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$500M Santa Clarita I-5 Widening Project Reaches Major Milestone

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Photo by delara-photos via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by delara-photos via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
For the thousands of daily commuters stuck in morning traffic jams on the I-5 near Magic Mountain, a proposed solution to add two truck lanes and a HOV lane to north and southbound routes at the HWY 14 interchange would offer much-needed relief. The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reports the three-phase $500M project that would begin in the fall of 2011 has been environmentally reviewed and funding sources for the first $130 million phase have been identified.Where's the money coming from? $56 million from voter-approved taxes (the half-cent sales tax from Measure R) and $74 million from the Caltrans State Highway Operational Protection Program funds.

Citing recent traffic jams involving big rigs, Victor Lindenheim, executive director of the Golden State Gateway Coalition believes the widening of I-5 is about adding much-needed capacity to an area known for long, painful commutes. "When capacity is needed, in certain situations, it will be a godsend."

The project will take nearly three years to complete and still has many milestones to reach including final state approval and selection of a contractor by Caltrans. No official details of potential traffic delays during construction have been outlined, but we suspect commuters may be in for detour delays before they benefit from the relief.

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Would the widening of I-5 at the 14 HWY interchange make your life easier?