Caltrans began its third phase of the five-year Interstate 5 Corridor Improvement Project on Wednesday, a six-phase expansion to reduce congestion between Los Angeles and Orange counties.
This third phase of the $1.6 billion expansion project will add one regular lane and one carpool lane in each direction between Shoemaker and Silverbow avenues in Norwalk.
The Rosecrans, Shoemaker and Bloomfield Avenue bridges will be demolished and reconstructed to accommodate the wider freeway.
The Shoemaker Avenue ramp will be demolished Feb. 19, and one direction of I-5 will be closed each weeknight for six weeks. Officials said detours will be provided.
"By the year 2035, according to Metro and Caltrans, the I-5 project will save nearly 12 million vehicle hours, which translates to more than $60 million in gained productivity, because commuters and goods are not stuck in traffic," said Diane Dubois, Metro first vice chair.
The project will widen 16 miles of the Santa Ana Freeway between Interstate 710 and Route 91 to provide a minimum of 10 lanes, with one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane and four mixed flow lanes in each direction.
This phase of expansion will cost $214 million to complete and is funded by federal, state and local dollars, including $147 million from a 2006 transportation bond, $24 million from the state and $42 million from Metro Propositions C and R.
The project, which began in 2011, will help eliminate the northbound congestion between Orange and LA counties, reduce travel time delays and improve access to regional transit and HOV facilities, according to Caltrans.
The expansion is projected to be completed by 2016.