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Caltrans is moving forward with plans for a half-mile extension of the Harbor Transitway to Figueroa Street, and has recently announced its intent to adopt a mitigated negative declaration for the project.

The 11-mile transitway, alternatively known as the I-110 ExpressLanes, runs on an elevated structure and within the I-110 freeway median between the University Park neighborhood and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center in the South Bay.  Opened 22 years ago, it provides a grade-separated route for several bus operators, carpools, and - since 2012 - solo drivers enrolled in the ExpressLanes toll program.

Currently, the transitway's northbound lanes empty onto Adams Boulevard.  The proposed $43-million extension would continue the existing elevated structure north across the intersection of Adams and Flower Street, terminating at a new off-ramp at Figueroa Street.

Caltrans justifies the project by noting that the current northbound terminus empties cars into a "particularly challenging bottleneck," caused by the intersections of several busy surface streets, as well as the at-grade operations of the Expo Line.  An extension to Figueroa would improve traffic flow and reduce queuing and delay on the ExpressLanes, according to a project description.

The proposed flyover structure has drawn opposition from both Streetsblog and the Los Angeles Conservancy, with the former noting that a new off-ramp would deposit cars into the new protected bike lanes built as part of the MyFigueroa streetscape improvement project, and the latter arguing that the new structure would have a "profound impact" on historic structures in the University Park community, particularly the 1920s St. John's Cathedral.

In response, Caltrans has proposed mitigation measures such electronic content for a smartphone application to interpret surrounding historic resources, bus cards advertising nearby sites to encourage tourism, and the construction of a new bike lane and pedestrian-friendly streetscape to parallel the flyover structure.

Design alternatives for the I-110 Flyover can be seen below.

Proposed redesign of Figueroa Way. Image via Caltrans.
Potential Design Concept 1. Image via Caltrans.
Potential Design Concept 2. Image via Caltrans.
Potential Design Concept 3. Image via Caltrans.
Potential Design Concept 4. Image via Caltrans.

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