LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The completion date of the massive project to widen the 405 Freeway has now been extended into 2014, according to the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, originally slated for completion in the spring of 2013, will now be finished in June of next year, the report claims.
“It’s a nightmare. It’s kinda like you being stuck in the DMV line,” a frustrated motorist told KNX 1070’s Jon Baird.
Even local billionaire and entrepreneur Elon Musk is aggravated with the freeway’s delays.
Musk reportedly has written a check of his own money to a group called Angelenos Against Gridlock, headed by David Murphy, towards solving the issue.
“People have been so angry for so long and they don’t know what to do about it,” Musk said. “So I’ve decided to fund David (Murphy), and maybe do some other things, to help the situation and see if we can improve gridlock in LA.”
Kiewit, the project’s primary contractor, has said the project could stretch into September of 2014, but city officials claim the project is on track for the new end date.
Metro blames construction delays and unexpected costs which have tacked on at least an extra $80 million to the original $1 billion budget.
“Wow, how much more money are they going to take from us?” one driver said.
Despite the additional costs that will ultimately be picked up by taxpayers, Metro says they are still saving citizens money.
“If we had gone the traditional freeway construction route, it would take up to seven years longer in costs. We saved the taxpayers probably hundred of millions of dollars by accelerating the project,” Mark Littman of Metro said.
The project aims to widen the 405 Freeway, rebuild on and off-ramps, add a carpool lane and ease the congestion-prone roadway that carries about 300,000 vehicles a day.
Despite news of the delay, Metro announced new completion dates for several smaller projects.
-Work at the bottleneck at I-10 and I-405 freeway: early summer 2013
-Skirball and Mulholland bridges: end of 2013
– On and off ramps for Wilshire: end of 2013
For more information, visit Metro’s Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project website.