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By Randy Economy
Call it Southeast Los Angeles County’s version of “Carmageddon.”
Tens of thousands of daily local motorists who travel on the jammed packed Interstate 5 Freeway through the Norwalk, La Mirada, and Cerritos area will be in for the newest version of a traffic inconvenience when Caltrans conducts a series of brief, intermittent, full freeway closures beginning next week.
According to Maria Raptis, Spokesperson for Cal Trans, the early morning hours on northbound and southbound Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) between Valley View Avenue and Carmenita Road will be experiencing full closures from Tuesday, September 11 through Friday, September 14, from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Raptis said the work involves relocating utility lines across the freeway.
Southern California Edison will perform the work, with Caltrans oversight, as part of the I-5 HOV Widening and Carmenita Road Interchange Project.
California Highway Patrol will conduct traffic breaks for these full closures and each full freeway closure, around three or four per night in each direction, will last approximately 10 to 12 minutes and are scheduled to take place at hourly intervals.
The nightly schedule is as follows: Tuesday, September 11 at 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.; Wednesday, September 12 at 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.; Thursday, September 13 at 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.Northbound I-5 traffic breaks will occur just before Valley View Avenue during the closures.
“Motorists have the option to exit at Valley View Avenue and re-enter northbound I-5 at the Rosecrans Avenue on-ramp,” Raptis told Hews Media Group.
The schedule of the closed ramps for the North bound I-5 on-ramps at Alondra Boulevard will be closed at all times; Northbound I-5 on-ramp at Valley View Ave. will be closed intermittently to coincide with mainline closures.
For the South bound I-5, the traffic breaks will occur just before Carmenita Road. Motorists have the option to exit at Carmenita Road and re-enter the southbound I-5 on-ramp at the Valley View Avenue.
Closed Ramps during the project will include the southbound I-5 on-ramp at Carmenita Road that will be closed at all times.
Raptis also pointed out that the closures are weather-permitting and are subject to cancellation and that suggested detours will be posted near the affected location.
The I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects will construct one carpool and one general purpose lane in each direction, realign and upgrade adjacent frontage roads, and reconstruct bridges from the Los Angeles/Orange County line to Interstate 605.
Two projects are currently in construction: Carmenita Road Interchange, that carries a price tag of $380 million and the Alondra Boulevard Bridge is expected to be $110 million and by 2013, six corridor widening projects will be in construction simultaneously.
Information about the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects is available from the toll-free I-5 Hotline (855) 454-6335 or www.I-5info.com .
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