Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Closure Advisory: Southbound I-5 Off-Ramp to Smokey Bear Road

If you use the southbound I-5 off-ramp to Smokey Bear Road in north Los Angeles County, this post is for you. The ramp will be closed from this Friday, August 3, at 6 p.m. to Friday, August 10, at 5 a.m. as part of a $100.1 million pavement improvement project between Vista Del Lago Road and the Kern County line. More info about the project is here.

The closure will be signed well in advance, and the southbound I-5 off-ramps directly north and south of Smokey Bear Road will be open. We’ll also post a detour that will direct you to Vista Del Lago Road.

For the safety of the construction crew, yourself, your passengers, and other 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

You can find information about this and other I-5 projects on the I-5 website, or give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 hotline at 855-454-6335.

Friday, July 27, 2012

101 Freeway Will be Down to One Lane in Ventura, Nightly

The Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101) will have one northbound lane closed overnight on Monday, July 30, from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. between Casitas Pass Road and Bates Road in Ventura County.

On southbound U.S. 101, one lane will be closed nightly at that location from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. beginning Tuesday, July 31 through Friday, August 3.

One lane will remain open in both directions at all times.

The closures are related to a six-mile carpool lane project from Mobil Pier Road in Ventura County to Casitas Pass Road in Santa Barbara County that begin in spring 2012 and will complete in 2015. The $102 million project also will include a new pedestrian undercrossing in La Conchita, concrete barriers, a southbound bike lane, median landscaping, installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems, drainage improvements and median safety improvements.

Take a Train to See Cleopatra

Caltrans has been a huge proponent of multimodal transportation ever since its inception, and it has funded and managed Amtrak California since 1976.  Amtrak California is part of the many transit/transportation system improvements that Caltrans and its partners have developed to help Californians zip to from the best and scenic destinations in the nation.

So here is a destination that you have to check out:
Amtrak California passengers can save $4 off Cleopatra: The Exhibition tickets and $6 off combination tickets (exhibit and IMAX) at the California Science Center in Downtown Los Angeles. 

Catch it before its gone.

Try using some of the affordable local transit options to get to exhibit.

In addition to Amtrak California, the Caltrans Division of Rail (DOR) manages and coordinates intercity passenger rail services in an effort to improve the state’s air quality and reduce highway congestion and fuel consumption.

Meet Us at Santa Clarita Central Park!

If you’re looking for something to do Saturday night, head to Santa Clarita for the City's FREE summer Concerts in the Park series. On stage this weekend: The Atomic Punks, a Van Halen tribute band. And if a free concert chock full of Van Halen covers isn’t enough to get you excited, Caltrans will be there too! (We might even whip our hair around.)

So, on your way to the concert, stop by the Caltrans booth and find out more about  projects in the area, like the I-5/SR-14 carpool connector and the new truck lanes. At the Caltrans booth, you can …

      > Pick up facts sheets

      > See project photos

      > Sign up to receive project updates

      > Submit comments to the construction team

      > Get coloring books for the kids 

The park is located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Rd. in Santa Clarita. The concert starts at 7 p.m., but some folks like to arrive early to picnic and hang out with friends. We’ll be there from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

If you can’t make it to the concert, you can find project info 24/7 on the I-5 website. You can also call us on the toll-free I-5 hotline at (855) 454-6335.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another Milestone Reached on Route to ExpressLanes

Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles (pictured) spoke at a ceremony on July 25 celebrating the opening of the ExpressLanes Walk-in Customer Service Center. The center is located at Harbor Gateway Walk-In Center, 500 W. 190th Street, Gardena, CA 90248.

At the center, those interested in traveling on the soon-to-open High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on portions of the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) and the Harbor Freeway (I-110) will be able to sign up for the transponders that will allow motorists into the lanes. 

ExpressLanes is a one-year demonstration project financed by a federal grant and implemented by Caltrans and Metro. It will allow solo drivers into the carpool lanes for a toll ranging from $.25 to $1.40 per mile, depending on the time of day and level of congestion in the lanes.  Vehicles with two or more occupants can continue to use the lanes for free but are still required to have transponders, which can be used on any toll road in California. 

