LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Metro Friday opened an extra lane on the 405 Freeway through West Los Angeles in a major milestone for the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.
“The opening comes in time to help drivers more easily navigate this section of the I-405 prior to the Memorial Day travel weekend,” Metro officials said.
The 1.7 miles of a general purpose lane on the northbound I-405 between the I-10 and Santa Monica Boulevard opened at 5 a.m. It’s the first widening lane to open since the project began three years ago.
“Motorists will have to taper off back onto the regular lanes of traffic, but from the 10 to Santa Monica Boulevard, that extra lane will create the capacity for 1,500 to 2,000 vehicles per hour to get through this area,” Metro spokesman Dave Sotero told KNX1070.
The 1.7 mile section will be converted later into a HOV lane as part of the project’s greater goal of adding 10 miles of carpool lanes.
“When we’re done with this project, we’ll have . . . HOV lanes that did not exist through the Westside, it’s the last piece of the HOV lane network that doesn’t exists, and that will have benefits will for traffic,” Sotero said.
Another 1.4 miles of the same lane is expected to be opened through Wilshire Boulevard at the end of June.
Aside from adding HOV lanes, the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project aims to widen the 405 Freeway, rebuild on and off-ramps and ease the congestion-prone roadway that carries about 300,000 vehicles a day.
Completion of the $1 billion project is not expected until June 2014.