SANTA CLARITA — Interstate 5 through Santa Clarita is about to get a major upgrade. The LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority broke ground Tuesday on the new I-5 North County Enhancements Project, which will add one high-occupancy vehicle lane in each direction of the freeway along a 14-mile stretch from Newhall Pass to Parker Road.
The project also includes truck lane improvements that will extend from Newhall Pass to Calgrove Boulevard, separating truck and car traffic to improve safety, as well as sound walls along portions of the freeway to alleviate excessive noise.
“Interstate 5 is the backbone of commerce in the western U.S. and a critical artery for the movement of goods from the Canadian border in Washington state to the Mexican border in California,“ LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said during the groundbreaking. “As we witness ongoing supply chain disruption due to the pandemic, it’s projects like this one that will make sure critical goods can move through the ports of LA and Long Beach and to their destinations more efficiently.”
Designed to help freight movement and people through Santa Clarita Valley, the $697 million project is funded in part with a $47 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, included in the federal infrastructure bill President Biden signed in November. The California Transportation Commission is providing $247 million for the project from SB1 funds, including gas taxes.
Co-managed by Metro and the California Department of Transportation, the project has been in the works for more than a decade and is expected to take four years to complete.
With 284,300 residents, the city of Santa Clarita is the third-largest city in Los Angeles County, after the cities of LA and Long Beach, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation, which forecasts a 1.3% rate of population growth for the area through 2024.