The demonstration project will test the concept of congestion pricing in Los Angeles, Miles said.       "We believe motorists will be very happy with a program that allows them to enter the carpool lanes when they need to ensure reliable speeds. Those in the regular use lanes will also benefit from the routing of more vehicles into the carpool lanes.

"HOT lanes have worked well in other cities and we soon will know how they work in Los Angeles. Caltrans believes they will be very successful and we all hope so," he added.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

From the Archives: Downtown LA's Four Level Interchange "The Stack"

Amazing pictures, right? Our archivists have done it again. They’ve unearthed some amazing photos of the I-5/I-10/US 101/SR-110 Interchange in downtown Los Angeles. The interchange has also been referred as the “Four Level" or "The Stack."

The photos were taken on January 8, 1954 for the Division of Highways, what is now known as the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ven 101 Carpool Lane

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Coming Soon to a Freeway Near You: Carmageddon 2!

The second 10-mile closure of I-405 over Sepulveda Pass will take place over the weekend of September 29/30, when contractors will demolish the remaining side of the Mulholland Bridge.

As we did last year, transportation agencies are advising motorists to plan ahead, avoid the area and "eat, shop and play locally" to ensure that traffic does not reach catastrophic levels. Many reported that last year's closure made for a relaxed and enjoyable weekend as residents explored their own neighborhoods and took a vacation from driving.

The closure will begin on Friday, September 28, as ramps begin to shut down as early as 7 p.m. and the contractor begins taking lanes at 10 p.m. By midnight, all lanes will be closed. The closure is in relation to the $1 billion carpool lane project on northbound I-405 from I-10 to U.S. 101, expected to complete next year. 

For additional information about the upcoming closure and the project, please go to www.Metro.net/Projects/I-405.

Ask Caltrans: Can I complete court-ordered community service with Caltrans?

Community service workers (orange helmets) helping a
Caltrans landscape crew on I-210 near Altadena (white helmets).
Yes! Not only will you fulfill your court ordered community service requirement, you'll also be helping to keep our freeway system clean. The first step is to contact one of the County of Los Angeles Community Service Program offices. They'll tell you everything you need to know to get started. You'll find the office phone numbers in your court paperwork, or you can contact the court and they'll point you in the right direction.

Keep in mind that you'll need to keep track of your paperwork and hours so you'll be able to show the court that you've completed your service. Caltrans does not have the authority to extend your time to complete your required hours or change the location of your assignment.  Also, you'll have to wear appropriate clothes (we're very strict about this — you'll receive details when you sign up), an orange helmet and, yes, you may get dirty. Working on the freeway isn't easy.

If you have questions, call the court or one of the Community Service Program offices. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ask Caltrans: Do freeway traffic cameras record?

Traffic camera at southbound I-405 near Braddock Dr.
This is a question that our Public Affairs and Media Relations staff are asked daily by motorists who may have been in an accident, received a traffic ticket, lost items on the freeway, etc.

The quick and simple answer is, no, the cameras do not record.

Caltrans and the CHP’s Los Angeles Regional Transportation Management Center (TMC) in Eagle Rock, sole mission is to manage highway and freeway traffic in District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties).  The 464 traffic cameras are the eyes of Division of Operations staff that monitor and manage traffic on the 1200 lane miles in District 7.

Check out our Inside 7 Newsletter article, “Traffic Never Looked So Good: Project Upgrades District’sTraffic Cameras for more information.

New Northbound I-5 Ramps at Western Avenue are Complete!

After about nine months of construction, the new northbound I-5/Western Avenue ramps in Glendale are complete! The off-ramp opened in November, and the on-ramp opened yesterday morning. It’s so new, you can almost smell the fresh asphalt. Here’s a worker unveiling one of the new signs directing traffic onto the ramp: 

And here’s the pristine new ramp — new configuration, new pavement, new signals, new striping, new everything! 

Beautiful on-ramp, right? Here it is with one of the first cars EVER to drive on it: 

Details: The $35 million Western Avenue Interchange Project reconfigured the Western Avenue on- and off-ramps so that they begin and end at a signalized intersection with Flower Street. You can read more about it here, but this map gives you a good sense of how the ramps were reconfigured:

Keep in mind that one of the lanes of the off-ramp will be closed periodically for construction of the new I-5 carpool lanes between SR-134 and Magnolia Boulevard (more info here), but the ramp is open.

