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Imperial Hwy Project Construction Team uses genuine onsite dirt for its event. On left, Keith Kabealo, Francisco Martinez, Mashhur Ali, Jerome Arabe, Mike Miles, Issam Abumuhor, Mark Archuleta, Elizabeth Ware, George Saker, Samson Teshome, Hani Jamaladine (Security Paving Co.) and Jason Mattivi, (Security Paving Co.)

Caltrans Breaks Ground on Another I-5 Widening Project
by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 07/2013

The two-mile Imperial Highway/Pioneer Blvd. segment begins in Norwalk. Its design will completely change the current freeway infrastructure within these limits.

Caltrans District 7 and many of its transportation partners held a groundbreaking event on May 22 in Norwalk to announce the start of the fourth consecutive Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5) HOV Widening and Improvement Project to begin construction.

The project is the "Imperial Highway and Pioneer Boulevard" segment that extends nearly two miles along I-5 from Silverbow Avenue to Orr and Day Road. Caltrans designed the project while working closely with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the I-5 Consortium Cities Joint Powers Authority and the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.

Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles offered the keynote address and KNX-1070 News Radio's Traffic Reporter Tommy Jaxson served as the master of ceremonies for an audience of state and local officials and business leaders in attendance.

“Caltrans is making a solid investment in this region’s transportation system that will reduce traffic congestion on this corridor and provide jobs,” said Miles.

The work will bring traffic congestion relief to more than 220,000 motorists who travel this route daily. The $302 million project, primarily funded ($168 million) by Proposition 1B, will widen the freeway to add one carpool lane and one general purpose lane in each direction and reconstruct three bridges at San Antonio Drive, Imperial Highway and Pioneer Blvd. A fourth new structure is an elevated southbound I-5 off-ramp at Imperial Highway. Residents, motorists, commuters and truckers traveling through Orange County and Los Angeles will see federal, state and local funds at work on roadway improvements now and throughout 2016. The project is part of a $1.6 billion package of six projects that will add nearly 14 miles of carpool lanes on I-5 from the Los Angeles County/Orange County line to Interstate 605.

Federal Highway Administration Team Leader, State Programs-South, Chris Newman; Metro Board Director Diane DuBois and Metro Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy spoke at the event. Legislative staff for Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez, District 38; Senator Ron Calderon, District 30; and Assemblymember Ian Calderon, District 57 also attended. Speaking on behalf of the local communities were Luigi Vernola, Mayor, City of Norwalk; Michael Mendez, Chair, I-5 Consortium Cities Joint Powers Authority and Councilmember, City of Norwalk; and Gene Daniels, President, Gateway Cities Council of Governments.

Lt. Jeff Loftin, California Highway Patrol, Santa Fe Springs Area Command, stressed the CHP’s presence during the extensive construction and urged motorists to drive safely in the cone zone.

“Investments in transportation are more than just an investment in transportation,” said Miles. “It’s an investment in the economy and in the future of our local communities.”

The three other I-5 South Corridor segments currently in construction include the Carmenita Road Interchange Project; the Alondra Boulevard Bridge Project; and the Rosecrans, Bloomfield and Shoemaker Bridges Project. The final two segments to begin construction are the Florence Avenue Interchange Project in Downey and Santa Fe Springs (fall 2013) and the Valley View Avenue Interchange in La Mirada (early 2014).

“As we strive to meet the needs of a growing population, Caltrans will continue to work with its local partners to plan, build and maintain a transportation system that will serve the motoring public well into the future,” said Miles.

“Upon completion of all six segments, motorists will benefit with more freeway capacity, decreased congestion and travel times and better access to regional and commuter transit lines and carpool lanes,” said Leahy.

Security Paving Co, Inc. of Sun Valley, CA was awarded the construction contract. Construction is expected to complete by late 2016.

Tommy Jaxson, KNX-1070 News Radio morning Traffic Reporter graciously served as the event's master of ceremonies. Luis Gonzalez (right)District Represenative for Sen. Ron Calderon, presents a Senatorial Commemoration on the groundbreaking event to Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles and Metro Board 1st Vice Chair Diane DuBois.  Tommy and Speakers The contractor, Security Paving, got a jump on clearing and grubbing. This area is the site of the southbound I-5 soundwall at Imperial Hwy and shows the new width of the freeway.