Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween is Scary Enough — Keep it Safe By Driving Sober



Your Halloween costume can be scary, but your driving shouldn’t be. If your ghoulish merriment includes alcohol, make sure you plan a safe and sober way to get home. (Broomsticks are fine so long as someone sober is driving.)

Here’s the scary stats on Halloween crashes, courtesy of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration: in 2010, 41 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, making them legally drunk in most states. Forty-one percent! 

Drinking and driving is one of America’s most often-committed and deadliest crimes. In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes — that's one every 51 minutes — all of which were preventable.

Here are a few simple ways that you can help keep Halloween safe for you, your family and your community:  

    > Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin. 

    > Before drinking, designate a sober driver. 

    > If you’re impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. 

    > If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. 

    > If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they’re going. 

We love a good Halloween scare … but we don’t like it to happen on the freeway. Drive sober or get pulled over. Overindulge in those fun-size candy bars instead.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I-5 South Corridor - FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES

Nightly, Brief, Intermittent Full Freeway Closures between Valley View and Rosecrans



Caltrans will conduct a series of brief and intermittent, FULL FREEWAY closures in the early morning hours on the northbound and southbound Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) between Valley View Avenue and Rosecrans Avenue for two nights Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30, from midnight to 4 am in the cities of La Mirada, Norwalk, and Santa Fe Springs.
 
The work involves relocating utility lines across the freeway.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will conduct traffic breaks for the FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES.  Each closure – three or four per night in each direction – will last approximately 7 to 10 minutes at hourly intervals.
 
• With CHP direction, motorists traveling northbound I-5 will have the option to exit at Valley View Ave and motorists traveling southbound I-5 can exit at Rosecrans Ave.

• The northbound I-5 on-ramp at Alondra Boulevard will be fully closed.
• The CHP will intermittently close and hold traffic at the northbound I-5 on-ramp at Valley View Ave. and at the southbound I-5 on-ramp at Rosecrans Ave.
 
Other work and closures scheduled for next week: 
Nightly, Wed. Oct 31, Thurs and Fri Nov 1 & 2 from 7 pm to 5 am
Southbound I-5:   Caltrans will FULLY CLOSE the SB I-5 off-ramp at Carmenita Rd.
       The SB I-5 on-ramp at Carmenita Road remains OPEN.
Street Closure: FULL CLOSURE of Carmenita Pl., a short street abutting Carmenita.
  
The I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects will construct one carpool and one general purpose lane in each direction, realign and upgrade adjacent frontage roads, and reconstruct bridges from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to Interstate 605.

Information about the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects is available from the toll-free I-5 Hotline (855) 454-6335 or www.I-5info.com

Please plan your commute and allow extra time to reach your destination.
For timely, accurate and accessible real-time traffic information and travel times, visit:
Caltrans Quick Map http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Closure Notice: Lane, Ramp, and Connector Closure on Harbor Freeway (I-110) for Targeted Maintenance

View of the Four Level in 1986.  Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library. Copyright Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library
Today's Date:    October 25, 2012
District 7:         LA & Ven. counties   
Contact:           Patrick Chandler   

Phone:             213-897-3630

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lane, Ramp, and Connector Closure on Harbor Freeway (I-110) for Targeted Maintenance

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – To spruce up and overhaul the historic Harbor Freeway (I-110) in Downtown Los Angeles the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will deploy hundreds of Department personnel and community service workers into closed portions of the southbound I-110/Hollywood Freeway (US 101) interchange between 3rd Street and Wilshire Boulevard for targeted maintenance on Sunday, November 4, from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Delays are expected, but signed detours will be in place.  Closures will be adjusted or opened if there are significant delays or backups.

The following lanes, connectors, and ramps will be closed:

Lanes:
One lane of southbound I-110 will be closed between 3rd Street and Wilshire Boulevard will be closed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Connectors:
Northbound US 101 to southbound I-110 will be closed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Southbound US 101 to southbound I-110 will be closed from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Ramps:
3rd Street on- and off-ramp for southbound I-110 will be closed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
4th Street off-ramp from southbound I-110 will be closed 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“Cutbacks to our resources and personnel have made it difficult for our crews to schedule and perform all of the maintenance tasks that this interchange needed,” said Acting District 7 Director Terry Abbott.  “This all hands on deck and cost-effective approach that will bring hundreds of Caltrans crews and community service workers into one area, just as we did during the closure of I-405 in the Sepulveda Pass last year and this year.”

