Panel approves reworking of LA interstate; truck-only lanes part of plan

| Wednesday, February 09, 2005

An 18-mile portion of Interstate 710 in the Los Angeles area – the Long Beach Freeway – will be rebuilt, and the new road will include truck-only lanes.

The decision was made by the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in late January, according to a news release from the agency.

The proposal calls for widening the half-century-old highway – now ranging from six to 10 lanes – to 14 lanes wide.

The area covered runs from the massive Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the Pomona Freeway.

In addition, a four-lane truck-only road would be included. That part of the project would include two lanes in each direction running between the intermodal rail yards in Vernon/Commerce and Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach.

Part of the truck lanes could be elevated, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“All of Southern California’s freeways are riddled with congestion, but the huge daily volume of commercial truck traffic and vehicle traffic on the 710, and the freeway’s role as a driver of the local, state and national economies, demand we design a fix,” Frank Roberts – mayor of Lancaster, CA, and chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in a prepared statement.

The expansion will be extremely expensive – $5.5 billion. According to the Transportation Authority, the environmental impact study alone will cost $30 million.

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