Smooth Ride: Status Report: I-5 Repaving Sets Stage for HOV Lanes

I-5 Pavement Rehabilitation 

The Caltrans District 7 project is heading toward completion, anticipated for this October. At press time, required grinding of new roadway slab sections and punch list items remain.

This project covers a distance of 15.8 miles in northern Los Angeles County in and near the city of Santa Clarita, from 0.5 miles south of the Interstate 5 / State Route 14 separation to 1.7 miles north of the I-5 Lake Hughes Road undercrossing.

This portion of I-5 has pavement that is more than 50 years old and is no longer adequate for the existing and future traffic loads. The project will extend the service life of the roadway and upgrade parts of the highway that are failing, worn out or functionally obsolete.

Once completed, the new surface will provide a smoother, safer drive for motorists and will reduce time required for future maintenance, which will minimize future lane closures and delays for drivers.

I-5 Capacity Enhancement Project Design 

Sometimes referred to as the “Interstate 5 Carpool Lanes/Chokepoint Relief” Project, it has been environmentally cleared, and final design was completed in June of this year. We are told that a bid package will be readied by the end of 2019 and a construction start is estimated for summer 2020.

Construction cost estimates are now as high as $679 million. Funding for the roadway improvements is in place from combined federal, state and county sources. Metro has agreed to manage construction of the project, estimated to take four years to complete.

On the northbound side of I-5, two enhancements are being developed. First, existing I-5 HOV lanes, which run from the San Fernando Valley to the south, will be extended north from their current termination at SR-14 to just south of Parker Road, providing continuous HOV carpool lanes on I-5 through the Santa Clarita Valley. Second, auxiliary lanes will be completed between Calgrove Boulevard and Pico-Lyons, and between Valencia Boulevard and Magic Mountain Parkway. Two enhancements are also being developed for the southbound I-5. These include: an additional truck lane added from Pico Canyon Road-Lyons Avenue to SR-14, HOV lanes will be extended south from Parker Road to SR-14, auxiliary lanes added from SR-126 to Rye Canyon, Rye Canyon to Magic Mountain Parkway, and Valencia Boulevard to McBean Parkway. Sound walls will be strategically located for the benefit of residents living near the freeway. 

The new lanes will add capacity to the I-5 freeway through Santa Clarita, which is now the third largest city in Los Angeles County and is expected to increase in population by more than 25,000 people by 2035 as per the City of Santa Clarita’s “One Valley One Vision” plan. The new lanes are expected to provide a much faster and smoother driving experience in the area for locals, commuters and other motorists.

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