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State officials are planning a $217 million highway program to fix truck bottleneck routes in Los Angeles and throughout the rest of California. The funding will come from the $420 million State Route 57/60 project. Construction is planned to start two years earlier than scheduled in 2022.
The proposed grant award is part of the 2020 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which will provide $1.359 billion total over three years to 28 highway, freight rail, and port and border crossing projects statewide.
Pomona mayor Tim Sandoval, who chairs the Capital Projects and Construction Committee of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, was quoted saying: “The SR 57/60 project is a priority for the San Gabriel Valley, and we truly appreciate the state funding award recommendation.”
“The highway capacity improvements will help unclog this grinding daily traffic bottleneck for truckers and commuters alike,” he added.
According to SGVCG officials, the 57 and 60 freeways are among the most heavily traveled freight highway corridors in the country. The 2.5-mile confluence of the two highways ranks as the worst bottleneck for truck delays in California and the ninth-worst in the nation, according to the American Transportation Research Institute.
Moreover, due to lane drops and hazardous weaving between trucks and commuters, state officials said the confluence area is the second-highest truck accident location in Southern California with truck-related accidents 50% higher than the state average, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Large trucks, 18-Wheelers, and semis are a leading cause of many traffic related deaths in the U.S. California in particular has witnessed some of the worst trucking accidents in the country and Los Angeles is the second most traffic jam prone city in North America. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2017 of the approximately 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks, 23% resulted in injury and 1% resulted in death.
The program will be considered for adoption at the Dec. 2-3 meetings of the California Transportation Commission. If approved as recommended, about 60% of the total $2 billion in funding would go to Southern California, reportedly. The commission received 130 applications requesting $3.7 billion, nearly double the amount available.