Thursday, May 31, 2012

Project Update: I-5 Western Avenue Interchange Project

Good news for those of you who use the northbound I-5 Western Avenue ramps in Glendale — the interchange improvement project at this location is almost done! Quick recap: The project is reconfiguring the on- and off-ramps so that they’ll begin and end at a signalized intersection at Flower Street. Recently, we completed striping the off-ramp, which is now open, as you can see here: 

We’re still finishing up striping and joint-sealing the on-ramp, which will take another couple weeks. You can see both ramps here (closed on-ramp is to the right):

Note that the off-ramp is now four lanes where it terminates at Flower Street, which helps reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. We’re also working on the signage. Here’s the off-ramp sign awaiting installation:

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Caltrans, City of Ventura, and Union Pacific Railroad To Clear Graffiti from Trestle above the Ventura Freeway (US 101)

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the City of Ventura, and Union Pacific Railroad  have collaborated to create a long-term solution to improve the trestle above US 101 in downtown Ventura that includes clearing graffiti, installing surveillance cameras, new lighting and fencing, and other physical barriers to deter pedestrian trespassers.
Through a cost sharing effort, Union Pacific and the City of Ventura will fund the painting of the bridge; Caltrans will close US 101 during work hours, clear graffiti and repaint the bridge; traffic control measures will be in place to direct motorists to alternate routes.

Surveillance cameras installed to monitor the trestle will serve to capture vandals and trespassers.  The City's Graffiti ordinance provides for full cost recovery in addition to penalties of $1000 per occurrence, and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To protect the improvements over the long term, the City of Ventura’s crews and volunteers will remove any new graffiti.
Nightly full freeway closures will be necessary.  Signed detours will be provided.

The southbound side has already been completed. 
Northbound US 101 will be closed between Seaward Avenue and South Oak Street during the following days and times:
Friday, June 8 to Saturday, June 9
11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Saturday, June 9 to Sunday, June 10
11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Sunday, June 10 to Monday, June 11
11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Northbound US 101 detour:

Exit at Seaward Avenue
Turn right to access South Thompson Boulevard
Turn left on South Thompson Boulevard to South Oak Street
Then turning left to access northbound 101

Friday, May 25, 2012

Freeway Art History: Freeways Part of the Artistic Landscape

Ralph Hulett seen painting above SR-110 in 1965
In the 1920s the artistic movement, California Regionalism, began to capture the everyday scenes of Southern California life, scenes that many citizens and artists in previous years considered routine or mundane.   Artist Ralph Hulett (1915-1974), through his skill with a paint brush documented the arrival of the freeway to the Los Angeles area.

“We’re in the midst of a violent revolution – the new replacing the old.  We miss our old friends but have to make new ones.  And the freeways will be among them,” said Hulett in an article, freeways on canvas, in the July to August 1966 issue of the California Highways and Public Works magazine.

Ralph Hulett's painting of the Four Level Interchange

Hulett’s paintings captured the change that Los Angeles and several other major metropolitan areas in the nation where experiencing as part of a federal effort to connect the nation via a vast network of freeways.  Hulett’s paintings captured one of District 7’s earliest freeway master pieces, the four level also known as the Stack, and US 101 (Hollywood Freeway). 

His paintings artfully display what some Angelenos considered as an attack on their way of lives and others viewed as move into the future.  From the 1940s and on, hundreds of miles of freeways cut through Los Angeles, forever changing the region.
During his time, Hulett studied at the Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles), worked as a color stylist with Walt Disney, and was a member of the American Watercolor Society, California Water Color Society, and Laguna Art Association.  He held one-man shows in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

FULL FREEWAY Closure: Northbound I-5 between Valley View and Carmenita

Caltrans will fully close northbound I-5 only between Valley View Avenue and Carmenita Road in La Mirada and Santa Fe Springs on Tuesday, May 29 beginning at 11:59 p.m. and continuing until 5 a.m. Wednesday.
The northbound I-5 on-ramps at Valley View Avenue and Alondra Boulevard will also be fully closed from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Motorists traveling northbound I-5 from Orange County will be detoured off the freeway at Valley View Ave. and onto Alondra Blvd.  Detour signs will be posted to re-enter northbound I-5 at the Carmenita Road on-ramp.  Southbound I-5 lanes and on-and off-ramps will be open.

