Friday, June 29, 2012

Long Beach Freeway (I-710) Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) Released for 60-day Public Review

June 29, 2012
Lauren Wonder – Caltrans
Rick Jager – Metro Media Relations


I-710 Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) Released for 60-day Public Review

Los Angeles – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Interstate 5 Joint Powers Authority have released the Draft EIR/EIS on the I-710 Corridor Project for a 60-day public review.

The environmental review is looking at proposals that would improve Interstate 710 (I-710) in Los Angeles County between Ocean Boulevard and State Route 60 (SR-60).

Major elements addressed in the Draft EIR/EIS include widening the I-710 freeway up to ten general purpose lanes (five lanes in each direction); modernizing and reconfiguring the I-405, SR-91 and a portion of the I-5 interchanges with the I-710; modernizing and reconfiguring most local arterial interchanges along the I-710; and looking at a provision of a separate four-lane freight corridor to be used by conventional or zero-emission trucks.

Caltrans and Metro will hold a series of public hearings in August to update the public on the Draft EIR/EIS and the potential effects this project may have on the environment. Those hearing dates are:
  • August 7, 2012 (6 – 9 p.m.) – Progress Park, 15500 Downey Ave., Paramount, Calif
  • August 8, 2012, (6 – 9 p.m.) – Silverado Park Community Center, 1545 W. 31st Street, Long Beach, Calif.
  • August 9, 2012 (4 – 8 p.m.)  - Rosewood Park, 5600 Harbor Street, Commerce, Calif.

Electronic versions of the Draft EIR/EIS on compact disc also are available for review at public libraries throughout the I-710 corridor. The Draft EIR/EIS may also be viewed online at:                                                              

Thursday, June 28, 2012



LOS ANGELES – Continuing the drive to rebuild California’s infrastructure and spur job growth, the California Transportation Commission has allocated nearly $1 billion to 135 transportation projects statewide.

Approximately $600 million in funding was provided by Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. The remaining allocations came from assorted state and federal transportation accounts. In total, about $13.8 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been distributed statewide. 

“Proposition 1B continues to fund key transportation projects, which translates into a strengthened economy,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Investing in our infrastructure will improve mobility and create a better future for Californians.”

Some of the notable local projects that received funding include:  

  1. ·         $3,055,000 for a safety project to replace existing bridge railings with concrete on eight structures from the Hollywood Freeway (SR-170) to the Foothill Freeway (I-210) in the cities of North Hollywood, Burbank and Glendale;
  2. ·         $1,255,000 was allocated to extend the life of 27 bridges on various routes in Los Angeles County by sealing decks, replacing joint seals, replacing and repairing concrete slabs and patching concrete;
  3. ·         $1,688,000 to repair storm-damaged slopes at 10 locations on the San Diego Freeway (I-405) in Long Beach and Carson.


Update - More Mural Replicas Unveiled on the Hollywood Freeway (US 101)

Un homenaje a la Mujer Latinoamericana
Today's Date: Thursday, June 28, 2012        
District 7:          Los Angeles & Ventura Counties      
Patrick Chandler        
Phone:              213-897-3630             



More Mural Replicas Unveiled on the Hollywood Freeway (US 101)

LOS ANGELES – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) today unveiled three of the four new mural replicas along the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) between Alameda Street and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

Jimmy Centeno’s “Viaje” and “Un homenaje a la Mujer Latinoamericana,” and Rene Trujillo’s “Bomba,” were unveiled.  Trujillo’s “Birdsee(d)” will be hung and unveiled tomorrow.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More Mural Replicas Unveiled on the Hollywood Freeway (US 101)

A peek at the artwork:  Jimmy Centeno's "el viaje"
Today's Date:     Tuesday, June 26, 2012   
District 7:          Los Angeles & Ventura    Counties      
Contact:            Patrick Chandler   
Phone:              213-897-3630       


More Mural Replicas Unveiled on the Hollywood Freeway (US 101)

LOS ANGELES – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in partnership with Wells Fargo Corporate Properties (CPG) and the Wells Fargo Foundation will unveil four additional graffiti and vandal-resistant mural replicas throughout the week along the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) between Alameda Street and Broadway.  This is the third phase of this project.

