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Metro Approves 91 West Freeway Widening From Shoemaker to Alondra

September 21, 2023

By Brian Hews

At today’s meeting, the Metro Board approved $65 million for construction management services for two Metro/Caltrans 91 Freeway widening projects, awarding the contract to Arcadis U.S. Inc.

The construction is fully funded by Measure R sales tax and state Trade Corridor Enhancement Program funds, though both Measures R and M revenue will pay for construction management.

The 91 Freeway expansion project includes widening the westbound 91 in Artesia and Cerritos, adding one additional lane for nearly four miles between Shoemaker Avenue and the 605 Freeway exit at Alondra Boulevard.

The widening will create a three-lane exit from westbound SR-91 to I-605: a one-lane I-605 southbound connector and a two-lane I-605 northbound connector.

The construction will also change Norwalk and Pioneer Boulevard on-ramps by increasing merging distances and eliminating problematic on-ramp features.

The contract with Arcadis is for a base term of seven years plus two one-year options; after Board approval of the recommended action, staff will complete the process to award and execute the contract.

Metro estimates that adding this 4-mile long westbound lane will cost $162.4 million – about $40 million per lane-mile.

For the second project, Metro and Caltrans plan to add an eastbound lane on the 91 Freeway for just under one mile from Atlantic Avenue to Cherry Avenue in north Long Beach. 

The added lane is an “auxiliary” lane – a car lane that extends from an onramp to the next off-ramp. 

Metro and Caltrans’ eastbound 91 widening was approved in 2021 and does not take out any homes but expands the freeway into an existing tree-lined right-of-way owned by Caltrans.

Metro and Caltrans are breaking up many of its L.A. County freeway widening projects into dozens of less than one-mile-long auxiliary lane segments on the 91, 405, and 605 freeways, as that type of widening is exempt from full environmental review and environmental mitigation.