Freeway project still undergoing environmental review

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By Arnold Adler

Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES — Plans for upgrading and widening the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway through a number of area cities are being reviewed following protests by officials of the affected communities last year.

The upgrade plan generally extends from a point south of the Glenn Anderson (105) Freeway in Norwalk northward to the San Bernardino (10) Freeway, going through Downey, Norwalk, Whittier, Santa Fe Springs, city of Industry and Baldwin Park.

There is no timetable for construction, said Jason Jackson, of Chino-based Arellanos Associates, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“Currently, this project is in the environmental phase of study, which evaluates potential alternatives that are being considered and their impact on the surrounding community,” Jackson said.

He added the MTA has been actively working with local jurisdictions to refine alternatives and minimize the effects on local neighborhoods and businesses.

“There were plans to release the environmental document for public review a year ago,” Jackson added. “However, the [MTA] board requested the consultant team and staff review the alternatives further and work with local jurisdictions to try and minimize impacts before publicly releasing the document,” he added.

Downey Mayor Claudia Frometa said at a City Council meeting June 22 that she opposed the original plan after a resident said it would take an unreasonable amount of homes and businesses in the eastern part of the city.

However, Downey has joined with Norwalk, La Mirada, Commerce and Santa Fe Springs to hire an outreach consultant to inform affected residents of the issue.

According to the MTA website, the 605 widening project called for 16 miles of improvements, including interchanges with the 105, 5, 60 and 10 freeways. Project goals are easing congestion, improving mobility, enhancing regional connectivity and improving safety.

Among the options being considered by the MTA are: adding auxiliary lanes, adding a high-occupancy vehicle lane, adding an express lane or converting the HOV lane to an express lane.

An environmental review of the proposal is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Jackson said information may be obtained by visiting www.metro.net/i-605-CIP  There is also a hotline, (213) 922-4091.

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