“This is exciting.  This is the first time new art has been added to the US 101 corridor in downtown in decades,” said Deputy District 7 Director of Maintenance Dan Freeman.  “This project has become a viable and tax free way to preserve art and combat vandals who have aggressively attacked public art on the freeway system.”

With the addition of Jimmy Centeno’s “Viaje” and “Un homenaje a la Mujer Latinoamericana,” and Rene Trujillo’s “Birdsee(d)” and “Bomba,” pedestrians and over 205,000 vehicles that pass through this section of US 101 will now be able to enjoy nine pieces of art.  These pieces of art join works from popular artists such as John Werhle, George Sportelli, Ruben Soto and Frank Romero.

“Wells Fargo is investing in a new and innovative platform to showcase art and improve the downtown landscape along our freeways,” said Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Asset Manager Lisa Cortopassi.  “I encourage the business community and other organizations to join this win-win effort.”

Caltrans has partnered with Wells Fargo to rejuvenate public art displays with a new media that allows for easier maintenance of the artwork without requiring the closure of freeway lanes and designates a set life cycle for replacement of the art.  The pilot project was launched in 2010 with Wells Fargo CPG’s support, and since the initial installation of five mural replicas only one has suffered vandalism in just under two years of display.

“Wells Fargo’s support has done a great a deal to improve the freeway landscape in downtown Los Angeles,” said Freeman.  “This public-private partnership is one of the first of its kind in District 7 and it has been extremely effective.” 

The scaled replicas have been printed on a canvas made of recycled plastic and vinyl fabric.  The mural can now be mounted and removed for periodic cleanings without impeding traffic.  The material should be able to resist most paint types that could be sprayed on to it.

The pilot project is slated to end on July 31, 2017 following the release of a seven-year study by Caltrans about the material, framing and imagery for luster, texture and integrity over the targeted life-span. The public is encouraged to submit comments to Vincent Moreno, at or Vincent Moreno, Caltrans District 7, 100 S. Main St., MS 3, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

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Terra Bella Street Closure in Arleta **UPDATED**

If you use Terra Bella Street near I-5 in Arleta, there’s a temporary night closure coming up that we’d like you to know about. Details:

Where: Terra Bella Street between Arleta Avenue and Laurel Canyon Boulevard and the southbound I-5 Terra Bella Street on-ramp.

When: Friday night, July 13 June 29, through Saturday morning, July 14 June 30, 2012 Closure date changed due to utility issues.    

TIME: 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.

DETOUR: Traffic will be detoured off Terra Bella Street between Arleta Avenue and Laurel Canyon Boulevard. See map above for details. Local traffic on Terra Bella Street will be given access.

REASON for CLOSURE: We're constructing a carpool lane on I-5 in each direction between SR-118 and SR-170, and a new carpool lane connector between I-5 and SR-170. As part of this project, crews will install girders to support the new, wider freeway deck at Terra Bella Street. The freeway is being widened to accommodate the new carpool lanes. 

Questions? More info about the project is available here. You can also give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 hotline at 855.454.6335.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tips for Motorists: SR-14 Paving Project

For anyone who uses SR-14 on a regular basis, we don’t need to tell you that there’s a massive paving project underway on both sides of the freeway. A project of this magnitude typically takes about two years to complete, but we've fast-tracked it so that it will be completed in just 75 working days, which is great! The downside is that there's a LOT of work going on at the same time over a long stretch of the freeway. Here are some tips for motorists to get you through the construction zone more easily:

Avoid traveling late at night. Most of the work is being done at night, Monday through Friday. If you can avoid traveling SR-14 between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., you’ll miss the most extensive closures.  

Slow down! We’ve noticed a slight uptick in fender benders because some motorists are driving too quickly in the construction zone. CHP is patrolling every night — watch your speed or you may be ticketed.

Be attentive to signage. When we close a ramp, we’ll post a warning sign one ramp before the closed ramp so you can exit the freeway if you want. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss it.

