Skip to Content

I-605 Corridor Improvement Project

The Interstate 605 (I-605, the San Gabriel River Freeway) corridor is located at the center of Southern California’s freeway network and is one of the busiest and most congested transportation arterials in Los Angeles County, specifically between Interstate 105 (I-105) and Interstate 10 (I-10). Continued growth in the region’s population and employment, as well as substantial projected growth in goods movement, are expected to add further pressure to the existing traffic capacity and operations within this corridor. In order to ease congestion and support future growth, additional capacity along with operational and safety improvements are needed for the benefit of the residents, businesses, travelers, and interstate commerce.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 7, in collaboration with the Gateway Cities Council of Governments (GCCOG) and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG), are proposing improvements along I-605 between I-105 and I-10 as part of the I-605 Corridor Improvement project (project). In addition to improving I-605 within the corridor, the proposed project includes improvements along State Route 60 (SR-60) from west of Peck Rd to east of Turnbull Canyon Rd and along Interstate 5 (I-5) from Florence Av to the Rio Hondo Channel.  The cities adjacent to the project limits include: Baldwin Park, El Monte, South El Monte, City of Industry, Whittier, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, Downey, Norwalk and unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County.

Improvements will revitalize  the heart of Southern California’s freeway network, allowing people and goods to move freely, which will stimulate and support a robust economy capable of growing with the region and demands of the future.

The project goals are to:

  • Ease congestion and add freeway capacity where needed.
  • Improve freeway operations, mobility, and travel times.
  • Enhance regional connectivity and freeway interchange efficiency.
  • Improve safety.

Funding

Project studies are being funded through local Measure R funds, the 2008 local sales tax. Metro will pursue additional Federal, State, and other sources for future phases of the project, including construction.


Located in the heart of the region’s freeway network, the San Gabriel River Freeway, or I-605 as it is more commonly known, is in need of an overhaul to improve freeway capacity and operational conditions. The I-605 serves as one of the few major north-south interstate freeways in the greater Los Angeles Area of Southern California, running roughly 27 miles from the coast in Seal Beach, at its most southerly point, to the foothills in Irwindale/Duarte in the north, where it connects to Interstate 210. The successful flow of traffic, free of congestion, along the project corridor is vital to local circulation and connectivity and to interstate commerce traveling inland from the ports.

The I-605 is a popular connector for public transit riders. It provides access for east-west travelers that use the Metro Green Line light-rail service serving the Norwalk Station at the I-105. The project corridor is also the travel path of the Metro Express Bus Line 577 running between I-10 and I-105. In addition, it provides a primary connection to the I-10, serving westbound Metro Silver Line riders at the El Monte station. Moreover, a number of Foothill Transit Commuter Express Lines run from the I-10 to SR-60 by way of the I-605.

Unfortunately, the freeway has gone without major system-wide improvements for roughly 50 years, since the construction of the first segment, Interstate 405 (I-405) to State Route 60 (SR-60), dating back to 1964 and the later portion completing construction in 1971. The I-605 features four general purpose/mixed-flow lanes and one HOV lane (2+ passengers) in both the northbound and southbound directions, and throughout most of the route. Presently, the stretch of freeway defined as the project limits include four 11-foot lanes with 2-foot wide median shoulder and one 12-foot HOV lane with a 1-foot wide HOV buffer. These conditions require change in order to meet the growing traffic demands of Southern California.

In March 2013, the SR-91/I-605/I-405 Congestion Hot Spots Feasibility Report (Feasibility Report) was prepared to assess the need for improvements to the corridor (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Gateway Cities Council of Governments, 2013), which revealed deficiencies in design, capacity, and operations that required action to reduce and manage congestion, and accommodate a forecasted increase in traffic volumes. In January 2017, Metro approved the Countywide ExpressLanes Strategic Plan. This plan establishes a vision for a system of the express lanes throughout Los Angeles County.  Express lanes will provide travelers with a seamless network of transportation options in congested freeway corridors.


