On Friday, May 23rd Los Angeles County Metro, in partnership with Caltrans, will announce the grand opening of the 10-mile northbound carpool lane on the 405 Freeway. After five years of construction, this milestone represents a major achievement in the $1 billion-plus endeavor to improve the 405 Sepulveda Pass.
"It is terrific to finally see this project come together," said Congressman Brad Sherman. "Valley residents are long overdue for traffic improvements, and the new northbound lane will relieve some of the busiest traffic through the Sepulveda Pass.
Congressman Brad Sherman and his colleagues were instrumental in securing funding for these projects at both the state and federal level. In 1998 Sherman secured federal funds for planning solutions to the Sepulveda Pass bottleneck. In 2003 Senator Barbara Boxer, Congressman Howard Berman and Congressman Brad Sherman worked together to secure a $117 million federal earmark to construct an additional northbound lane on the 405 Freeway. Sherman and Berman testified in favor of the 405 project together on April 1, 2003, before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and both lobbied their colleagues intensely until the final bill was passed in July of 2005.
Sherman then worked with several prominent advocates of the project including Mayor Villaraigosa, and Supervisor Gloria Molina (then Chair of the Metro Board), to secure $614 million in state bond funding. On February 20, 2007, Congressman Sherman traveled to Sacramento with Mayor Villaraigosa and local officials in a successful effort to persuade the California Transportation Commission to provide $614 million, the largest piece of the project's funding. Sherman was the only member of Congress to testify at this critical hearing of the California Transportation Commission.
Sherman continued, "Now is not the time to celebrate one new lane. Now is the time to intensify the effort to build a subway through the Sepulveda Pass, from the Valley to LAX, with a connection in West Los Angeles to the Purple Line, now under construction."