Friday, August 31, 2012

Murals Restored

Jim Morphesis Monument 
These two murals, Jim Morphesis Monument and Lita Albuquerque Monument, painted by Kent Twitchell for the 1984 Summer Olympics have been recently restored by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) in coordination with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).  MCLA plans to restore other freeways murals in the area.

These murals can be seen under the Grand Avenue bridge over the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) in downtown Los Angeles.  Lita is on the southbound side of US 101 and Jim is on the northbound side.
Over the years, freeway murals have become targets of vandals, leaving motorists without the opportunity to enjoy their beauty.  Nearby are mural replicas of other murals painted for the ’84 Olympics along with new works of art. 

The Caltrans Transportation Art Program is still alive and we look forward to building more partnerships to restore and protect, and support freeway art without state tax dollars.

Please contact or 213-897-3630, if you have any questions or comments.

Lita Albuquerque Monument

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Whittier Blvd. Sign Hit

On Wednesday, August 29, District 7 Special Crews responded to damaged overhead sign on the northbound San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) around 8 a.m.  Apparently, the dump section of a truck accidentally collided with the overhead sign.  Special Crews removed the sign and opened lanes around 11 a.m.  A new sign will be ordered and the catwalk section will need to be repaired.

We were able to capture our own pictures of what occurred.  We’d also like to thank the Whittier Daily News for their coverage of this event.

Artists Take on Carmageddon II

In addition to eating, shopping and playing locally during the Carmageddon II weekend of September 29/30, would be motorists are being encouraged to celebrate art in their neighborhoods.

A consortium of LA-based artists and arts organizations have united to create ARTmageddon, a two-day citywide celebration of art, performances, concerts, screenings and exhibitions all over the city at a venue near you. 

At, Los Angeles residents can discover a comprehensive list of all the visual, performing and media arts events happening on Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30, including arts events that are accessible by public transportation. 

ARTmageddon is a partnership of artists, organizations such as LA Stage Alliance, ForYourArt, Green Galactic, Experience LA, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Metro.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ask Caltrans: Why does Caltrans sweep the freeways during the day?

Sweeper train on southbound I-110 (Harbor Freeway)
You’ve probably wondered why our maintenance crews sweep during the day.  Well, it is for your safety and ours. 

Caltrans sweeping operations highways and freeway are generally scheduled once a month.  Anytime crews sweep a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) or carpool lane, or a center median they start after 9:00 a.m. and in the direction opposite of the morning rush.  The crews will generally start sweeping on the inbound side of a freeway after the rush around noon. Some crews sweep at night on highways and freeways that have low traffic volumes. 

Sweeping at night can be unsafe for motorists and our crews. During the day it is easier for motorists to see the Caltrans and CHP vehicles in the “sweeper train” (pictured) and it is easier for our crews to avoid impaired drivers, see pieces of metal, or other traffic hazards alongside the freeway or highway.

Sweeper trains generally consist of a (from front to back) pick-up truck, sweeper, back-up or shadow truck with an attenuator (crash cushion), and an advanced warning sign truck.  While the sweeper train is moving, a single maintenance worker will throw large debris into the back of the pick-up that the sweepers cannot pick up.  One or two CHP vehicles will be inside of the train as well. 

Occasionally, maintenance crews will request MAZEEP (Maintenance Zone Enhanced Enforcement Program) support from the CHP to create a traffic break to safely remove dangerous debris from the roadway. 

Caltrans requests you observe and obey the Move Over law which requires you to move over or slow down while Caltrans is working on the freeways or highways.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Coming Attractions: The New I-5/SR-170 Connector

When you’re driving through a freeway construction zone, you typically don’t have time to get a good look at the work underway. Much of it is out of view anyway — either behind k-rail, obscured by retaining walls, or below freeway level.

Which is why we thought you might like to see this photo of the new I-5/SR-170 connector (northbound side) now in progress. The new connector will allow you to transition between I-5 and SR-170 without having to exit the carpool lane. The project, which also includes carpool lanes on I-5 between SR-170 and SR-118, is about half done. More info is here.

Questions? Check out the I-5 website or give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 hotline at 855.454.6335.