To improve safety, road crews will restripe the roadway, replace lighting and signs, and enhance and repair guardrail.

To improve the aesthetics, landscape crews supported by community service workers will remove trash, litter, weeds, and graffiti, and repair irrigation, clean drains, mulch, and install new plants. 

Department bridge engineers will also conduct routine inspection of the four level interchange.

“Our crews only have two hours to work within the interchange to prevent back-ups,” said Abbott.  “This closure will allow our crews the opportunity to make significant gains to improve this portion of the downtown corridor.”

-###-

Shopping this Weekend? Come Talk to Caltrans!


Planning to do some shopping this weekend? If so, you might run into Caltrans. We’ll be at Burbank’s Empire Center on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at Westfield Valencia Town Center on Sunday, Oct. 28, from noon to 4 p.m. We’ll be providing information about I-5 projects, answering questions, and getting feedback from, well, people like you! At both locations, look for our blue table in the food court. You can:
     > Pick up FAQs and project fact sheets
     > Check out construction photos and maps
     > Talk one-on-one with staff
     > Pick up coloring books for the kids
     > Sign up to receive project updates and closure info
     > Submit comments to the construction team
And you can check out some really cool chunks of infrastructure: concrete cores, reflectors, asphalt briquettes, and more items that you normally only see as a blur when you're driving 55 miles per hour. Trust us — your kids will love this stuff.
Questions? Call us on the toll-free I-5 hotline: (855) 454-6335. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nearly $300 Million Approved for Projects to Help California Motorists



The California Transportation Commission today allocated $287 million to 23 projects that will provide better roads, transit, and bridges while at the same time strengthening California’s economy.  


“We are building transportation improvements that will benefit the state for decades and will also boost job growth in every region of California,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. 

The allocations include $259 million from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. In total, nearly $14.6 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been distributed statewide. 

The remaining $28 million in allocations came from assorted transportation accounts funded by state and federal dollars.

Among the projects that received funding today were:  $153 million from Proposition 1B for a project that will replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach with a new bridge to relieve traffic congestion and improve goods movement in one of the nation’s busiest ports. The project had previously received $153 million from the State Highway Operations and Protection Program (SHOPP). The SHOPP money was replaced today with an equivalent amount from Proposition 1B, a move made possible thanks to bid savings from various Proposition 1B projects. Today’s action frees up the SHOPP dollars to be allocated in the future to other transportation projects.   

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Big Kids on the Freeway

MCLA busy restoring "LA Freeway Kids" mural on southbound US 101
Nope we’re not talking about children (or adults) attempting to ride their skateboards or plank on I-405 during “Carmegeddon II”-- this is actually legal.  These kids are between six-feet and eighteen-feet tall.

The restoration of the “LA Freeway Kids” mural by Gleena Avila on the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) is currently being restored by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) in coordination with the California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) Transportation Art Program.  The mural is located on the retaining wall along the southbound US 101 between Alameda Street and Los Angeles Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Video:  MCLA Executive Director Isabel Rojas-Williams and Muralist Gleena Avila

The mural will be restored to most of what made it part of the Los Angeles landscape during the ‘84 Olympics, except instead of golden-peach background, Caltrans gray will remain in place.  Actually, several of the murals are being preserved in place behind a protective layer of gray paint that is generally used to cover graffiti on the freeway structures, so more will be brought to life.

Caltrans will clear graffiti in the gray areas, while MCLA and their muralist will continue to maintain their mural.  MCLA’s efforts are being financially supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and additional private sources.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I-5 South Corridor - FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES



Caltrans will conduct a series of brief and intermittent, FULL FREEWAY closures in the early morning hours on the northbound and southbound Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) between Valley View Avenue and Rosecrans Avenue for three nights Sunday through Tuesday, October 21, 22, 23, from midnight to 4 am. In the cities of La Mirada, Norwalk, and Santa Fe Springs.

The work involves relocating utility lines across the freeway.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will conduct traffic breaks for the FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES.  Each closure – three or four per night in each direction – will last approximately 7 to 10 minutes at hourly intervals.
 
• With CHP direction, motorists traveling northbound I-5 will have the option to exit at Valley View Ave, and motorists traveling southbound I-5 will have the option to exit at Rosecrans Ave.

• The northbound I-5 on-ramp at Alondra Boulevard will be fully closed.