If you have questions about projects on I-5, check out the I-5 website or give us a ring on the on the toll-free I-5 hotline.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


If you've driven on the Harbor Freeway (SR-110) in Downtown Los Angeles, you have probably seen the construction project between Sixth St. and Pico Blvd.  This project will improve the flow of traffic through this busy section of freeway which receives an average of 253,000 vehicles a day (more vehicles on the road than the populations of several cities in Los Angeles County).

On the southbound side construction crews will widen the 11th St. bridge, a portion of the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) connector, and the merging area at the 8th St. on-ramp.  Crews will construct an additional lane on the mainline from the Olympic Blvd. undercrossing to 6th St., on the northbound side.

The project is progressing well, as the southbound Olympic Blvd. off-ramp opened on July 10, 2012.  This $55 million project is expected be complete by summer of 2013.

As a reminder, Caltrans advises motorists to “Slow For The Cone Zone.”

For additional information, please contact Peter Jones at (213) 897-0106, or via e-mail at peter.jones@dot.ca.gov

Friday, July 13, 2012

Southbound I-5 Off-ramp Closure at Carmenita Road

Caltrans has scheduled overnight construction work on July 16 and 17 from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. at the southbound I-5 off-ramp at Carmenita Road in Santa Fe Springs.  The work involves excavation and installing a utility structure near the off-ramp at Carmenita Place, a short local street abutting the off-ramp between Carmenita Rd. and Firestone Blvd.  
The schedule is:
Overnight: Monday, July 16 and Tuesday, July 17 from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Ramp closure: FULL CLOSURE of the southbound I-5 off-ramp at Carmenita.
Note:  the southbound I-5 on-ramp at Carmenita Rd. remains OPEN.
Street closure:  FULL CLOSURE of Carmenita Place. 

The work is part of the Interstate 5 South Corridor Improvement Projects. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Be Part of the Arroyo Seco's Future

Event information

LOS ANGELES – Are you interested in the future of the Arroyo Seco Parkway (SR-110), a designated National Scenic Byway? Would you like to be part of the planning process? If so, plan on attending one of two California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) hosted open house meetings in July that will provide information and receive feedback about the future of the Parkway and surrounding corridor from downtown Los Angeles to downtown Pasadena.  

A set of key recommendations for a Draft Corridor Partnership Plan (CPP) have been created by a team of consultants working for Caltrans in partnership with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).  This is the second round of public meetings associated with this planning project.

The consultant team, led by the IBI Group, will present an overview of recommendations and seek further community feedback and input prior to finalizing the CPP Report.  The draft recommendations encompass a broad range of inter-related issues including tourism/economic development, corridor mobility (auto, public transit, bike and pedestrian), safety, historic preservation and the environment.

These meetings are being offered in two convenient geographic locations within the Arroyo Seco Parkway National Scenic Byway study area.  The Open House meetings will be held:

  • Monday, July 23, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. with refreshments from 6:00 to 6:30 pm. Castelar Elementary School, 840 Yale Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
  • Tuesday, July 24, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. with refreshments from 6:30 to 7:00 pm. South Pasadena Civic Library Community Room*, 1115 El Centro Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030.
For more information about the Arroyo Seco Parkway National Scenic Byway, please visit: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/travel/projects/arroyo/
And, information about the National Scenic Byway program at: http://byways.org/

For further information about the open houses, please contact Caltrans Public Affairs at (213) 897-3656.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Caltrans Hosts “YELLOW LINE” Art Exhibit During Artwalk

Today's Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012   
District 7: Los Angeles & Ventura Counties      
Contact:  Patrick Chandler   
Phone:    213-897-3630       


Caltrans Hosts “YELLOW LINE” Art Exhibit During Artwalk

LOS ANGELES – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will host the “YELLOW LINE” inside of the District Headquarter’s museum and plaza. 

YELLOW LINE, created by French filmmaker and artist Simon Rouby, is a visual reflection on the function and meaning of road striping and its by-products.  Rouby shadowed Caltrans striping trucks for several years to document their daily activities, which include stenciling and striping several of District 7’s freeways and highways.