The work involves re-striping lanes as part of the I-5 South Corridor Widening and HOV Projects to construct one carpool and one general purpose lane in each direction, realign and upgrade frontage roads, and reconstruct bridges from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to I-605.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I-5/HOV Improvements/SR-134 to Magnolia Boulevard

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 improvements, crews will be pile driving on Flower Street.  The piles will provide structural support necessary for the widening of the freeway.

This construction activity will require a partial closure of Flower Street.  At least one lane in each direction will be open at all times.

Flaggers will be on site to control the flow of traffic.   
You may hear construction noise and experience vibrations during this operation. Noise will not exceed levels allowed by state and federal regulations.

Flower Street between Providencia Avenue and West Ash Avenue

May 21, 2012 through July 20, 2012
 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The construction schedule is subject to change.

Toll-Free Hotline
(855) 454-6335


Go to the website above and click on ‘Contact’.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Traffic Advisory: I-5 Closures in South Kern County

If you travel I-5 in north Los Angeles County and up into Kern County, there are some closures in the area we’d like you to know about related to pavement work.

The southbound I-5 off-ramp to Frazier Mountain Park Road will be closed Monday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., through mid-July, 2012. So, if you’re headed southbound, use the Lebec Road off-ramp to access Frazier Mountain Park Road during closures. If you’re headed northbound, no worries. The northbound I-5 off-ramp to Frazier Mountain Park Road will remain open during this phase of construction.

There will also be lane closures on I-5 in the area. The #3 lane (count left to right) on southbound I-5 is closed from the Lebec Service Road overcrossing to the Frazier Mountain Park Road overcrossing — temporary concrete barriers are in place on both sides of the lane, so be prepared to go around. Additional closures of lane #4 will occur Monday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., along this section of freeway.

The closures are part of a project that's upgrading pavement on southbound I-5 in Kern County from the Kern/Los Angeles County line to 0.1 mile north of the Grapevine Creek Bridge near Lebec. For more information about the project, visit the Caltrans District 6 website or give them a ring at (559) 445-6259.

Expect long-term lane closures 24/7 during this phase of construction, which is scheduled to wrap up by mid-July. Yes, there will be delays. Use alternate routes when you can, and check traffic before you leave. Speaking of which, Caltrans QuickMap is a great resource for real-time traffic info.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Crews are continuing to work in the median between northbound and southbound U.S. 101 and the La Conchita Pedestrian Overcrossing in Ventura overnight from Monday, May 21 through Thursday, May 24. Closure hours are 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. southbound and 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. northbound. One lane will remain open throughout the closures. Pedestrian access at La Conchita will be closed.

Work will also be taking place on the La Conchita and Bates Road Overcrossings from Monday, May 21 to Friday, May 25 during the day during the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.. Bates Road work involves pile driving to provide structural support for the bridge widening.

The project involves constructing a six-mile carpool lane in each direction along U.S. 101 from Mobil Pier Road in Ventura County to Casitas Pass Road in Santa Barbara County, including a pedestrian undercrossing, concrete barriers, a southbound bike lane, median landscaping, drainage reconstruction, closing existing median openings and installing Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Monday, May 21, 2012

On-Ramp Metering Begins at Avalon Boulevard onto Southbound I-405

Caltrans activated on-ramp meters at Avalon Blvd onto southbound I-405 in Carson.

Last Friday (5/18) Caltrans set the meters for a ‘green only’ status for the next two weeks to allow motorists to acclimate to the ramp meter signals.  On June 1, following the adjustment period, the metering will be fully operational with red and green lights.  The ‘green only’ meter status will operate during weekdays throughout the day and early evening from 5:30 am to 8 pm. At other times, the meters will not be active. Motorists are advised that all on-ramp meters allow one vehicle to move per green light.

In anticipation of increased traffic demand, one southbound I-405 on-ramp at Avalon Blvd has been reconstructed and another newly constructed on-ramp has been open to motorists since Nov 2011. The northbound I-405 on-ramp meters at Avalon Blvd are fully active in red and green signal mode.

