Friday, December 28, 2012

Rose Parade Ramp Closures

2011 Cal Poly Universities float. Photo credit: Tournament of Roses.
If you’re planning to head out to the Rose Parade and/or associated events December 31 through January 1, we have a couple thoughts for you: 1.) have an awesome time! and 2.) save yourself a headache (and some serious parking $$$) and take transit, or at the very least, carpool. You really don’t want to be caught in that traffic. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

BUT: if you insist on driving, the event-related ramp closures are below. (Really though — take transit!)

Closure dates: Monday, December 31, through Tuesday, January 1

Ventura Freeway (SR-134)

8 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Eastbound Orange Grove Boulevard off-ramp
2 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Westbound Orange Grove Boulevard on-ramp

Foothill Freeway (I-210)

8 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Eastbound San Gabriel Boulevard off-ramp
8 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Westbound Sierra Madre Boulevard off-ramp

Long Beach Freeway (SR- 710)

9 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Southbound Del Mar Boulevard off-ramp.
6 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Northbound Del Mar Boulevard and California Boulevard on-ramps

Check the Caltrans QuickMap before you leave to find out how well traffic is moving (or not).

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Cheer from Caltrans: Caltrans Choir At The Capitol

Sunday, December 23, 2012

IT'S OPEN! I-5/SR-14 Carpool Connector Now Open to Traffic!

The grainy photo above is a shot of the final hours of construction on the I-5/SR-14 carpool lane connector. After over four years in construction, it's NOW OPEN! The southbound direction opened at 5:17 p.m. on Sunday, December 23, and northbound opened soon after at 6:15 p.m.

Crews worked 24/7, often in miserable conditions, to get the connector open before Christmas as a holiday present to the people of Southern California. Special thanks go to Security Paving, MCM Construction and the Caltrans construction team, all of whom worked verrrry long hours to make this happen.

The new connector allows motorists traveling in the carpool lane to transfer between freeways without ever leaving the carpool lane. It benefits ALL motorists by reducing congestion and improving traffic flow.

So, go drive your new connector, and Happy Holidays from Caltrans.

For more information about projects on I-5, visit or give us a ring on the toll-free I-5 Hotline at 855.454.6335.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I-405 Through the Sepulveda Pass Turns 50 Today

When California state and local officials gathered on December 21, 1962 to dedicate the newest addition to I-405, an eight-lane, 5.7 mile section between West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, they were thrilled to provide a quick alternative to the steep turns of the adjacent four-lane Sepulveda Boulevard.  

“With the possible exception of the dedication of the downtown Los Angeles freeway loop last March, this is the most gratifying experience of this kind that I have had,” Governor Edmund G. Brown, Sr. said in a message read at the ceremony.

How big a deal was it? Nearly 800 people attended the opening ceremony where Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty cut the ribbon, after which a 365-car caravan drove the new section which extended from approximately Sunset Boulevard to Valley Vista Boulevard near U.S. 101.

Officials jubilantly envisioned as many as 100,000 vehicles traveling over the route once the 40-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway was complete from the city of San Fernando to Long Beach. What they didn’t anticipate was that 50 years later the Sepulveda Pass  would carry five times that number.

Caltrans wishes a Happy Birthday to everyone's favorite stretch of freeway.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sneak Preview: I-5/SR-14 Carpool Lane Connector *UPDATED*

UPDATE! The connector may open as early as Monday, December 24. BUT: rain is in the forecast and we're still striping and tending to other home-stretch details, so we're not making any promises. Check back Monday for another update.

Since 2008, Caltrans has been constructing a new elevated carpool lane connector at the I-5/SR-14 interchange just south of Santa Clarita. Construction is almost complete. By "almost complete," we mean it will probably open before the end of the year. For real! Weather may delay the opening, but we're working hard to get it done. It was freezing cold and ridiculously windy up there last night, but crews were striping and putting up new signs and removing k-rail. They'll be working 'round the clock until the connector is ready to open.

So what's a carpool lane connector? If you're driving in the carpool lane on I-5 or SR-14, the connector will allow you to transfer between freeways without leaving the carpool lane, which helps reduce congestion and weaving and enhances safety. So, everyone benefits — not just drivers in the carpool lane. More info about the project is here.

For a sneak preview of the connector before it opens, check out the video below. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From the Archives: 1948 View of the Four Level (US 101/I-110) Under Construction

Here are pictures of one of the earliest stack interchanges in the United States at the time.  As you can see, many of the homes pictured have been replaced by the Hollywood Freeway (US 101), Harbor Freeway (I-110), and/or a portion of the Arroyo Seco Parkway (SR-110).  

These pictures were taken for the California Division of Highways, which is now known as Caltrans.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Caltrans Will Work for Food (Bank)

Caltrans was well represented at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank volunteer effort on Saturday, December 15, helping to package up food for some 23,000 hungry residents.

According to Food Bank statistics, an estimated 1.7 million Los Angeles County residents do not have enough to eat. Currently, 640 organizations are served by the Food Bank. But with Los Angeles having one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, demand continues to grow. Unfortunately, 565 additional agencies are on a waiting list for food donations.

No one in this prosperous nation should have to go hungry. There are many ways to contribute to the Food Bank -- through money, time or advocacy. For more information go to Or, to donate directly through Caltrans, click here.

Next year, we hope to have enough Caltrans volunteers to take over the warehouse.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Caltrans Fallen: Matthew Daniel White

Matthew Daniel White

Everyone you pass is someone’s loved one.

On this day, Matthew Daniel White, 35, a Caltrans District 3 (11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra Counties) employee, was struck and killed by a vehicle exiting at the Golden State Freeway (I-5) southbound Elk Grove Blvd. off-ramp on Friday morning, December 14, 2007.

