Thursday, April 30, 2015

Moorpark Road Long-Term Ramp Closure for US 101/23 Interchange Improvement Project

Caltrans will close the northbound US 101 Moorpark Road on-ramp beginning Monday, May 4 at 2 a.m. The ramp closure is anticipated to continue through May 18.  

Motorists are encouraged to use the northbound US 101 Lynn Road on-ramp during this time. Detour signs will be posted.

The interchange project adds a lane to the U.S. 101/SR-23 connector and to US 101 at various locations; widens three bridges; realigns the Moorpark Road ramps; and constructs soundwalls and retaining walls throughout the project limits. 

Security Paving is the contractor on the project, estimated to complete in spring 2016. 

For more information regarding this work, visit the project website

Caltrans reminds you to Be Work Zone Alert.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Behind the K-Rail: Plate Installation in Burbank

If you've been anywhere in the vicinity of southbound I-5 and Empire Avenue in Burbank recently, no doubt you've noticed the construction work underway. It's pretty hard to miss. If you were to peek behind the k-rail (and we strongly discourage this) it would look like this:

So what exactly is going on? Crews are installing metal plates for shoring that's needed for the new Empire Avenue undercrossing. Here's a very brief video that shows plate installation in progress:

When the work is complete, the new undercrossing will allow you to drive from one side of Burbank to the other more quickly and easily. 

But wait! There's more! We're also building a new full interchange at Empire Avenue, which will make accessing the freeway easier and help reduce congestion on city streets. This work will be completed in less than two years. 

The new undercrossing and interchange are part of the I-5 Empire Project, which you can learn more about here. While you're there, sign up to receive project updates delivered to your inbox. It'll take two seconds. We promise.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Night Closures of Buena Vista Street in Burbank

If you use Buena Vista Street in Burbank at night, be advised that for the next two nights, April 28 and 29, 2015, the road will be closed in both directions so that crews can safely demo and remove the bridge rail above the undercrossing in preparation for freeway widening. Closure hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. both nights, and we will, of course, provide signed detours so you don’t get lost. 

This work is part of the I-5 Empire Project in Burbank, a series of freeway improvements between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street. More information about the project is here. Info about the closures is here.

Residents who live nearby may hear some construction noise, but it won’t exceed levels permitted by state and local regulations. 

Want to get project notifications delivered to your inbox automatically so you always know what's going on? Signing up takes two seconds — just click here

Friday, April 24, 2015

No BUTTS About It! Help Keep Our Freeways Clean!

Last year, Caltrans spent more than $63 million in taxpayer dollars to remove 193,000 cubic yards of litter, trash, and debris from our state highways. That’s enough to fill more than 12,000 garbage trucks, which end-to-end would stretch 62 miles long. District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties) has spent $7.88 million picking up 33,485 cubic yards (2,092 garbage trucks) of litter this fiscal year.

To raise awareness about the litter problem, on April 23 District 7 Director Carrier Bowen, Chief Deputy Director Shirley Choate, numerous Caltrans executives, and CHP officers and explorer scouts donned protective gear, grabbed orange trash bags and pickers, and got to work picking up litter on I-710. Here’s Director Bowen cleaning up trash that motorists tossed out of their car windows, accompanied by Landscape Supervisor Robert Arias:

The most common type of litter? Cigarette butts. Every year in the U.S., 176,000,000 pounds of cigarette butts are littered. That’s a huge problem because cigarette butts are so small that it's almost impossible for our Maintenance forces to pick them up.

To combat the butt problem, three years ago Caltrans partnered with Keep California Beautiful and Cigarette Pollution Solutions to install Butt Only Boxes, or BOBs, at 10 rest stops throughout the state as a pilot program. And it’s working! We’ve collected more than one million butts that otherwise could have made their way to creeks, rivers, or the ocean. This year we're installing BOBs in 45 additional rest stops throughout the state. 

So what do you do with millions of cigarette butts? They don’t fully decompose when discarded legally in a landfill, but turns out, they CAN be turned into energy! We're using cigarette butts to create a needed resource by taking them from the BOBs to energy plants to be converted to energy. Caltrans anticipates collecting 4 to 5 million butts statewide, which is enough to fill about 18 55-gallon drums.

Converting butts to energy is a great example of innovative recycling. Know what would be even better? Having NO butts to recycle. Getting everyone who smokes to kick the habit. Keeping the filth cigarettes create out of our waterways and transportation system. We all know about the health benefits of not smoking — let’s keep the environmental benefits in mind, too. Working together, we CAN keep California beautiful!

