maintain and improve our transportation system,” said Freeman.

Through the Caltrans Adopt-a-Highway program businesses, organizations and individuals can take responsibility for keeping a two-mile stretch of road free from litter. 

Currently, in District 7 there are 229 active adoption groups in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and more than 2,836 statewide and 13, 575 participants. They are making considerable inroads in roadside litter control and saving California taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. 

Caltrans also partners with adjacent cities to maximize clean-up efforts, and work with community groups such as schools, churches and charitable organizations.

"The City of Los Angeles, particularly the Department of Public Works, take issues of urban blight seriously.  Graffiti, illegal dumping, and litter all contribute to a lower quality of life,” said Director of the Office of Community Beautification Paul Racs.  “Hopefully, Earthday will stick with people throughout the year, and remind them to keep our community streets and highways clean.”

“We need all the help we can get. So please get the word out—trash and litter have no place on our freeways,” said Freeman.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Caltrans Anti-Litter Campaign

Caltrans District 7, along with California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the City of Los Angeles will hold a press conference tomorrow, Thurs. April 19 at 10 a.m. to launch the 2012 anti-litter campaign to highlight the impacts of litter as part of Caltrans Don’t Trash California and Keep California Beautiful Littering Is Wrong Too campaign. Speakers include Dan Freeman, Caltrans District 7 Deputy Director of Maintenance; Paul Racs, Director of the Office of Community Beautification, City of Los Angeles; and Christian Baldonaldo, CHP Officer.

District 7 spent nearly $11 million in the last fiscal year picking up 23,655 cubic yards of litter and another $1.8 million cleaning up 2.5 million square feet of graffiti. This money could be better spent on freeway improvements.

Tomorrow, Caltrans will display a mountain of trash, LITTER-ally! Watch Caltrans unearth the weirdest and the most valuable items dumped onto the freeway system. In the past few years, our crews have found enough items to furnish an entire home. These and many other unbelievable objects will be on display and you’ll also see “Scooter” the Storm Water inspection robot (that's Scooter in the photo - on wheels with lights). The press conference is at the Caltrans Heliotrope Maintenance Station, 609 N. Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles, 90004.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Smoother Ride Coming to I-5 in North Los Angeles County

If you use I-5 in north Los Angeles County, your ride is about to get smoother. Yesterday, we began a pavement improvement project on I-5 in both directions between Vista Del Lago Road and the Kern County Line, a distance of 15.4 miles.

The two outside lanes and outside shoulders will be completely replaced, and damaged pavement slabs will be replaced in the inside lanes. The project will also update drainage features, upgrade the wooden guardrail posts to metal, add post mile signage, widen the inside shoulders, replace broken approach and departure slabs, and repave ramps.

Not only will this $100.1 million project improve your ride, it will also extend the life of the pavement and reduce maintenance costs and closures.

Most of the construction will be completed at night to minimize the inconvenience to motorists, but there will be some work during the day. Expect multiple simultaneous closures in different locations within the project limits and -- this is relatively unusual -- lane closures in the middle of the freeway that will split traffic going in the same direction. We’ll post closure signs well in advance.

Lane closure information for this and other freeway projects is available on the Caltrans website.

For more info about this project and others on I-5, check out the I-5 website: You can also give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 hotline: (855) 454-6335.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I-5 FULL FREEWAY CLOSURE from Valley View to Carmenita

Caltrans will FULLY CLOSE the northbound and southbound Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5) between Valley View Avenue and Carmenita Road for one night in the cities of La Mirada and Santa Fe Springs. The full closure will take place overnight, Tuesday, April 17 from 11:45 pm - 4 am. The on-ramps at Valley View Ave, Alondra Blvd, and Carmenita Rd will close from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning.

From northbound I-5, motorists will be detoured off at Valley View Avenue and from southbound I-5, motorists will be detoured off at Carmenita Road. Crews and equipment will work in the center median between Valley View Avenue and the Alondra Boulevard Bridge. Detours will be posted. The detour shown below will be in effect during the Full Freeway Closure.

The work involves placing concrete median barriers (K-rail) and re-striping the lanes as part of the $110 million I-5 Widening and Alondra Boulevard Bridge Project. Caltrans is constructing one carpool lane and one general purpose lane in each direction from North Fork Coyote Creek Bridge to Marquardt Avenue, reconstructing overcrossings at Alondra Boulevard and North Fork Coyote Creek, and realigning and upgrading adjacent frontage roads. More information about the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to I-605 is available from the toll-free I-5 Hotline (855) 454-6335 or

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Paramount Boulevard Construction Moves Swiftly

Date: April 11, 2012
District 7: Los Angeles & Ventura Counties
Contact: Patrick Chandler
Phone: 213-897-3630


Bridge Repair on Pomona Freeway (SR-60) Paramount Blvd. Update

Montebello — The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) project to rebuild the Paramount Boulevard bridge is still underway as construction crews make daily progress.

