May 31, 2009
I-5 Carpool Improvements
A Seamless Connection
Interchange Improvement Will Enable Drivers to Transfer from Route 14 to I-5 without Leaving the Carpool Lane
If you’re a commuter who uses State Route 14, and you’ve lamented that the new Interstate 5 carpool lanes between SR 118 and SR 14 end just a little too soon, help is on the way.
The California Department of Transportation has begun construction on an interchange improvement project that will bring high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes into the Newhall Pass.
“This project is helping to provide a seamless transportation system — and will allow carpoolers a freeway-to-freeway transfer without leaving the carpool lane,” said Jeanne Bonfilio, Public Information Officer for Caltrans.
The $156 million project is part of Caltrans’ effort to provide motorists with a seamless carpool lane network in California.
Once completed, the I-5/SR14 interchange improvement would complement the proposed I-5 Gateway improvements that would be made in the Santa Clarita Valley, with truck climbing lanes and HOV lanes between Calgrove Boulevard and Castaic.
“The north Los Angeles County area is seeing more and more improvements to the California freeway system — especially with the recent completion of the first carpool lane on I-5 in Los Angeles County from SR-118 to SR-14,” Bonfilio said.
The interchange improvement project involves construction of an elevated two-lane direct HOV connector at the I-5 and State Route 14 interchange, and construction of HOV lanes in both the north and south direction of the I-5 at the interchange.
The direct HOV connector will allow motorists a freeway-to-freeway transfer without exiting the carpool lane.
Preliminary work on the interchange improvement began in July, and work is estimated to be complete in the fall of 2012.
The new lanes are all part of Caltrans’ plans not only to improve the region’s freeway system, but also to encourage carpooling.
According to a Caltrans summary of the project, “Construction of this direct HOV connector and HOV lanes will relieve congestion, improve traffic flow, enhance safety and improve traffic operations of both freeways at the I-5/14 Interchange.”
Bonfilio said motorists have responded favorably to Caltrans’ efforts to add HOV lanes to the freeway system.
“Los Angeles has more carpool lanes than any county in California — and California has more carpool lanes than any state in the nation,” Bonfilio said. “Caltrans has received so much positive feedback from these improvements.”