Caltrans execs, CHP officers and explorer scouts with bags of litter they collected on April 23, 2015.

Closures on Long Beach Freeway (I-710) for Paving

Caltrans will close up to two lanes of northbound I-710 from Pico Boulevard to Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) and the following ramps from Friday, April 24 to Saturday, April 25, 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.:

  • Pico Boulevard on-ramp
  • Anaheim Street on- and off-ramps
  • Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) off-ramp
Caltrans maintenance crews will use heavy equipment to remove damaged pavement and replace it with new hot mix asphalt concrete to enhance safety and provide a smoother ride for motorists. 
A signed detour will be in place.  Minor delays are expected.  The California Highway Patrol will be on duty.  Please Be Work Zone Alert.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Full Closure of Northbound San Diego Freeway (I-405)

Caltrans will close all lanes of northbound I-405 on the following dates from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to install loop detectors:

Wednesday, April 22
Between Victory Boulevard off-ramp and Sherman Way on-ramp          

Thursday, April 23
Between Sherman Way off-ramp and Roscoe Boulevard on-ramp

Friday, April 24
Between Roscoe Boulevard off-ramp and Devonshire Street on-ramp          
This $28.47 million pavement rehabilitation project is funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP).  Myers and Sons Construction LP is the contractor on this project.  

A signed detour will be in place.  Delays are expected.  The California Highway Patrol will be on duty.  Please Be Work Zone Alert.  

Staying Safe in Construction Zones

Since 1921, 183 highway workers have been killed on the job in California — 31 of them in District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties). Earlier this month, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty released the video message below reminding motorists about what they can do to help ensure that our workers go home to their families when their shift ends. No doubt you've heard these safety message before, but they bear repeating:

   + Be work zone alert.

   + Expect the unexpected.

   + Slow for the cone zone.

   + Move over for flashing amber lights. 

Safety is particularly important during the upcoming summer months when construction and maintenance projects ramp up. Over 600 projects will be underway throughout the state, 100-plus in District 7 alone. So please, slow down in construction zones and stay alert. Not only will you help protect our workers, but also your passengers, yourself and other motorists.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sinkhole Closes One Lane on SR-118 in Ventura

FINAL UPDATE: All lanes were opened at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April. 14. 

The number one lane of eastbound SR-118 between SR-126 and Telephone Road is expected to remain closed until Thursday, April 16.  Motorists should consider alternative routes and avoid this area.  

The sinkhole was caused by a leak from a reinforced concrete drainage pipe joint.  Water inside the pipe will be removed, the break will be patched, and the void will be filled with concrete slurry.

A contractor has been hired to repair the pipe and maintain traffic control. 

The top of the 10'X10' and five-feet deep sinkhole was found by a Caltrans maintenance crew member on Monday, April 13 at 11 a.m.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Give Us Your Feedback: 2nd Public Hearing for SR-710 is April 14!

The second of four public hearings to provide feedback on the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for SR-710 will be held Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (View the document it here.)

The EIR/EIS looks at five alternatives to improve transportation in the 4.5-mile SR-710 “gap” between SR-710 in Alhambra and I-210 in Pasadena, including:

  ->  No Build option that would leave conditions as they are. 

  ->  A traffic management system to upgrade and synchronize signals and improvements to local street intersections to more quickly move traffic that exits the dead end freeway. 

  ->  A rapid bus line featuring high frequency service with minimal stops and potentially a dedicated bus lane.

  ->  Light rail to carry passengers between East Los Angeles and Pasadena.

  ->  A freeway tunnel that would extend the SR-710.

No decisions have been made on any proposed alternative. A 120-day public comment period for the draft study began March 6 and ends July 6, 2015.

You can provide comments verbally at one of the hearings, in writing by filling out a comment card at a hearing, or online here.

If you have questions about the five alternatives or the study process, you can ask one of the subject matter experts located in the Map Viewing area at the hearings.

Location info for the three remaining hearings is below. For all hearings, the map viewing period is 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the public hearing is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Pasadena Convention Center
300 East Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91101

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
La Canada High School Auditorium – Building B
4463 Oak Grove Drive
La Canada, CA 91011

Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Christian Presbyterian Church – Multi-Purpose Room
2241 N. Eastern Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90032

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Glenn Anderson Freeway (I-105)/San Diego Freeway (I-405) Interchange To Close 7 Hours for Maintenance

Caltrans will close the westbound I-105 connectors to north- and southbound I-405 along with several ramps to remove weeds, litter and debris on Sunday, April 12 from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m.  