The opening for this event will be held on Thursday, July 12 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Caltrans District 7 Headquarters at 100 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (across the street from City Hall and LAPD Headquarters).  The exhibit will be on display throughout the summer during normal office hours.

“This exhibit takes part of what Caltrans does every day and makes art of out it,” said Deputy District 7 Director Lindy Lee.  “We hope everyone enjoys the exhibit and we are excited to host such an event that we felt would be fitting for our building and department at no cost to taxpayers.”

While filming, Rouby, who is originally from France and a former CalArts student, became captivated by the abstract expressionist nature of the painted lines made by the striping crew.  During the exhibition, a series of canvases will be displayed in the District 7 museum along with a multi-channel video and sound installation.  The opening will feature a site-specific outdoor documentary projection of the trucks and striping crew as they trace Los Angeles freeways. 

"As a foreigner in Los Angeles without a car, I had to walk to discover the city, which is unusual here.  This is how I started to be fascinated about yellow lines,” said Rouby.  “Nobody notices them here anymore because they are part of the visual environment, but to me they are symbolic of the city: the brightness of the sun, the sound of the freeways, the golden state, and the divided spaces."

-# # #-

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Northbound I-5 Closed Near Arleta Later This Week

If you use northbound I-5 in the San Fernando Valley, this post is for you.

There will be two nighttime closures of a short segment of northbound I-5 near Arleta later this week — July 12 and 13. The closures will be in place between midnight and 5 a.m. Traffic will be detoured off the freeway at Lankershim Boulevard and detoured back on at Paxton Street. (See map at right.)

The closures are necessary to allow crews to adjust temporary construction supports. The work is part of a project that’s building a new carpool lane between SR-118 and SR-170, and a new carpool lane connector between I-5 and SR-170. (More info about the project is here.)

We’ll sign the closure well in advance and post plenty of signs along the detour route so you won’t get lost.

For the safety of the construction crew and motorists, please 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. You can also find info on the I-5 website, or give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 hotline: 866.454.6335.

Southbound I-5 Ramp Closure in Gorman


If you use the Gorman School Road on-ramp to southbound I-5, this post is for you.
The ramp will be closed from July 13 to July 20 at night, 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. We’re closing the ramp so that crews can upgrade the pavement in the area. The work is part of a $100.1 million pavement improvement project between Vista Del Lago Road and the Kern County line. (More about the project here.)

We’ll sign the closure well in advance, so you can exit the freeway before you reach the closed ramp. We’ll also post a minimum of 10 detour signs along the detour route so you won’t get lost. On-ramps to southbound I-5 at Frazier Mountain Park Road and Quail Lake Road will be open.

For the safety of the construction crew and motorists, please 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. You can also find info on the I-5 website, or give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 hotline: 866.454.6335.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Two I-5 Projects In Focus: SR-134 to Magnolia and SR-170 to Buena Vista

As part of the I-5 HOV Improvement Project between the Hollywood Freeway (SR-170) and Ventura Freeway (SR-134), new soundwalls, HOV lanes, pavement, landscaping and plants, signs, and retaining walls are being added to alleviate congestion, encourage carpooling, improve air quality, provide a smoother ride for motorists, and reduce traffic on city streets.

The pictures will help explain what’s going on.

Want to be in the loop?  For all I-5 projects in Los Angeles County: www.i-5info.com or the hotline at (855) 454-6335. 



This post is about a project in neighboring Caltrans District 6, KERN County, which has an improvement project underway on I-5 that will impact traffic in north Los Angeles County and south Kern County next week near the community of Buttonwillow. We posted on July 3 about on-going work, and here's more information about next week's schedule.

If you're traveling I-5 in this area on Monday, July 9 through Friday, July 13, expect closures, delays and congestion.  If possible, please avoid the area or use US-101.   Here is the schedule:

·    Both lanes of southbound I-5 will be closed near the intersection of State Route 119 beginning at 6 pm Tuesday, July 10 until 6 am Wednesday, July 11. A detour will be in-place.