• The CHP will intermittently close and hold traffic at the northbound I-5 on-ramp at Valley View Ave. and at the southbound I-5 on-ramp at Rosecrans Ave.
  
The I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects will construct one carpool and one general purpose lane in each direction, realign and upgrade adjacent frontage roads, and reconstruct bridges from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to Interstate 605.

Information about the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects is available from the toll-free I-5 Hotline (855) 454-6335 or www.I-5info.com

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Suspended in Air: Structural Steel Painters Work 50 Ft. Above LA River



If you drive northbound on the Golden State Freeway (I-5) near Griffith Park you might see our structural steel painters at work under the Colorado Ave. off-ramp bridge.  
video

Structural steel painters are experts at identifying failures on bridge girders and working in (as you will see) difficult working conditions throughout California. 

District 7’s structural steel painters have been repainting the metal girders under the off-ramp for the past several weeks all while working from a hanging scaffold about 50 feet above the Los Angeles River.  Once they are done building the scaffold above the river, clearing out spider webs, removing graffiti, rust, and other debris, they will begin to apply federal green paint to the metal girders under the spans of the bridge.  The paint is specially designed by Caltrans materials engineers to prevent oxidation and extend the use life of the bridge. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vote Today (and Tomorrow) for a Freeway Project Near You!

Just as if it was a TV singing or dancing competition, the public has the opportunity to vote online for their favorite transportation project in the America's Transportation Awards.


This year, the I-405/Sepulveda Pass Mulholland Bridge Demolition project (aka "Carmageddon") is in the running with nine other projects in the USA for two prizes: the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award. Both awards include a $10,000 cash award that can be donated to a nonprofit charity or scholarship fund. The Grand Prize will be determined by a panel of judges.

The People's Choice Award will be determined by you, the people, through an on-line voting process that began on September 10 and continues through this Friday, October 19.
 
Click here to vote now http://www.americastransportationaward.org/voting.aspx
You can vote up to 10 times a day so, as they say, "vote early and vote often." The project with the highest number of votes wins, so please vote for your favorite project -hopefully, “Carmageddon”!

Winners will be announced at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh on November 16.

If Caltrans wins, the award money will be donated to the California Transportation Foundation (CTF), www.transportationfoundation.org  whose primary mission is to support the state’s transportation community with scholarships for students planning a career in transportation, financial assistance to those injured on the job and to the families of those workers who died while on the job.

CTF is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is eligible to receive charitable donations for federal income tax purposes. CTF’s Tax ID number is 68-0165257.

Visit www.AmericasTransportationAward.org for more information on AASHTO.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Western Avenue (SR-213) Repaving Project

State of California • Department of Transportation

NEWS RELEASE

Today's Date:    October 16, 2012
District 7:         Los Angeles & Ventura Counties      
Contact:           Patrick Chandler
Phone:             (213) 897-3630

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Western Avenue (SR-213) Repaving Project

SAN PEDRO – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will repave Western Avenue (SR-213) between 19th Street and Avenida Aprenda with rubberized asphalt (RA).  This project began on Monday, October 8 and is expected to finish by mid-November 2012.

Closures:
This project will require the nightly closure of one lane of SR-213 in both directions between 25th Street and Avenida Aprenda.  Work will take place Mondays through Fridays, between 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following mornings.

We anticipate the following tentative schedule for the week of Monday, October 15:

10/16 between 19th and Bryner
10/17 between 9th and 1st
10/18 between 1st and Summerland


Closures are subject to change.  Weather and other unforeseen delays could affect construction work.

RA will help extend the life of the pavement, reduce maintenance costs, and provide for a smoother ride.  All American Asphalt of Corona, Calif. is the contractor on this $1.2 million project. 

Photo Highlights: Endeavor En Route

Endeavor is now safe and sound at the California Science Center after its 12-mile, very sloooooow journey from LAX over the weekend. Caltrans handled permits for the portion of the transport across Lincoln Boulevard and I-405, both state roadways. Here’s Endeavor crossing through the median on Lincoln …


Here’s the shuttle getting ready to cross I-405 …


And the crossing in progress …


Caltrans structures experts inspected the Manchester Boulevard bridge after the crossing to make sure it wasn’t damaged. Here are some of the Caltrans staff who made the transport possible …


Congrats and thank you to everyone who helped make the last journey of the Space Shuttle Endeavor a success!

If you missed the shuttle transport this past weekend, you can see Endeavor up close and personal at the California Science Center beginning October 30.