Ramp metering helps to:
  • alleviate constant streams of vehicle flow entering the freeway system that make freeway access difficult for motorists;
  • reduce unnecessary weaving that occurs with quick, last minute maneuvers by motorists’ attempts to enter and exit the freeway among steady streams of vehicle flow;
  • significantly reduce bottleneck congestion points and controls the overflow of vehicles when demand for freeway space exceeds its capacity.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Caltrans Opens Paramount Blvd. Bridge on May 19

Vehicles traverse Paramount Blvd. bridge on Saturday.

State of California • Department of Transportation
Date:           May 19, 2012
District 7:     Los Angeles & Ventura counties
Contact:       Patrick Chandler
Phone:         C - 213-897-3630


Caltrans Opens Paramount Blvd. Bridge Today

MONTEBELLO — The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) opened Paramount Boulevard bridge in both directions, as well as the adjacent on- and off-ramps for general traffic on Saturday, May 19 at 11:25 a.m.  The original bridge was demolished after it was severely damaged by a fuel tanker truck fire on December 14, 2011.

The Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program provided all of the funding for the project, including the initial demolition and clean-up costs, construction of a new bridge, and the realignment of ramps near the bridge on Paramount Boulevard.

The original bridge was built in 1967. The new structure, which meets current state and federal bridge construction standards, is:

·    128 feet wide, 32 feet wider than the old bridge.

·    Has one additional northbound lane and standard 8-foot shoulder widths.

·    Has a 14-foot center median and six-foot sidewalks. The previous center median is 12 feet and the    sidewalks are five feet.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Today's Date:  May 17, 2012       
District 7: Los Angeles & Ventura Counties      
Contact:  Patrick Chandler                                               
Phone:  213-897-3630                  



LOS ANGELES –California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) employees and guests took a moment out of their day to recognize and remember District 7 workers killed on the job at a Worker’s Memorial event today.

The 32 workers recognized were from Caltrans District 7, covering Los Angeles and Ventura counties.  Statewide, Caltrans has lost 178 employees since 1924, when the Department began keeping records of such fatalities. 

“This is always a sad occasion and one we all wish was unnecessary.  Though I am glad to say that no District 7 employees were killed in the line-of-duty in the past seven years, we mourn the loss of three workers in San Diego last year,” said District 7 Michael Miles.

“This work is not easy; it takes a lot of responsibility and grit,” Miles said. “Even with all the safety precautions we take, the danger is still very real.”

The ceremony is held both in memory of the fallen and also to bring awareness to the severity of this safety issue. This includes contractors in construction zones.
Every year more than 1,000 people nationwide die in highway work zone crashes and more than 40,000 people are injured.  As a result of these dangers, fines for speeding in work zones have increased to $1,000 or more. 

“As long as there are motorists who are complacent, inattentive, impaired, and reckless, all motorists and highway workers will continue to be at risk,” Miles added. “It’s up to each and every motorist to end the vicious and dangerous cycle, and Slow For The Cone Zone and Move Over when they see flashing lights.”



State of California • Department of Transportation

Date:         May 18, 2012   
District 7:   Los Angeles & Ventura counties
Contact:     Patrick Chandler   
Phone:       213-897-3630



MONTEBELLO — Caltrans today announced it expects to open the new Paramount Boulevard Bridge on the Pomona Freeway (State Route 60) by May 21, almost a month ahead of schedule. The bridge was demolished after it was severely damaged by a fuel tanker truck fire on December 14, 2011.

“This project is a prime example of how we responded quickly to an emergency situation and created a modern, new bridge that will benefit motorists for many years to come,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

Construction was expected to be finished by mid-June 2012, but due to the expedited processing of $40 million in emergency federal funds and the speed at which the contractor, Ortiz Enterprises Incorporated, and Caltrans worked, almost a month was shaved off the construction schedule.

“Through an efficient and effective partnership, our engineers and construction crews worked day and night to open this vital bridge,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Michael Miles.

The Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program provided all of the funding for the project, including the initial demolition and clean-up costs, construction of a new bridge, and the realignment of ramps near the bridge on Paramount Boulevard.

The original bridge was built in 1967. The new structure, which meets current state and federal bridge construction standards, will:

·    Be 128 feet wide, 32 feet wider than the old bridge.

·    Have one additional northbound lane and standard 8-foot shoulder widths. Currently, there are no shoulders on the bridge.

·    Include a 14-foot center median and six-foot sidewalks. The existing center median is 12 feet and the sidewalks are five feet.

57-Hour Closure of Northbound I-5 Off-Ramp to Western Ave.

If you normally use the northbound I-5 off-ramp to Western Avenue in Glendale, this post is for you! The ramp will be closed for 57 hours beginning today, May 18, at 9 p.m. through Monday, May 21, at 6 a.m.

Why the closure? We’re in the final stretch of the interchange project at this location (more info here), and we need to close the ramp to complete paving and striping. So, come Monday morning, you’ll have a brand spankin’ new ramp!   

The construction schedule is subject to change. For the safety of the construction crew and motorists, please be attentive to closures, slow for the cone zone, and move over one lane where possible.

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

If you have questions about this or any other project underway on I-5 (and there are a LOT of them!), check out the I-5website or give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 hotline: (855) 454-6335.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Long-Term I-10 Ramp Closures in Baldwin Park

If you travel I-10 in Baldwin Park, there are a couple of long-term ramp closures coming up that we’d like you to know about:

Eastbound I-10

Sunday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 30 - Baldwin Park Boulevard off-ramp

Westbound I-10

Thursday, May 24 through Saturday, September 1 – Frazier Street on-ramp

As is true of any freeway project, closures are subject to change.

And now some good news! The westbound Baldwin Park Boulevard South on-ramp to I-10, previously closed for construction, will open Thursday, May 24.

The closures are part of a $165 million project that’s adding a carpool lane in each direction of I-10 between I-605 and Puente Avenue. The project is on schedule to wrap up in late fall. More info is here.

As part of the project, Caltrans is also rebuilding the Bess pedestrian bridge. How exactly do you install a pedestrian bridge over a busy freeway? We're glad you asked! Check out the video below to find out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Behind the Scenes at the Paramount Bridge: Deck Pour

We’re soooo close! The Paramount Boulevard Bridge* over SR-60 in Montebello is just about done. Seriously! The ribbon-cutting is this Friday. (The actual opening will be Monday, May 21.) In the meantime, we thought we’d give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the construction techniques that have rebuilt the overpass in just over five months. The video below features last week’s bridge deck pour. Even if you’re not an engineer or construction geek, this is pretty cool. 

*The Paramount Boulevard bridge was demolished after it was severely damaged by a fuel tanker fire on December 14, 2011. Thanks to funds provided by the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program — and ‘round-the-clock work by a team of very dedicated people — Caltrans has been able to fast-track the project.

Celebrate Bike Week LA!

Los Angeles is famous for being a car-centric city. But this week, the internal combustion engine takes a back seat to two-wheeled transport as we celebrate bikes!
Bike Week embraces the role of bikes in our regional transportation network. With activities like a guided ride in Mid-City and friendly pit stops on Bike to Work Day, both new and seasoned cyclists can show support for pedal power.
Speaking of Bike to Work Day, be sure to swing by Caltrans (100 S. Main St. 90012) on Thursday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. We’ll have bike maps, project info, power bars, cool bikes on display in the Museum, and much more! Other activities to check out:

Tuesday, May 15: 9th Annual Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital, 8 a.m.
Wednesday, May 16: Expo/Mid-City Bike Ride starts at Expo Park/USC Station, 8 a.m.
Thursday, May 17: Bike to Work Day - Free rides, pit stops (including Caltrans!) and more!
Friday, May 18:  Bike to School Day - Support your local school!
The LA County Bicycle Coalition has some great tips for safe riding here.
Also, on Bike to Work Day (May 17), cycling commuters who combine their trip with transit ride FREE when boarding with a helmet or bike. Instructions for taking your bike on Metro are available on the Bike Metro page