Safety work on Long Beach Freeway postponed

| 10/21/2003

Improvements to the 24-mile-long Long Beach Freeway are the latest victims of California’s continuing budget crisis.

The congested route is used by numerous trucks and has long been the object of safety concerns. Most of the $400 million of delayed improvements were related to safety, including new shoulders and concrete barriers, which would have brought the road, which carries Interstate 710, up to standards, The Los Angeles Times reported.

According to Caltrans, trucks make up 13 percent of the traffic on the highway, which carries a significant amount of traffic from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the busiest in the nation. When the road was first built nearly 50 years ago, engineers expected trucks to make up 5 percent of its traffic load.

Construction may not begin now until 2006, if money can be found, The Times said. Construction was originally scheduled to be finished in 2007.