Thursday, January 30, 2014

State Route 107 (Hawthorne Blvd.), A Freeway Never Built

State Route 107 also known as Hawthorne Boulevard located in the cities of Hawthorne, Lawndale, Torrance, and Lomita, is one of the many state highways and freeways that were planned in 1930s and 1940s for Los Angeles County, but were never built.

In the sixties different paths were proposed for SR-107.  SR-107 would have connected Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) and the San Diego Freeway (I-405). 

As with many freeway projects at the time, there was opposition from city councils and communities in the path of the freeway.  Additionally, as much as the growth of the interstate was seen as an essential path to positive growth for California by some, the funding to sustain such growth of the state’s infrastructure started to decrease while the cost to build increased.

According to a Caltrans cost effectiveness study report in February 1974, District 7 decided that it was not possible continue to proceed with the construction of SR-107 and other freeways like due to the following reasons:

  1. The gap between the cost of the Highway Program and available revenues is widening rapidly.
  2. Many projects in the District 1973 Planning Program cannot be financed during the next 20 years.
  3. District 7 Planning Program should be reduced by over one-half.
  4. Downscoping and/or deferring some projects will result in improved system performance within the funding constraints by permitting other projects to be financed.
  5. Using the system engineering approach, a 20-year program guide is developed which contains projects that can be financed in a 20-year period and which would provide the optimum system performance for the dollar available.  
  6.  Completion of the Program Guide does not correct all the transportation deficiencies.
SR-107 aka Torrance Freeway aka Hawthorne Freeway dream never came into fruition. 

Caltrans still maintains and owns portions of the SR-107, but some portions have been relinquished to cities along the route.