Grant funds will be used to enhance regional mobility and reduce congestion
In an attempt to relieve traffic congestion on Interstate 5 in the Santa Clarita Valley, a grant of $47 million was awarded to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). On Tuesday, June 5, United States Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that she has approved the grant funds for freeway improvements.
The funds were awarded to Metro for a federal grant application submitted for the Interstate 5 Golden State Chokepoint Relief Program. The funds are being awarded from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program to address freight and goods movement issues along corridors of national significance.
“This project award recognizes the important role that Interstate 5 plays in local, regional and national goods movement,” said Mayor Laurene Weste. “These improvements will address freeway congestion, improve traffic safety, boost economic vitality and enhance air quality in Santa Clarita.”
The proposed project will extend High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes an additional 13.4 miles, with one new lane in each direction on Interstate 5 between Parker Road and the junction of Interstate 5 and State Route 14 (SR-14) in the Santa Clarita Valley. The project also calls for a 3.4 mile northbound truck lane between SR-14 and Calgrove Boulevard and a 4.7 mile southbound truck lane between Pico Canyon and SR-14. Further, the project includes 8,000 feet of soundwalls and modifications to impact on and off ramps.
Interstate 5 is the backbone of the west coast trade corridor, stretching nearly 800 miles between Canada and Mexico. Santa Clarita is ideally located for manufacturing and other businesses to set up shop, given access to Interstate 5 and close proximity to the major Southern California ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Port Hueneme.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority formed a regional collaboration with the County of Los Angeles and the State of California in submitting the grant application. The City of Santa Clarita, Golden State Gateway Coalition, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation, Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Five Point Communities are among the partnership organizations that actively supported the effort.
“The City Council and I especially want to thank Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Congressman Steve Knight, who were critical to the success of the grant award through their leadership and direct communication with Secretary Chao and others in the nation’s capital,” noted Mayor Weste.
The project is one of two INFRA grants awarded within the State of California. It is anticipated that the project will begin construction in 2019 with a completion date in 2022. The new Metro construction project will follow completion of the Caltrans pavement rehabilitation project currently underway, which is slated for completion in 2019.