Work to expand the 5 Freeway in southern LA county ramps up today and that's a good thing according to the Daily News, which maybe forgot the misery commuters and Westside residents have endured during the looooong 405 widening project. Politicians and the Automobile Club also have glowing praise for the 5 project, which will add four lanes, two in each direction, on an approximately seven-mile stretch, from the 605 to the Orange County line (there will be one carpool lane in each direction). While this stretch of the 5 is currently only three lanes in each direction and often slow-moving, "There is no panacea in adding lanes," Bart Reed of the Transit Coalition points out (more capacity usually just means drivers), adding that everyone bitches about the costs and headaches of a high-speed rail line, but no one bats an eye at freeway widening--this project will cost $1.6 billion, while the 405 project cost $1 billion, is over budget by an undisclosed amount, and is still not finished. Work on the 5 widening won't end until 2018--assuming no delays--and one company has already backed out of relocating to La Mirada because of the construction hassle, but the mayor thinks the project is still worth it.
· I-5 widening project will connect L.A. to Orange County in a bigger way [Daily News]