The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently awarded a $7.6 million contract to Michael Baker International to study the I-605/SR-91 interchange, identify improvements and widen a particularly choked three-mile stretch of westbound SR-91 in Los Angeles. The contract was awarded in an effort to move Metro one step closer to reducing congestion; improving local mobility and safety; modernizing interchange operations; and minimizing right-of way, environmental and economic impacts.
The project spans westbound SR-91 from the vicinity of Shoemaker Avenue to the I-605/SR-91 interchange, used by 270,000 vehicles a day. It also includes improvements to the Norwalk, Pioneer and Bloomfield local interchanges within the Gateway Cities, a 200-sq mile, 15-community region, located in the southeast area of Los Angeles County, and home to approximately two million people.
The congestion in this area was identified as the result of insufficient SR-91 freeway mainline capacity, inadequate capacity of the existing two-lane connector for the westbound SR-91 to northbound and southbound I-605, and closely spaced freeway entrance and exit ramps.
In 2011, Metro selected Michael Baker to analyze congestion and improvements needed for traffic hot spots along more than 40 miles of the I-605, I-405 and SR-91 freeways in Los Angeles County. The completed $5.7 million feasibility study incorporated 19 different traffic-model scenarios and included recommendations to improve five freeway-to-freeway system interchanges, 35 local arterial street interchanges, mainline freeway general purpose lanes, HOV direct connectors and arterial improvements through numerous cities.
The project approval phase is scheduled for completion in March 2018, with construction anticipated to begin in 2021.