By Anna Chen, December 9, 2014
SANTA CLARITA — Hundreds of thousands of motorists will now enjoy reduced congestion and enhanced safety on a segment of Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita thanks to the completion of a $67 million project by Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) that has extended the southbound I-5 truck lane and added mixed-flow lanes in both directions in this heavily traveled corridor.
“I-5 is the backbone of California’s freeway system and is vital to our economy,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Carrie Bowen. “The widening of I-5 and the extension of the southbound truck lane represent an important investment in our transportation infrastructure that will provide improved mobility, faster travel times for commuters, and more efficient goods movement for years to come.”
“The completion of this phase of the I-5 truck lane is part of a long-term plan to improve the movement of goods through the corridor,” said Metro’s Executive Director of Engineering and Construction Bryan Pennington. “More improvements are coming as phase two begins in a couple of years, with phase three on the horizon.”
The project, which began construction in May 2012, has added a fifth mixed-flow lane to northbound I-5 between State Route 14 and the Gavin Canyon undercrossing, a distance of 1.4 miles. The 3.7 miles of southbound I-5 improvements include a fifth mixed-flow lane between Pico Canyon Road/Lyons Avenue and a half-mile south of Gavin Canyon, and a new segment of truck lane that begins north of Weldon Canyon and merges with the existing truck lane north of the SR-14 connector. New median and outside retaining walls were also built to accommodate the widening.
More than 216,000 vehicles use this segment of I-5 every day, including 19,000 trucks, many of them traveling to or from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The new truck lane segment separates slower moving trucks from faster passenger vehicles on the steep grade in the area, reducing congestion and enhancing safety in all lanes.
The I-5 truck lane and freeway widening project was funded by Measure R ($1 million) and the State Highway Operation and Protection Program ($66 million, including $59 million in federal funding). The project contractor is Flatiron West of San Marcos, Calif.