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Double-Deck The 405? MTA To Hear From Public On Sepulveda Pass

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — When it comes to relieving traffic along one of the nation’s busiest stretches of freeway, the Metropolitan Transit Authority appears ready to consider all possibilities.

The MTA will hold a public meeting on Tuesday to hear input on ideas to ease congestion in the Sepulveda Pass, with options including adding a second deck to the 405 Freeway and building a tunnel through the Santa Monica Mountains.

While the proposals may sound far-fetched, Kymberleigh Richards with the Metro San Fernando Valley Service Council told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO there may be a precedent for “double-decking” – along with a whole host of concerns.

“Double-decking is conceivable, it was done with the 110 (Freeway) Harbor transit way 20 years ago, but at the same time, you worry about what happened in the Loma Prieta earthquake when you talk about double-decking,” Richards said.

The magnitude-6.9 Loma Preita quake in 1989 left 63 people dead and buckled several double-deck freeway sections in the Bay Area.

As for tunneling through the Santa Monica Mountains, Richards remained skeptical that residents would be eager to accept such a proposal.

“We’ve run into that problem when we were building the Red Line subway, people in the Hollywood Hills complained because we had the segment between Hollywood and Universal City,” he said. “Fears turned out to be unfounded, but people get concerned about what’s going on beneath their homes.”

Other options – with price tags ranging from $160 million to $30 billion – also include adding a dedicated bus lane, which could fuel criticism over improvement projects currently underway to widen the 405 Freeway.

Six proposals in all will be presented at the council’s first meeting of 2013, but without the help of private investors, none of the projects are expected to have financing until 2039.

The public is also encouraged to share their ideas, Richards said, no matter how outlandish they may sound.

“Everything is on the table when you’re in the alternative analysis process,” Richards said.

The meeting will be held at the Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center at 6:30 p.m. in Van Nuys.

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