“Construction crews and Caltrans engineers, surveyors, geologists, and other staff are working fast and efficiently, seven days a week to rebuild this important connection for this community,” said District 7 Director Michael Miles. “Almost every day a new section of the bridge can be seen under construction or completed.”

So far, the abutments (which will support the southern and northern sections of the bridge), the center columns and bent cap (which will support the center section of the bridge) are nearing completion. The precast girders have been completed and are expected to be delivered to the construction site and erected within the next two weeks.

During construction it is expected that noise and vibrations will not exceed federally accepted levels.

“Motorists should expect nightly full freeway or lane closures along with detours in the coming weeks, said Miles. “So please slow down, move over, and pay attention to the amber lights and signs when driving through a work zone.”

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, four out of every five victims in a work zone crash is a motorist.

The latest freeway traffic information can be obtained on the Caltrans website: by accessing the Quickmaps feature.

The Paramount Boulevard bridge was demolished after it was severely damaged by a fuel tanker truck fire last December 14, 2011. Ortiz Enterprises, Inc. of Irvine, Calif. is the contractor on this $5 million emergency project. The funds for this project will be reimbursed by the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program. This project is expected to finish June 2012.
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Tanker Fire on Ventura Freeway (SR-134) Update

Caltrans engineers are assessing the overall damage to SR-134 after a tanker truck became engulfed in flames after a traffic accident at the I-5/SR-134 Interchange near Glendale on Saturday, April 7.

Caltrans determined that the I-5 overcrossing/bridge's structural integrity was safe for public use. About 1000 feet of metal beam guardrail and asphalt on the shoulder (which is currently behind several k-rail) and several slabs of concrete will need to be replaced. There will be a few nightly closures on westbound SR-134 during the next several days (weather permitting), but motorists will be able to detour around the closures via the slip ramp near the accident site. The closures are expected to be routine and at night. No structures will need to be reconstructed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Meet Us at the Mall!

Caltrans will be at the Westfield Town Center this Saturday (tomorrow) to talk with shoppers (and browsers) about current and future projects on I-5. There’s a whole slew of them, including a truck lanes project and pavement rehabilitation that will start next month. So come by and ask questions. Give us feedback. Pick up brochures, maps, fact sheets and contact cards. We might even have some coloring books for the kids. Details:

What: Information Booth

When: Saturday, April 7, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Westfield Valencia Town Center
24201 Valencia Blvd.
Valencia, CA 91355
(Upper level, near the Disney Store entrance)

Why: Because we care. We want you to know what to expect and how these projects impact you. And we want your feedback.

Questions? Call us on the toll-free I-5 hotline: (855) 454-6335.

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Traffic Cameras!

If you watch traffic reports on television or check road conditions online, you may have noticed that the traffic camera feeds look crisper, sharper and more colorful as of late. And you would be right.

Caltrans District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties) received funding to upgrade 60 percent of its 464 traffic cameras. The replacement project began in 2010 and will wrap up this month.

The oldest (and worst) cameras were selected for replacement. For you tech types, the new cameras are Cohu SD Helios. In addition to producing clearer images with better color, the new Helios can switch to IP with built-in H.264 video compression. Translation: the new cameras can feed images compatible with digital television format over the internet.

Like the old cameras, the feeds from the new cameras are not recorded and they’re not used for law enforcement purposes — two common questions motorists ask. Contrary to Orwellian urban legends, there is no zooming in on license plates or drivers. The cameras are used to monitor freeway conditions, verify reported incidents and dispatch an appropriate response.

Want to check out the new cams for yourself? Click over to Caltrans Quickmap or

Monday, April 2, 2012

Northbound I-5 Carmenita Rd. Ramp Closures

Caltrans will close the northbound Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5) off-ramp and on-ramp at Carmenita Road in Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk on the following two nights:
• Overnight on Wednesday April 4: from 7 p.m. to Thursday, April 5 at 6 a.m.
• Overnight on Thursday, April 5: from 7 p.m. to Friday, April 6 at 6 a.m.

Motorists traveling northbound I-5 to Carmenita Road from Orange County can use the off-ramps at Valley View Ave. or Rosecrans Ave. – the exits preceding and following Carmenita Rd.
Alternate northbound I-5 on-ramps are located at:

• Valley View Ave./Firestone Blvd./Gateway Dr. in La Mirada;
• Freeway Dr./Alondra Ave. in Santa Fe Springs;
• Rosecrans Ave. in Norwalk.

Detours will be posted. The detour from Carmenita Road is to continue north on Carmenita; then west on Rosecrans Avenue.

The overnight work involves geotechnical soil sampling and testing as part of the $380 million I-5 Widening and Carmenita Road Interchange Project. For more information, the public can call the toll-free I-5 Hotline at (855) 454-6335 or visit