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.
- University Park Archive (Urbanize LA)