Friday, January 19, 2018

I-5 Rosecrans Ave. / Bloomfield Ave. Interchange is Complete!


NORWALK / SANTA FE SPRINGS — The new year marked a significant milestone in local transportation for the city of Norwalk in Southern California. On Wednesday, January 10, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) celebrated the completion of the I-5 (Santa Ana Freeway) Rosecrans Avenue / Bloomfield Interchange Project, which included opening through-access on Bloomfield Avenue under I-5 for the first time in more than 60 years.
 
Working in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), reconstruction of this interchange is a key part of the $1.9 billion I-5 South Corridor joint project to widen I-5 between I-605 (San Gabriel River Freeway) and the Orange County line. This stretch of interstate traverses, intersects, and impacts the five communities of Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, Downey, Cerritos and La Mirada.
 
“I-5 is the backbone of our interstate system in California and it carries the goods and services that support our economy,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Expanding I-5 and adding HOV lanes in a densely populated area like Southern California allows us to improve mobility and air quality. This project also reflects our commitment to reconnect community routes when rebuilding our freeway interchanges,” he added.
 
Caltrans has worked closely with all five of the local community governments along this corridor to minimize construction impact and maximize efficient integration of our interchanges with local roadways and traffic. This is the third of six segments along the I-5 South Corridor widening project to reach completion. Funded by federal, state and local sources, this $180 million segment reconnects two sections of Norwalk east and west of I-5 and Santa Fe Springs by re-establishing through access on Bloomfield Ave. under I-5. In 1954, the construction of I-5 through this neighborhood blocked local traffic on Bloomfield Ave. at the interstate. By elevating lanes of I-5 in the new interchange, local traffic on Bloomfield Ave. can now cross under I-5 in both directions, creating a significant local alternate route that will alleviate congestion on parallel city streets.
 
Working together, Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration have made it a priority to reconnect local communities in this manner whenever possible as we rebuild our freeway interchanges. Bloomfield Avenue under I-5 was reconstructed with two lanes in each direction, a median, traffic signals and colorful tile work on the walls of the undercrossing. Rosecrans Avenue was rebuilt and reconfigured to accommodate easier and safer access at the wider on and off ramps connecting Rosecrans Avenue to I-5, with matching tile work along the undercrossing walls. Drivers can access on and off ramps to northbound and southbound I-5 from either direction of Rosecrans Avenue with traffic signals. They can also exit from either northbound or southbound I-5 to either direction of Rosecrans Avenue.   

"Our transportation network doesn’t just move Angelenos from place to place — it powers our economy forward, connects our communities and gives our region a shared sense of identity,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Metro’s Board Chair.  “This project is a crucial upgrade for our highway infrastructure that will ease congestion and enhance safety for everyone who depends on this busy corridor.”

The project widens one mile of I-5 from Shoemaker Avenue to Silverbow Avenue and adds one High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV or car pool lane) and one general purpose lane in each direction. The Shoemaker, Rosecrans, and Bloomfield Avenues bridges at I-5 were reconstructed to accommodate the widened freeway and a new pedestrian overcrossing was built at Silverbow Avenue. Completion of this interchange from groundbreaking to the ribbon cutting ceremony took almost five years.

The project also includes wider freeway shoulders, concrete median barriers, improved ramp designs, realignment to Firestone Boulevard, and interchange modifications at the Rosecrans and Bloomfield Avenue undercrossings.

 
Another special feature of this project is the construction of an underground Austin Vault, which removes pollutants from drainage water. Benefits of the reconstructed interchange and bridges include:

 
  • Improving the overall traffic circulation along the I-5 South Corridor
  • Reduced emissions through use of HOV lanes
  • Improving traffic flow on nearby frontage roads
  • Enhancing safety
  • Accommodating future traffic demands and increasing capacity
  • Revitalizing our I-5 community
 
The lead contractor on this project was Flat Iron Corporation and the project was completed on time and on budget. Over the next five years, Caltrans is investing $1.9 billion dollars to improve southern segments along the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) between the Orange County line and the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605). For more information, visit http://my5la.com/i-5-south/.

 
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