Persistent congestion during AM/PM peak travel times is especially pronounced within the project limits. Project build alternatives seek to correct these conditions, improving overall circulation, safety, and the health of the region’s freeway network. The I-605 project proposes improvements for approximately 16 miles along the central most portions of the I-605 from approximately two miles south of the I-105 interchange to approximately two miles north of the I-10 Interchange; including the SR 60 from Santa Anita Avenue to east of Turnbull Canyon Road; and I-5 from Florence Avenue to the Rio Hondo Channel.

A range of project alternatives have been developed which identified locations and interchanges within the project area where improvements were necessary and feasible.  In general, all proposed build alternatives feature widening of the I-605 mainline freeway. Project alternatives include (see cross-sections, below):

> Alternative 1 (No Build): The No-Build Alternative would maintain the existing configuration of I-605 and would not result in improvements.

> Alternative 2: Alternative 2 proposes the addition of one new mixed-flow lane on both the northbound and southbound I-605 mainline (except between I-5 and 1-105), and the conversion of the existing HOV lane to an express lane.  The following additional peripheral improvements are also proposed with this build alternative:

  • Add a new general purpose/mixed-flow lane on westbound SR-60 from Hacienda Boulevard to the I-605/SR 60 system interchange
  • Add a new general purpose/mixed-flow lane on eastbound SR-60 from the I-605/SR 60 system interchange to 7th Avenue
  • Add a new HOV lane on northbound and southbound I-5 from Florence Avenue to Lakewood Bl
  • Add auxiliary lanes where necessary to enhance freeway operations
  • Reconfiguration of interchanges and modifications to local arterial streets to enhance freeway access
  • Add three HOV or ExpressLane direct connectors from north I-605 to west I-105, south I-605 to west I-105, and north I-605 to west I-10 with reverse movement for each

> Alternative 3: Alternative 3 proposes the addition of one new express lane on northbound and southbound I-605, and the conversion of the existing HOV lane to create a two-lane express facility within project limits.  The additional peripheral improvements as listed in Build Alternative 2 are also proposed with this alternative.

> Alternative 4: Alternative 4 proposes the addition of a second HOV Lane on northbound and southbound I-605 to create a two-lane HOV facility within project limits.  The additional peripheral improvements as listed in Build Alternative 2 are also proposed with this alternative.

Benefits

There are a number of additional corridor and local jurisdiction improvements that will benefit residents, businesses, travelers, and interstate commerce along the project corridor.

Proposed work to on- and off-ramps, bridges, underpasses, and local connecting roadways will greatly improve circulation on local streets and improve access to businesses and connections to nearby residential neighborhoods.

These include:

  • Reduction of average daily travel times on the I-605 from the I-105 to the I-10 by 23 to 50% depending upon the Preferred Alternative selected
  • Redesign and relocation of existing auxiliary merge and demerge locations to improve traffic flow, reduce and eliminate weaving, and create safer travel conditions
  • Improvements to interchange on- and off-ramp connections to provide safer ramp turns and speeds
  • Additional and upgraded existing intersections to increase traffic flow and safety
  • Work with local jurisdictions to update traffic synchronization and improve the efficiency and safety of local-freeway connections
  • Additional and improved standard bicycle lanes on local streets along the corridor to increase connectivity to the San Gabriel River trail
  • Reduction of the length of pedestrian/bicycle crossings to improve public safety and minimize potential auto related accidents
  • Enhanced pedestrian connections by adding new or upgrading existing sidewalks, pedestrian overcrossings, and pedestrian undercrossings in compliance with Americans with Disability Act standards
  • Improvements to equestrian crossings and enhance existing equestrian trails along the corridor
  • Upgraded and additional storm water treatment facilities to improve water quality and reduce trash entering local rivers and streams
  • Enhanced freeway driving experience through application of a corridor-wide Aesthetic Master Plan, which provides consistent structural and landscape beautification treatments
  • Construct more than 100 new and replaced soundwalls along the project freeway corridors to insulate local communities from on-going traffic and temporary construction noise

Local Improvements by Jurisdiction

The project area includes nine cities and a number of county island communities. The table below outlines the range of additional local improvements proposed for each jurisdiction. See the project improvement map for reference.

Benefits

There are a number of additional corridor and local jurisdiction improvements that will benefit residents, businesses, travelers, and interstate commerce along the project corridor.