Look for workers. On any given night, there’s up to 200 people working on the freeway. Help keep them (and you!) safe by slowing down and staying out of their way.

Call 511. To avoid being late to wherever you're headed, check traffic conditions for SR-14 before you leave. Call 511 for real-time traffic speeds (it’s free!) or check out the traffic map on

The project is on schedule to wrap up in August. For more information about this or other Caltrans projects, check out the Caltrans website.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lane Closures on Northbound I-5 between Valley View Avenue and Carmenita Road

Tonight from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Caltrans will close up to two lanes on the northbound Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) between Valley View Avenue and Carmenita Road in the cities of La Mirada and Santa Fe Springs. Crews and construction equipment will remove concrete and pave the center median.  All ramps will remain open.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Valley View Grade Separation Project Getting off the Ground

Caltrans, BNSF Railway, and the cities of Santa Fe Springs and La Mirada  announced a $65 million rail and city street project to construct a grade separation within a 15-mile rail corridor expansion project at a groundbreaking ceremony today.

The grade separation project at the intersection of Valley View Avenue and the BNSF mainline track is part of a larger $163 million, 15-mile track expansion between the cities of Commerce and Fullerton, known as the Triple Track Project, which lays an additional third track next to two existing lines.

"This grade separation project represents a significant transportation improvement for the cities of Santa Fe Springs and La Mirada," said Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles. "The project also will improve the movement of intercity passenger and freight rail."

Valley View Avenue is a major regional arterial route carrying 40,000 vehicles a day. Vehicle circulation will be greatly improved as a result of the grade separation.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and complete by fall 2014.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I-405 Wilshire Ramps Closure Drawing Near

We got through Carmageddon and we'll get through "Wilshire-gate," or whatever you wish to call the long-term closure of the northbound I-405 westbound Wilshire Boulevard on- and off-ramps.

The best approach is to be prepared and give yourself lots of extra time. The upcoming closure schedule is as follows:

Demolition and reconstruction of the westbound/northbound Wilshire on and off-ramps will start at 10 pm on Thursday, June 21. The WB Wilshire on-ramp to NB 405 and NB 405 off-ramp to WB Wilshire will remain closed for 90 days, starting at 9 pm on Friday, June 22. Restriping and lane reconfiguration will take place on Thursday, June 21, from 10 pm to 6 am. Demolition activities are scheduled for three nights, June 22-June 24. June 22 and June 23 street closures will be in place from 9 pm to 10 am; Sunday, June 24 closures will take place from 8pm to 6am.

For a more detailed look at the Wilshire ramps closure, please go to

Friday, June 15, 2012

Truck Lanes Construction — Here’s What to Expect

If you use I-5 in the Santa Clarita area, no doubt you’ve noticed that work is getting underway on the new truck lanes. This project is constructing dedicated truck lanes on I-5 in both directions between SR-14 and Pico Canyon Road/Lyons Avenue, though the northbound lane will extend only as far as Gavin Canyon. (More info about the project is here.)

The project will take about a year and a half to complete. Here’s what you can expect in the next couple months:

> We will remove existing striping and restripe the pavement to shift traffic to the outside lanes. The number of travel lanes WON’T change.

> K-rails (concrete barriers) will be set in the freeway median in both directions.

> Major excavation in the median won't start until July. Most of the work will be performed behind the k-rails at night.

> Nighttime lane closures will predominantly affect the left two lanes. Full freeway closures will be rare, if ever.

For more information about this and other projects on I-5, check out the I-5 website or give us a call on the I-5 hotline: 855.454.6335.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ventura Train Trestle Cleared of Eye Sore(s) - US 101

Caltrans crews clear graffiti from the trestle.

