The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, May 2, about its plans to improve motorist and worker safety along the entire length of the SR-110 Arroyo Seco Parkway route from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles.
With the SR-110 Safety Enhancement Project, Caltrans proposes to install metal beam guardrails and concrete barriers, add maintenance vehicle pullouts, remove several thousand feet of curb and gutters, and apply graffiti-resistant coating at various locations along the freeway.
The project is designed to provide features to meet current design standards and reduce repetitive maintenance activities on the freeway, says Caltrans.
Caltrans said in planning documents all the proposed work will be within state right-of-way. The project is not contiguous with the City of Pasadena, the agency said.
The public hearing will be conducted between 6 and 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Ramona Hall Community Center, located at 4580 N. Figueroa Street in Los Angeles.
First opened in 1940, the Parkway, formerly known as the Pasadena Freeway and now officially known as State Route (SR) 110, is also notable for representing the transition between early parkways and modern freeways. At the time it was built, it was in conformity with modern standards, but today, it is regarded as a narrow outdated roadway.
The 8.2-mile Arroyo Seco Parkway was the first divided-lane, high-speed, limited-access road in the urban western United States and the first stretch of road for what would become the Los Angeles freeway network. When engineers and planners started work on it back then, they made an effort to blend landscaping and native plants into the overall design while incorporating modern elements for high-speed travel, which at that has a limit of 45 miles per hour.
Today, automobiles travel at much faster speeds and as a result, traveler safety has become a lot more challenging with the Parkways present configuration. Compared with current highway standards, the route has now very narrow lanes, a complex curvilinear alignment, and varying shoulder lengths.
Caltrans said once the improvements are in place, the state could implement current functional and safety design standards which would increase safety and overall operations in the project area.
The historic Parkway was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in February 2011, designated as a National Scenic Byway by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in 2002, and designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1999 by the American Society of Engineers.
Work on the enhancement project will include 61 work items of 18 different types at multiple locations. The core project activity will be the removal of about 16,889 linear feet – approximately 3.2 miles – of original concrete curbs and gutter in six locations.
Concrete barriers will be installed in six locations, compression end treatments will be installed in seven locations to ensure that the end of barriers – as concrete barriers or structures – provide safe conditions for vehicle occupants in case of impact, and traffic signs will be relocated or reassembled in five locations.
In a number of locations along the freeway, old sand-filled cushions will be replaced by new ones.
Caltrans has provided an online resource for more detailed information about the SR-110 Safety Enhancement Project, accessible through the Caltrans website: http://www.dot.ca.gov/d7/env-docs/docs/SR%20110%20Safety%20Enhancement%20Project%20Draft%20EIR-EA.pdf.