Cities form new consortium for 605 Freeway project

By Arnold Adler

Contributing Writer

NORWALK — A group of cities that oversaw work on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway will combine to inform area residents of improvements planned on the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway.

The group, known as the I-5 Freeway Consortium, will sponsor the hiring of a consultant to outreach affected residents on a similar project along the 605, said Glen W. C. Kau, director of public services, and Management Analyst Pamela Torres in a report to the Norwalk City Council June 15.

The council approved a cost-sharing and reimbursement agreement with the cities of Commerce, Downey, La Mirada and Santa Fe Springs.

A spokesperson at the California Department of Transportation told a reporter that a project to widen the freeway and add high occupancy lanes is being developed by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Santa Fe Springs will be the lead city for the 605 project, charged with hiring an outreach firm at an estimated cost of $35,000. Each city will pay a portion of the costs, based on population. Norwalk’s share will be 20%, Kau and Torres said in their report.

“Any amendment of $5,000 or more that increases the cost of the consultant contract to exceed $35,000 requires advance written approvals from all parties,” the report said.

The report said the consortium action is in addition to outreach by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which  has planned improvements for the 605 Freeway.

Consortium cities have found it necessary to augment the outreach efforts for the project by providing information specific to residents of their individual cities.

A public outreach team will develop and execute a public awareness campaign that will serve as the roadmap for stakeholder information in support of the freeway project.

The campaign will share project information, identify significant community issues the MTA needs to address or include in the environmental impact report and provide information to impacted communities, the Norwalk report said.

For details on the 605 project, including a time table and specific locations, interested persons may visit