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Avenue L overpass improvement among dozens of transportation projects MTA Board Member Roberts has guided

Friday October 05, 2001

Lancaster Mayor and MTA Board Director Frank Roberts is no stranger at ribbon-cutting ceremonies to commemorate the opening of vital transportation improvement projects such as the widening of the Avenue L overpass in Lancaster, which was partially funded with $2.4 million from the MTA. The remodeled overpass, built in 1970, makes its debut Tuesday and will relieve the daily bottlenecks experienced by thousands and thousands of Antelope Valley residents who enter and exit State Route 14. There will be five new lanes and a northbound off ramp traffic signal.

“We have grown as a city since this bridge was first built and the completion of this project is a milestone improvement in our transportation system,” said Roberts. Twelve months in the re-making, the overpass is among dozens of transportation improvement projects that have received funding from the MTA since Roberts was elected to the Board in 1999 by the Los Angeles Division of the League of California Cities, an organization made up of the 88 cities in LA County. Since then, nearly $134 million in Call for Projects funding has been allocated to the 12 cities he represents, including Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Burbank, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, Malibu, Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and San Fernando. “It’s my goal to ensure that the North County Corridor cities apply for and receive the necessary funds for regionally significant projects in the corridor areas,” said Roberts.

The Call for Projects is a bi-annual process that was created to allocate discretionary transportation funds to projects that local cities, transit operations, MTA and other public agencies propose to implement. Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to projects that successfully demonstrate significant mobility benefits. Project categories usually include bikeways, transit centers, pedestrian improvements, freeway gap closures and carpool lanes, arterial widenings, signal synchronization and new bus and shuttle purchases. “His understanding of the issues in North County and the San Fernando Valley as well as his technical engineering background has been very helpful working through problems and resolving them,” said MTA Executive Planning and Programming Director Jim de la Loza.

“The cities are experiencing significant growth and are facing significant infrastructure challenges,” noted de la Loza. “Proportionally, it’s going to be among the fastest growing areas in LA County in the next 10 to 15 years.”

Some of the projects recommended by Roberts that have received Call for Projects funding since he joined the Board in 1999 include:

  • An additional freeway connection that closes the 1.6 mile gap from the existing terminus of Newhall Ranch Road at Copper Hills Drive to State Route126 at I-5 in Santa Clarita.

  • Design and construction of 3.42 miles of bike lanes on Berkshire Avenue and Descanso Drive in La Canada Flintridge.

  • Design and construction of a bike/pedestrian bridge over Metrolink tracks over Avenue Q in Palmdale.

  • Pedestrian improvements along Cross Creek Road between Pacific Coast Highway and Civic Center Way in Malibu.

  • Design and construction of the Maclay Avenue Pedestrian Master Plan in San Fernando, intended to promote use of public transit and reduce traffic.

  • Purchase of eight 35-foot, low floor, compressed natural gas buses for City of Glendale.

  • Construction of a maintenance and operations facility for Antelope Valley Transit Authority and purchase of 11 commuter coaches.

  • Construction of 3.2 mile bike lane along Agoura Road and Chesboro Road and Westlake City limits in Agoura Hills. Will provide access to local civic center, employment areas, residences and parks.

  • Landscaping to the primary access area of Burbank Regional Transportation Center.

“Frank Roberts has been a joy to work with,” said de la Loza. “He understands the problems quickly and he’s committed to working through issues and finding solutions.”

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