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Have a question?  Ask Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.  Use the form below to send a question to the Supervisor.  If you prefer the phone, call (213) 974-2222.








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I-405 Closure

Plan Ahead, Avoid The Area, Or Stay Home. That’s the message public safety officials are sending to the public in anticipation of a planned 10-mile, 53-hour closure of the I-405 freeway between the U.S. 101 and I-10 on the weekend of July 16-17, 2011 for planned demolition work on the Mulholland Bridge, part of a major I-405 improvement project.

The Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Metro and Caltrans are informing the public in advance that if they do not have a critical need to be in or near the vicinity of the closure, they are being asked to avoid the area.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has produced a new I-405 closure Public Service Announcement featuring actor Erik Estrada that is available for public use.

Available in English and Spanish, the video PSA reminds the public to Plan Ahead, Avoid the Area or Stay Home during the closure weekend July 16-17, 2011.

Estrada, who played “Poncherello, a California Highway Patrol officer in the popular 1970s-1980s TV show CHiP’s, volunteered to do the PSA to Metro for free in recognition of the importance this freeway improvement project will have in adding carpool lane capacity to the I-405 between the I-10 and U.S. 101 freeways.

PSA in English:

PSA in Spanish:

The specific freeway closure boundaries are as follows:

Northbound I-405: 10-mile closure between I-10 and U.S. 101
Southbound I-405: 4-mile closure between U.S. 101 and Getty Center Drive Ramps
Motorists who must travel through the Los Angeles metropolitan area are advised to use alternate freeways within the region, including the 5, 15, 23, 55, 57, 101, 118, 126, 210, 605 and 710 freeways to bypass the impacted area. In addition, public transportation options are available such as the Metro Rail service within L.A. County and Metrolink servicing the five county Southern California region. Additional alternate route information will be made available on the project web site at www.metro.net/405.

On Friday, July 15, ramps along the 10 mile closure will begin to be shut down as early as 7 p.m., and closure of freeway lanes will begin at 10 p.m. to ensure full freeway closure by midnight. The closure will continue until 5 a.m. Monday morning, July 18. Ramps and connectors will be reopened by 6 a.m. During this closure, the Mulholland Bridge, I-405 freeway and access ramps will be closed.

Sepulveda Boulevard is intended as an alternate route for local resident access only. Sepulveda Boulevard will not have the capacity to accommodate both local and diverted freeway traffic. Those using Sepulveda Boulevard should expect extreme congestion and lengthy delays. Motorists should instead use alternate regional freeway routes to completely bypass the Sepulveda Pass.

Traffic conditions on local streets and freeways within the region of Los Angeles County and beyond are expected to be severe, with significant, multi-hour delays. Motorists who must travel during this weekend are advised to plan ahead, monitor real-time traffic conditions prior to beginning their trips, and follow alternate routes that are provided. Motorists will be informed of the closure in advance by Caltrans-operated freeway message signs with coverage extending into neighboring counties and other metropolitan regions in the state.
Construction crews for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project plan to demolish half the Mulholland Bridge in the Sepulveda Pass of Los Angeles in order to build a new, widened bridge, and a major carpool lane. The construction activity is part of a $1 billion capacity improvement project for the I-405 freeway.

To reduce the work’s effects on local traffic flow, the Mulholland Bridge demolition and reconstruction will be conducted in two phases. The southern side of the bridge will be demolished first, followed by approximately 11 months of south-side bridge reconstruction. Upon completion of the south side, the northern side of the bridge will be demolished and rebuilt in the same manner. Another extended freeway closure period will be required for the second phase of work approximately one year later.

The Mulholland Bridge, like the Sunset and Skirball Center bridges, must be removed and rebuilt to accommodate the widening of the I-405 freeway as part of the 10-mile northbound carpool lane construction project. The project will officially complete the northbound carpool lane network between Orange County and the San Fernando Valley. Additional project benefits include improved freeway safety through standardized lane and shoulder widths, greater ramp capacities at key locations, new sound and retaining walls, widened overpasses, widened and seismically updated bridges and new landscaping within the project corridor.

The $1 billion project is a joint effort between Metro and Caltrans, and is being constructed by Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. It is scheduled for completion in 2013. For latest updates visit the project web site at www.metro.net/405 or follow the project on twitter: twitter.com/I_405 and Facebook at facebook.com/405project.

 

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Calls for Safety, Economic Protections for the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Corridor

 

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas at May's Metro meeting, where the board approved a Leimert Park Village Station, but without money for its construction. At the June Metro meeting, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion for safety and economic benefits improvements on the Crenshaw/LAX line.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board motion Thursday calling for Metro to create a fund for business losses caused by construction of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line, and for the agency to devise plans for safety, local worker hiring and streetscape improvements along the route.

“The Crenshaw/LAX line project is moving fast ahead. As it is being built we must also make sure the community doesn’t pay too high a price for its long-overdue rail service,” Ridley-Thomas said.

“The rail line is meant to cut traffic and improve safety, so I want Metro to come up with solid plans to make sure that happens. The line should also be built with workers from the community, and businesses disrupted by the construction need to be compensated,” he said.

Ridley-Thomas’ motion to create a “Community Benefits Package,” introduced at Thursday’s board meeting, will be placed on the agenda of the board’s August 4th meeting.

The motion calls for Metro’s Chief Executive Officer to devise plans for:

• Safety along the street-level segment of the line on Crenshaw Boulevard between 48th Street and 59th Street.

• Traffic mitigation on the same segment to reduce congestion from the current “F” rating to at least a “C” grade.

• A Local Worker Hiring Program to assure at least 30% of workers are from the local area and 10% are disadvantaged workers, as well as a program to grant 30% of contracting to small business enterprises.

• A business mitigation fund to assist local businesses impacted by the construction.

• A sidewalk, streetscape and local business improvement plan on Crenshaw Boulevard from Vernon Avenue to Stocker Street to enhance the corridor connecting Leimert Park to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Transit Station.

In May, the Metro board rejected a Ridley-Thomas proposal to put the rail line underground in the Park Mesa Heights community, between 48th Street and 59th Street along Crenshaw Boulevard.

The board also voted then to approve a Leimert Park Village station, but did not authorize money to pay for the addition, leaving its future in question.

Ridley-Thomas said he is working to ensure the Leimert Park Village station gets built. Meanwhile, his motion seeks to maximize the benefits of the rail project to the community.

“As we continue to press for a rail station in Leimert Park Village, the cultural center of African American Los Angeles, we must also make sure construction of the project promotes the economic growth that is the foundation of that rich cultural life,” Ridley-Thomas said.

“When the Leimert Park Village station is built, it must be surrounded by a thriving community of small businesses and safe and secure communities. With proper planning, Metro can ensure the Crenshaw/LAX light rail project is a win-win for all,” he said.

Ridley-Thomas noted the Crenshaw/LAX rail project is now on track for completion in 2016. The project had earlier been designated as a bus-way with a 2029 completion date. The 8.5 mile line will run from Exposition Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard to Los Angeles International Airport.

Motion (PDF)

Press Release (PDF)

LA Weekly Article on Crenshaw/LAX Line