Carpool Lane Open For 405 North Travelers

Friday, 23 May 2014, 1:24:00 PM

Mirror Staff

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

“Carmageddon.”

“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

Garcetti said.

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

Sepulveda Pass.”

According to Metro, 300,000

vehicles a day travel through the Sepulveda Pass. That number is

expected to increase to 430,000 by 2030.

Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.