By Brandon HENSLEY
The Foothill (210) Freeway rehabilitation project will be finished by the end of the calendar year, said Caltrans project manager Reza Fateh during the Aug. 17 Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting.
Fateh was present with several other members of Caltrans, though he did most of the talking. The project, which cost upwards of $140 million and will have a 40-year lifespan, is almost complete though it has been delayed several times since it was started in 2015. It was supposed to be done sometime this summer.
“We are almost at the tail end,” Fateh said of the project, which spans from Dunsmore Avenue to Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena. He also said that the only closures that remain will be during the night.
Lanes three and four in both directions are complete, as are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) ramps and all westbound overhead signs.
What seems to be the component holding most of the project back is freeway slabs that need to be installed. Fetah said his team initially thought they would have to replace several hundred slabs but upon further review Caltrans needs to replace 1,200 to 1,300 slabs. That will take two to three months to complete.
“We don’t want to expose you to another round of construction in two years to try and fix [those slabs],” he said. “While we’re there we’re going to fix everything.”
He continued: “It’s a safety improvement and I think in the long run it’s a better way to handle it. If we were to delay it, in two or three years it would cost a lot more, it would cause a lot of headache. It’s just not a good way of handling the project.”
CHP said there were 94 accidents on the freeway during the first six months of the year (no fatalities). Some in the audience, and councilmember Mike Claessens, were upset at this information, but Fateh said it’s important to keep perspective, taking into account drivers going above the 55-mph speed limit in these areas, and the number of drivers the freeways see on a daily basis.
Among other needs to be addressed are gaps in median barriers and striping on the highways, which will soon be turned into permanent thermoplastic. There is tunnel lighting that will take another month to install. Fateh also noted that the roadway westbound from Dunsmore Avenue needs to be put in a permanent position.
Fateh cited rain among the reasons for delays over the past three years.
Councilmember Sophal Ear said he consistently encounters consecutive ramp closures, for instance ramps at Pennsylvania Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard. Fateh said it is policy not to have consecutive ramps closed, and that he would look into it.
For those wanting to know about closures and traffic surrounding the project, there is a Caltrans app for smartphones called QuickMap that can be downloaded. For more information, visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov.
Henry Ling of the LA County Parks and Recreation gave a brief presentation on new construction that will occur at Two Strike Park. Upgrades will include a resurfaced tetherball court, new accessible parking along Rosemont Avenue, new accessible ramps near the parking and there will be a new path made that will go along the outfield of the baseball field and run through into the basketball courts. That path, which starts near the Verdugo Wash bridge, will be concrete and have tapered walls at the edges of each of the landings.
Ling said construction will begin in early 2019 and be completed in the spring of that year.
Assemblymember Laura Friedman and others will hold a panel discussion called “Shifting Gears: How Autonomous Vehicles Will Change the World” on Sept. 21 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Brand Library & Art Center Recital Hall, 161 W. Mountain St., Glendale. The discussion will “explore the impacts of self-driving cars will have on our world and how people, communities, and governments can be sure we are ready for them,” the flyer said. Those interested can RSVP by calling (818) 558-3043.
The next CVTC meeting will be held Sept. 20 at the La Crescenta Library community room, 2809 Foothill Blvd., at 7 p.m.