Over 80 Caltrans maintenance crew members (white and yellow hardhats) along with court referrals (orange hardhats) will be working within the closure.  This closure is subject to change.

Please consider using for traffic conditions.  

The following ramps will be closed:

Westbound Century Boulevard to northbound I-405 
Prairie Avenue to westbound I-105
Manchester Boulevard to northbound I-405 

Manchester Boulevard to northbound I-405 

Manchester Boulevard from Northbound I-405 
Slip and Collector Ramps to be Closed
Northbound I-405 Manchester Boulevard/La Cienega Boulevard slip-ramp (tunnel)
Northbound I-405 Manchester Boulevard/ La Cienega Boulevard slip-ramp 

Caltrans reminds motorists to Slow For The Cone Zone, Move Over, and Be 
Work Zone Alert. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Combating Copper Crooks

Copper wire theft is a crime that has cost Caltrans and taxpayers more than $7 million a year since the metal’s worth soared in 2008. Thieves target everything from electronic highway message signs to underground conduit used to operate traffic lights. 

In response, Caltrans is using aluminum instead of copper for some applications, installing tamper-proof boxes, setting up security cameras, and working with local law enforcement to help prevent the theft of this very expensive metal. Learn more in the video below.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Caltrans Buffers Birds

Red-Tailed Hawk seen devouring its prey atop an utility pole in Echo Park near SR-2. Picture taken by a Caltrans biologist.  
The Glendale Freeway (SR-2) Terminus Soundwall Project is underway in Echo Park, a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles. Obviously, this project will benefit the residents that live alongside of the freeway, but Caltrans is also looking out for the residents of the trees in the area, too – the birds.

How so? Caltrans complies with the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, as well as the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act, which require the department to take proactive steps to protect our feathered friends. So, before beginning a freeway construction project, Caltrans biologists perform pre-construction surveys in the project area to identify any active nests. This is particularly important during bird nesting season, February 1 to September 1. If biologists find an active nest, a “no work” buffer zone of up to 500 feet in radius (depending on the bird species) is created to avoid impacting the nesting birds during construction.

House Wren on a post along SR-39 (San Gabriel Cyn. Rd.)

Why is the buffer zone needed? Loud noises – and there’s often a LOT of loud noises on construction sites — may result in nest abandonment. In other words, the parent birds could leave the nest and never return, abandoning the hatchlings. That’s bad parenting even by Hollywood standards. Environmental stewardship is an important part of what we do at Caltrans. For that reason (and because birds are amazing and beautiful creatures), we will continue to support strong bird families and healthy hatchlings, requiring the dozers to stand down during nesting season.

DONE! I-5 Pavement Rehab in North Los Angeles County is Complete!

I-5 commuters in north Los Angeles County rejoice! The $100 million pavement rehabilitation project on I-5 between Vista Del Lago Road and the Kern County Line, a distance of 15.4 miles, is finally done … six months ahead of schedule.

The project involved replacing slabs in both directions, improving drainage, upgrading guardrail, adding post mile signage, widening inside shoulders, replacing broken approach and departure slabs, and repaving ramps.

Work began in April 2012, and finished ahead of schedule due to innovative lane closure strategies that allowed the contractor, Griffith/Coffman Joint Venture, to expedite the work while keeping a sufficient number of lanes open to maintain traffic flow.

The improvements enhance safety, provide a smoother ride for motorists, extend the life of the pavement, and reduce maintenance costs and closures.

This project is part of Caltrans’ ongoing I-5 corridor improvements, which include pavement rehabilitation, carpool lanes and connectors, truck lanes, grade separations, interchange improvements, and pedestrian overcrossings. More information is at

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

U Drive. U Text. U PAY.

April is distracted driving month, and from April 10 to April 15, 2015, law enforcement personnel nationwide will be using a combination of strategies to crack down on motorists who text and drive. Enforcement strategies include roving police patrols, spotters strategically located on local and state roadways, and stationary police vehicles prominently placed around communities to observe and cite violators of the law.

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. ALL distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far one of the most alarming distractions. Some key stats:

   >  According to the latest data from NHTSA, nationwide in 2013, 3,154 people were killed and an estimated additional 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involv­ing distracted drivers.  

   According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.

The brief video below shows just how deadly texting while driving can be.

Remember: if you’re texting, you’re not driving. Learn more here.