Commuters in the Sepulveda Pass got
a nice present on May 23 when a long-awaited 10-mile carpool lane
opened on the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway.
The carpool lane between the Santa
Monica (10) and Ventura (101) freeways is the cornerstone of the $1
billion-plus Sepulveda Pass improvement project, which began in 2009 and
has been highlighted by a pair of full freeway closures dubbed
“People in this part of town have
put up with a lot, and it’s finally time for the public to begin
experiencing one of the major benefits of this project,” county
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said.
Officials with Metro, which is
overseeing the construction project, said the lane closes the last
remaining gap in the 405 Freeway carpool network.
The carpool lane – about 70 miles
long from north Los Angeles to the Irvine area in south central Orange
County, is considered by officials the longest uninterrupted stretch of
carpool lane in the nation.
With the lane’s opening, carpooling commuters will be able to stay in the lane from Orange County through the Sepulveda Pass.
“The 405 project is absolutely
critical to our quality of life and economy, but it can’t end soon
enough, which is why I’m thrilled that our work to solve delay-causing
problems means the project is getting done months early,” Mayor Eric
The opening of the lane does not
mark the end of the Sepulveda Pass project, which has also included the
reconstruction of bridges over the 405 Freeway, the addition of
soundwalls and redesign of the often-congested interchange at Wilshire
Boulevard. But the carpool lane is the biggest accomplishment and
primary goal of the project.
“It is terrific to finally see this
project come together,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks. “Valley
residents are long overdue for traffic improvements, and the new
northbound lane will relieve some of the busiest traffic through the
According to Metro, 300,000
vehicles a day travel through the Sepulveda Pass. That number is
expected to increase to 430,000 by 2030.
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