These include:

  • Reduction of average daily travel times on the I-605 from the I-105 to the I-10 by 23 to 50% depending upon the Preferred Alternative selected
  • Redesign and relocation of existing auxiliary merge and demerge locations to improve traffic flow, reduce and eliminate weaving, and create safer travel conditions
  • Improvements to interchange on- and off-ramp connections to provide safer ramp turns and speeds
  • Additional and upgraded existing intersections to increase traffic flow and safety
  • Work with local jurisdictions to update traffic synchronization and improve the efficiency and safety of local-freeway connections
  • Additional and improved standard bicycle lanes on local streets along the corridor to increase connectivity to the San Gabriel River trail
  • Reduction of the length of pedestrian/bicycle crossings to improve public safety and minimize potential auto related accidents
  • Enhanced pedestrian connections by adding new or upgrading existing sidewalks, pedestrian overcrossings, and pedestrian undercrossings in compliance with Americans with Disability Act standards
  • Improvements to equestrian crossings and enhance existing equestrian trails along the corridor
  • Upgraded and additional storm water treatment facilities to improve water quality and reduce trash entering local rivers and streams
  • Enhanced freeway driving experience through application of a corridor-wide Aesthetic Master Plan, which provides consistent structural and landscape beautification treatments
  • Construct more than 100 new and replaced soundwalls along the project freeway corridors to insulate local communities from on-going traffic and temporary construction noise

Local Improvements by Jurisdiction

The project area includes nine cities and a number of county island communities. The table below outlines the range of additional local improvements proposed for each jurisdiction. See the project improvement map [JJ1] for reference.

Public Involvement

The public has multiple opportunities and avenues for involvement during the environmental phase, and is strongly encouraged to participate. A series of public meetings will be held in the study area to coincide with major project milestones. Public hearings will be held following circulation of the draft environmental documents.

Comments and questions can be submitted at the meetings, submitted via regular US mail, or shared by phone at 213-922-4091. Interested parties are also encouraged to stay connected by signing-up to receive project notifications.


Environmental studies, technical studies, and design considerations are now being undertaken to further evaluate the feasibility of each project alternative. Caltrans, as the CEQA and assigned NEPA lead agency, is preparing an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) to evaluate potential impacts of the project that could affect the quality of the human environment.  At the end of the project phase, a Preferred Alternative will be selected.

The EIR/EIS is a legal joint document required under the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (CEQA/NEPA), respectively.  Upon completion, the document will:

  • Include a comprehensive description of the project and proposed alternatives,
  • Evaluate the project’s environmental effects, and
  • Inform decision-makers and the public of reasonable mitigations, if any, which could be employed to minimize or avoid adverse impacts.

A draft EIR/EIS will be publicly circulated for comment prior to completing the final EIR/EIS and selection of the Preferred Alternative.  The environmental phase is scheduled to conclude in the spring of 2021.

Project Schedule/Environmental Timeline


2020 Public Hearings

Public hearings are planned as soon as early 2020. Metro will continue to engage stakeholders throughout the study process and provide opportunities to:

  • Learn more about the overall project
  • Get details about the Technical Study currently underway
  • Ask questions
  • Share your thoughts

Past Meetings

2018 Community Meetings

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Pico Rivera Senior Center
9200 Mines Av
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Lakeside Middle School
11000 Kenney St
Norwalk, CA 90650

Thursday, February 8, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
California Country Club
1509 Workman Mill Rd
Whittier, CA 90601

*Live Webcast [JJ2] 6:30 PM – 7:15 PM

2016 Scoping Meetings

Monday, October 24, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Embassy Suites by Hilton Los Angeles Downey
Diplomat/Consulate Room
8425 Firestone Bl
Downey, CA 90241

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Gus Velasco Neighborhood Center
Pio Pico Room
9255 S Pioneer Bl
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Thursday, October 27, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Norwalk Assembly of God Church
11129 Pioneer Bl
Norwalk, CA 90650

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Industry Hills Expo Center
Avalon Room
16200 Temple Av
City of Industry, CA 91744

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
South El Monte Senior Center
1556 Central Av
South El Monte, CA 91733

Thursday, November 3, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Palm Park Center
5703 Palm Av
Whittier, CA 90601