This is an excerpt from Ventura City Manager Rick Cole’s blog entry "Lights, cameras, silver paint" about Caltrans crews that cleared graffiti from a Union Pacific Rail Road (UPRR) train trestle above the Ventura Freeway (US 101) in the City of Ventura.  This effort was part of collaboration between Caltrans, City of Ventura, and UPRR.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and more than half a million cars will pass through Ventura heading north or south.  And as the travelers pass beneath it, they’ll be seeing the eye-catching coat of silver paint that covers half the railroad trestle that spans the 101 Freeway near our Downtown. More...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

North Fork Coyote Creek Trail/Bike Path Segment is Fully Closed

Caltrans has fully closed a portion of a trail, or bike path, along North Fork Coyote Creek adjacent to the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) at Alondra Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk.  Several gates along the path are closed and signed.  Signs marking a suggested detour route are posted on Rosecrans Avenue, Carmenita Road, Alondra Boulevard and Marquardt Avenue.  The path’s partial full closure is in effect for approximately one year, until approximately mid-2013. 

The trail is within the limits of the I-5 HOV Widening and Alondra Boulevard Bridge Project, a $110 million project to construct one carpool lane and one general purpose lane in both directions from North Fork Coyote Creek Bridge to Marquardt Avenue, reconstruct overcrossings at Alondra Boulevard and North Fork Coyote Creek, and realign and upgrade adjacent frontage roads.  The project is scheduled to complete in mid-2015.

Information about the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects is available by calling the toll-free I-5 Hotline (855) 454-6335 or at

Monday, June 11, 2012

Updated Ramp Closures (and Openings!) — San Fernando Valley I-5 Carpool Lane Project

With freeway construction comes closures — lane closures, connector closures and ramp closures. Long-term ramp closures can be particularly challenging for motorists, especially if the ramp you use every day gets closed. But if you know what to expect, you can plan ahead and tweak your route. Thus, we bring you the latest ramp closure map (larger version here) for the I-5 carpool lane project between SR-118 and SR-170.

In addition to the map above, you can check closures on the Caltrans website, or sign up for automatic closure notices on the I-5 website (see left column on home page).

And you can always give us a call on the toll-free I-5 hotline (855.454.6335) and we’ll answer all your ramp-related queries, plus any other burning I-5 questions you may have. We’re here to help.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Phone in One Hand; Ticket in the Other

If ur readn dis blog post drivin. Stop now n read dis lata!
(translation): If you’re reading this blog post while driving, well, stop now and read this later!
For all others, Caltrans wants you to know that texting while driving takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, and at 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field while blindfolded. 
Yesterday, the US Dept. of Transportation selected California and Delaware to receive $2.4 million in federal funds to expand upon a campaign to reduce distracted driving, as part of a new report called “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving.”  The plan outlines steps for all – lawmakers, safety organizations, families and individuals - that can reduce the risk posed by distracted drivers. The report calls upon everyone to do their part to ensure safety, adding increased law enforcement, media and public outreach elements.
The list is long on the differences between California and Delaware, but in driving behaviors, the two states have four similar laws pertaining to distracted driving.  Check out the “Blueprint” report and current distracted driving laws in all states at  It’s the government’s official website specifically about distracting driving.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Construction Update: SR-14 Paving Project

If you regularly use SR-14 (aka the Antelope Valley Freeway) between Santa Clarita and Palmdale, we don’t need to tell you that there’s a paving project underway. It’s pretty hard to miss. Crews are currently replacing slabs in both directions between Via Princessa and Mountain Springs Road — a distance of about 20 miles. (Learn more about the project here.)

Normally, a project of this magnitude would take almost two years to complete, but Caltrans has fast-tracked the work and will finish in just 75 days. We’re now about a third of the way through, and we’re on schedule to wrap up in August.

Crews are currently working primarily in the southbound direction. Most of the work is being done at night, so multiple lanes will be closed between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., but you’ll still be able to get through — albeit more slowly than usual. One lane in each direction may be closed during the day.

You may have noticed that in some parts of the construction zone the pavement is rough. Rest assured that we WON’T leave it this way. These are new slabs that haven’t yet been ground down. Once grinding is complete, they’ll be nice and smooth.

You may have also noticed that some slabs have a yellow tinge (see the photo above). The yellow is a curing agent that helps the concrete set up. Once the slabs have been ground down, the yellow will disappear. 

If you have questions about this project (or any others), call Caltrans Public Affairs at (213) 897-3656, or send us an email here.