Caltrans Updates Council on Freeway Construction

By Brandon HENSLEY

Drivers have no doubt seen by now the construction on the Foothill (210) Freeway, both east- and westbound. During the July 16 Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting, an engineer from Caltrans discussed the construction, which began in April and is scheduled to end in March 2018.

Project manager Reza Fetah told the audience the $148.5 million project, which will cause temporary ramp and lane closures, will come in four phases, spanning a 9.7-mile stretch from Dunsmore Avenue to Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena.

The first phase is what drivers are already seeing, as workers are reconstructing median shoulders and guardrails. That will last through the end of this year. The second and third phases will be to resurface or reconstruct freeway lanes, causing closures of on/off ramps.

Fateh said no two consecutive ramps would be closed at the same time, so drivers would not be inconvenienced.

Fateh said while 2018 is the target date to finish, the job may be completed a year earlier if the work goes smoothly because of a ramp-closure incentive in the contract of the company doing the work, Flatiron West, Inc.

“The contractor is allowed a certain number of days for every ramp,” Fateh said. “If they speed up the work and finish those ramps ahead of schedule, they get rewarded. If they go over the schedule they get punished.”

The federal government is footing 88.5% of the bill, Fateh added.

Design on the project began in July 2013 and was finished in 2014. Fateh said it was hoped that work would begin sooner, but there were complications with contracting bids. The contract also calls for freeway signs and sign structures to be updated.

In other news, Council addressed the growing displeasure between the community and the Glendale Unified School District. Residents can now take an online survey the town council posted on its website called “Be Heard CV – Is our school district really listening to the parents and residents in the Foothill communities?” The survey contains six questions, plus a comments section, all related to satisfaction with GUSD.

To take the survey, visit and click on “Be Heard CV.”

In the July 9 issue of CV Weekly, council president Robbyn Battles wrote in her column the possibility of either merging with a smaller school district or creating a separate Crescenta Valley School District.

Battles claims the GUSD doesn’t have La Crescenta’s best interests at heart. She said Crescenta Valley High School students fundraise to pay to have graduation on their own field, while the other Glendale schools do not have to. Clark Magnet High School receives donations for its robotics program while CV must fundraise.

“Because we’re fortunate enough to have the ability to fundraise more than other areas in the district, the district should not treat us different, and they do.” Battles said earlier this week. “It’s our opinion that they say, ‘If we don’t give them the money, they’ll figure it out.”

Battles said a huge reason for her opinion has to do with the Sagebrush territory; officials from Glendale and La Cañada have been negotiating swapping ownership of the land, which would affect Mountain Avenue Elementary, which is currently in the GUSD.

“We were told that only LCUSD and GUSD would be at the negotiating table,” Battles wrote in her column. “However, La Cañada city officials agreed several weeks ago to chip in $5,000 for a Sacramento-based consultant to reinvigorate talks between La Cañada and Glendale school officials over a possible Sagebrush transfer — in exchange for a seat at the bargaining table. Why is GUSD always willing to let our community be at a disadvantage when it comes to this negotiation? Our community is not represented even though we will be the ones most affected if the transfer goes through.”

Another agenda item was about a blood drive being held on Wednesday, July 29 at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff Station (4554 N. Briggs Ave., La Crescenta) from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All donors will receive a gift card for Baskin Robbins. This event is in partnership with the Huntington Hospital Blood Donor Center.

Finally, the Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club is partnering with the Los Angeles Dept. of Children services for its annual Kases for Kids collection on Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ralph’s parking lot in La Crescenta, located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Raymond Avenue. The collection can include suitcases, backpacks and school supplies for kids going into foster care.

The next Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library Community Room, 2809 Foothill Blvd.