By Megan Mann/SCVNEWS.comSanta Clarita and state officials joined members of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to break ground on a $72 million Interstate 5 truck lane project Thursday morning.
The project will add a truck lane in both directions of the I-5 corridor to help reduce traffic congestion and enhance safety on a stretch of roadway that is traveled by nearly 200,000 vehicles and 19,000 trucks daily. The southbound truck lane will extend 3.7 miles from Pico Canyon/Lyons Avenue to State Route 14. The northbound truck lane will extend 1.4 miles from SR-14 to Gavin Canyon.
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“I-5 is the backbone of California's freeway system and it vital to our ecomony,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles.
Caltrans and Metro officials, members of the Santa Clarita and Glendale City Councils and elected state representatives put on hard hats and dug shovels into a mound of dirt at the Caltrans North Region Survey Field Office in Stevenson Ranch Thursday morning to signify the start of the project.
The State Highway Operation and Protection Program invested $70 million in the project. An additional $2 million is being provided by Measure R, a 2008 voter approved tax hike.
Construction is estimated to be complete in early 2014.