New study sought on highway

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Palmdale and Los Angeles County officials presented an overview of the result of the initial study to officials of the state Transportation Department officials, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city of Lancaster. “It (further study) is going to require a team effort,” said Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts, who is also an MTA board member. “It’s too big for one entity.” Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, whose district includes the Antelope Valley, also believes the idea merits further study. Antonovich, also an MTA board member, noted that immediately after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Antelope Valley residents struggled to get to their jobs in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles Basin. “In case of an emergency, you need to look at having another route out of the Antelope Valley,” Antonovich said. “My interest is in working to see if we have alternatives for the Antelope Valley to get down below. We need to plan ahead.” Such a highway could attract anywhere from 43,500 to 55,200 vehicles a day by 2050. That would represent 30 percent to 40 percent of all the Antelope Valley traffic traveling to the Los Angeles Basin. The highway would face intense environmental scrutiny because about 90 percent of it would lie in the Angeles National Forest. In addition, its southern end is proposed to join the Glendale Freeway by a tunnel beneath homes in La Caada Flintridge, where residents and officials have regularly voiced objections to past highway plans. La Caada Flintridge officials said their community would oppose any project that increases traffic on the Foothill Freeway. “Their needs have to be considered,” Antonovich said. “This has to relieve congestion, not contribute to congestion.” The initial study, conducted by URS Corp., shows the northern end of the highway starting on the Antelope Valley Freeway northeast of Acton, near the Soledad Canyon Road exit. The initial study concluded that charging motorists tolls would likely raise $1.45 billion over 30 years, making the project unattractive to private investors. Putting together the entire funding package would take about 15 to 20 years. The study concluded that an all-tunnel design was technically unfeasible, but that a hybrid design with conventional roads plus two lengthy tunnel segments, the longest at five miles, could be feasible. At $1.9 billion, the tunnel construction would be the most expensive part of the project. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – A proposed highway from Palmdale to Glendale warrants further study, despite its $3.1 billion price tag, Antelope Valley leaders say. An initial design concept and feasibility study funded by Palmdale and Los Angeles County concluded that funding and building such a highway would be difficult, but that it is technically feasible. Palmdale officials said they would ask other entities to join with them in pursuing a more detailed feasibility study for the 23-mile-long highway. An exact cost of such a study hasn’t been pinned down, but some estimates range from about $2 million to $3 million. “We will send out letters to the various agencies to see if there is interest in pursuing a study,” said Leon Swain, Palmdale’s director of public works. “We realize it is not our immediate priority, but we need to be looking down the road.” last_img

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