White was in his seventh year as a Caltrans employee and left behind his wife and four children.  White’s father was a 35-year employee of District 3.

Every day, Caltrans maintenance crews work within just a few feet of thousands of vehicles passing by; the job they have is risky, but important to the safety, maintenance, and operation of the California transportation system.  

White and many others like him have lost their lives while working along the roadside.  That’s why we ask for motorists to Slow For the Cone Zone and Move Over. 

Since 1924, 178 Caltrans employees have been killed on the job.  In District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties), 32 have been lost.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I-10/I-605 Direct Connector Community Meeting

I-10/I-605 Direct Connector Community Meeting
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) invites you to an informational meeting about the I-10/I-605 connector project.

Construction has begun on a connector bridge extending from the southbound San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to the eastbound San Bernardino Freeway (I-10).  The project will reduce congestion and weaving at this intersection and improve north-south commuter access from the San Gabriel Valley, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.  Estimated completion for construction is summer, 2014.

Date:               Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Time:               4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Location:          Barnes Park Community Room
3251 Patritti Avenue, Baldwin Park, CA 91706

Caltrans representatives will be present to provide project information, describe traffic management strategies and answer questions.

Questions?  Contact Yessica Jovel at (213)897-1876 or

Long-Term Closure Coming to Alondra Boulevard

 Plus.....Alondra Bridge Demolition and Reconstruction!

Alondra Boulevard between Freeway Drive and Marquardt Avenue in Santa Fe Springs will be fully closed in both directions beginning Monday, January 7, 2013 until approximately spring 2014.  The closed roadway includes the Alondra Boulevard Bridge, which will undergo reconstruction during this long-term closure as part of the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) HOV Widening and Alondra Boulevard Bridge Project.
Also, on January 7, the existing northbound I-5 on-ramp at Alondra Boulevard will be closed permanently.   A temporary northbound I-5 on-ramp at Freeway Drive will be constructed during the next six months and open to motorists by early July 2013. This temporary ramp will be used for about two years until a new, permanent on-ramp is constructed as part of the project. Motorists will have access to northbound I-5 by accessing the on-ramp at Carmenita Road.
Alondra Boulevard Bridge Demolition and Reconstruction
The 57-year-old Alondra Boulevard Bridge will be demolished in late January 2013 to reconstruct, widen and elongate the structure to accommodate a wider I-5 freeway.  The new bridge will be widened from four lanes to six lanes, with three lanes in each direction.
Bridge demolition is scheduled to take place during two weekends in late January 2013.  More specific dates and details will be announced prior to the demolition weekend.
Local commuters are encouraged to use suggested detours on Valley View Ave., Artesia Blvd., and Carmenita Rd. (See detour map). Expect delays and allow extra time in your commute. The public is encouraged to sign-up to receive email notifications on local street, freeway and ramp closures at the I-5 South Corridor Project Toll-Free Hotline (855) 454-6335 or by visiting

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter Driving Tips

SR-2 in winter — snowy and slick!
Southern California is known for its sunshine, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get some cold, snowy weather and crummy driving conditions, particularly on I-5 in north Los Angeles County, and on SR-39 and SR-2. The best defense is to stay off the roads in stormy weather, but if you must drive, here are some tips that can help you do it safely:
* Use the Caltrans Quickmap to check road conditions, road work, chain control, cameras, and CHP information before you leave. You can also call 511 or visit

* Fill up your gas tank before you leave.

* Drive as conditions permit — slower acceleration, slower speeds, and slower braking in winter weather. Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you.

* Use headlights (not just parking or fog lights) in foggy, rainy and snowy weather. You MUST have your lights on when using your wipers — it’s the law.
* If you get stuck, stay with your vehicle and wait for help.

* If visibility diminishes to the point that you no longer feel safe driving, don’t stop in traffic lanes. Try to use the closest ramp.

* Bring water, food, warm clothing, sturdy shoes/boots and medications.
Also: a charged cell phone, car cell phone charger, and battery-operated radio.

* Make sure your vehicle is running well. Check your coolant, brakes, windshield wipers, defroster/heater and exhaust systems. 

* If traveling to mountain areas, carry chains between October and April, even if it’s not snowing. Weather can be unpredictable. 

* Never play in the snow next to or on the roadway. Don’t allow sleds to slide onto the road. Don’t play in the snow on private property.

* Black ice can be nearly invisible, so reduce your speeds during and after it snows, especially in turns or shady areas.

* Make room for Caltrans equipment, CHP vehicles, and all emergency responders. Stay clear of plows!

* Slow down, bring patience, and be courteous. Use turnouts if you’re holding up traffic.

* Never drink and drive or text and drive. EVER.

For more information about driving through the Grapevine/Tejon Pass in snowy weather, check out the Operation Snowflake guide.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Caltrans Earth

Going on a skiing trip, hitting the waves, doing research, or just headed to work?  Check out Caltrans Earth.
Caltrans Earth provides easily accessible data about park and rides, current and future high occupancy vehicle (HOV) or carpool lanes projects, traffic incidents, county boundaries, roads and so much more. 

Screen shot of District 7

Caltrans has come along way from the early days of traffic management.  Governor Ronald Reagan in Caltrans Traffic Management Center in Los Angeles. Nov. 23, 1971

Caltrans Earth was created by our Division of Transportation System Information to provide the public a new generation of web-based data access for sharing and viewing tools through the Google Earth and API web page.  The Caltrans Earth is a network-based 2D and 3D mapping system that makes vast amounts of data easily accessible within a few clicks of your mouse.  Caltrans Earth utilizes a California-focused virtual world created by Caltrans.

#Gangnam Style