STATE TAKING 365 PRIVATE LAND PARCELS TO WIDEN SANTA ANA FREEWAYBy Arnold Adler
An estimated 365 parcels of private property will be taken by the state of California to accommodate a $1.6 billion, six-mile widening of the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) from Orange County line east of Valley View Avenue in La Mirada northwest through Santa Fe Spring, Norwalk and Downey.
Most of the affected property owners have been notified that their properties are required and will be visited or have already been visited by agents to discuss the valuation of the site, sale and relocation, said Andrew Nierenberg, deputy district director for Caltrans’ District 7, which includes much of Southern California.
But design is only 80 percent complete, and some additional properties might be required in the Florence Avenue area.
Plans are to widen the freeway—currently averaging three lanes in each direction—to five lanes both ways, including a high occupancy vehicle (carpool) lane. The widening will match the width of the freeway in Orange County to the point east of La Mirada, thus relieving a traffic bottleneck.
Construction is expected to start late this year and continue through 2016. The project has been separated into six segments, two in Santa Fe Springs and four in Norwalk.
First to get under way this fall is construction of a new, 10-lane bridge taking Carmenita Road in Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs over the freeway at Excelsior Drive. It will be built beside the current two-lane bridge, which will be demolished when the new structure is completed in late 2015.