·    A 48-hour closure of the off-ramp from northbound I-5 to SR-58 will be in effect starting Monday, July 9 from 6 am until Wednesday, July 11 at 6 am.

·     A separate 48-hour closure of the transition ramp from SR-58 to northbound I-5 will be in effect beginning at 6 am Wednesday, July 11 until 6 am Friday, July 13.

For more information about the project, please call Caltrans District 6 Public Affairs: (559) 488-4038.  You can also call 511 or check out go511.com to get real-time traffic information and travel times.

See the map of the construction area on this blog post dated July 3. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Caltrans Awards $48.5 Million for Safe Routes to School

Caltrans today awarded $48.5 million of state Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program funds for 139 projects statewide to increase safety and help reduce injuries among children in grades K-12 who walk and bike to and from school.  To date, the state and federal SRTS programs have awarded $472 million for safety projects near California’s schools.

Among the projects are sidewalks, bike lanes, and signage.  Caltrans chose each project based on need, effectiveness, and to those that could be delivered quickly. By improving safety, more kids are encouraged to walk and bike to school, resulting in healthier lifestyles while inproving air quality and vehicle congestion.

In 21 communities within LA County, nearly 31 projects totaling $12.7 million will receive funding.  Some of those projects include:

·                     Two grants of $450,000 each to the City of Lancaster for safety improvements near the Gifford C. Cole, the John and Jacquelyn Miller, and the Tierra Bonita schools. The projects include pedestrian crosswalks, paths and islands, curb ramps, and creating safety education, encouragement and enforcement programs.

·                     Two grants of $450,000 each to the City of Pomona near the Lexington, Cortez, Garey and Ganesha schools. The projects include constructing curb ramps and bike lanes, upgrading traffic signals, installing signalized mid-block crosswalks, speed feedback signs, and roadway striping.

·                     $450,000 awards to each of the cities of Claremont, El Monte, Palmdale, Santa Clarita and South Gate.  In El Monte, a traffic roundabout will be constructed near the Parkview and the Willard F. Payne elementary schools. Other projects include constructing sidewalks, crosswalks, curb ramps, installing traffic signals, speed feedback signs, flashing beacons, bike racks, and creating safety education, encouragement and enforcement programs.

·                     A total of $401,900 was awarded for improvements at nine schools in Temple City, and $223,000 to the City of Huntington Park for various improvements near Middleton Street Elementary.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Construction Closures on I-5 through July 4th – Expect Delays

Most of the project information on this blog focuses on Caltrans District 7, which includes Los Angeles and Ventura counties. But this post is about a project in District 6, which has an improvement project underway on I-5 that will impact traffic in north Los Angeles County and south Kern County over the July 4th holiday. And when we say “impact,” we mean there could be a lot of congestion and long delays. 

To repeat, if you will be traveling I-5 in north Los Angeles County or south Kern County over the July 4th holiday, expect a LOT of congestion (as in traffic reduced to ONE lane) and LONG DELAYS. Please-please-please try to avoid the area. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you could get stuck in traffic. 

More details: Construction signage, barriers and k-rails have been installed and traffic lanes are closed on I-5 in and near the communities of Buttonwillow, Lebec and Gorman. (See map above.) Changeable message signs are in place along I-5 advising motorists of alternate routes and estimated delay times. You can also call 511 or check out go511.com to get real-time traffic information and travel times. More info about the construction work is here

As always, we recognize that freeway construction is inconvenient and we thank you for your patience. Please Slow for the Cone Zone while traveling through construction areas and move over one lane for all construction, maintenance and emergency response vehicles working along and near the roadway.

For more information about the project, please call Caltrans District 6 Public Affairs: (559) 488-4038.

High Desert Corridor

This video provides a brief description of the proposed High Desert Corridor (HDC)/Antelope Valley Freeway (SR-14) Interchange in North Los Angeles County.

The High Desert Corridor (HDC) project proposes the construction of a new, approximately 63-mile, east-west freeway/expressway linking SR-14 in Los Angeles County with SR-18 in San Bernardino County. This new freeway/expressway connection would link the cities of Palmdale, Lancaster, Adelanto, Victorville and the Town of Apple Valley.  This new route will help with future growth and goods movement throughout the region.