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Caltrans Tinkers with 110 Freeway as Preservationists Worry

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Postcard via Eastsider LA
The Associated Press looks at the battle between Caltrans and preservationists over the work along the Pasadena Freeway aka the looping 110 Freeway, reporting the agency's plans for concrete barriers and new lights along the freeway--a route with one of the highest incidents of accidents in the LA area, according to a 2005 study--has upset preservationists. "Caltrans said the upgrades were crucial to prevent out-of-control vehicles from plunging into the Arroyo Seco, a watercourse that carries storm runoff from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Los Angeles River.

Balancing the need to retain the freeway's historic features while trying to bring it up to modern highway standards has been one of the department's biggest challenges.

A drive on the freeway can be frightening or suggest Grand Prix racing. Lanes are narrow, there are no shoulders, and many entrances and exits are sharp right turns with little time for merging or braking. There are only occasional short turnouts for changing a tire or waiting for a tow."

If the AP fails to point out the terrifying process of how drivers have to accelerate from a stop sign to get on the freeway, there's some interesting historical facts in the story. Eastsider LA, which has long been covering the story, reports on the efforts of the Highland Park Heritage Trust to try and stop construction amid worries that historical details of the freeway aren't being considered.
· Preservationists: Don't change West's 1st freeway [SF Gate]
· Is Caltrans running over the history of LA's oldest freeway? [Eastsider LA]