In 2013, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in coordination with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) initiated the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report (Draft EIS/EIR) for the Northwest 138 Corridor Improvement Project (Northwest 138 Corridor). The Northwest 138 Corridor extends approximately 36 miles along State Route 138 (SR-138) between Interstate 5 (I-5) and State Route 14 (SR-14) in Los Angeles County.
The Draft EIR/EIS for the Northwest 138 Corridor was available for public review and comment through September 19, 2016, with two public hearings held on August 25 and 27, 2016. The Draft EIR/EIS was developed to evaluate corridor alternatives and related operational improvements such as improving sight distances and bringing non-standard roadway features up to current design standards.
The Final EIR/EIS, anticipated for release and approval by spring 2017, will address all comments submitted during the public comment period and identify a preferred alternative.
Although the public comment period has ended, the Draft EIR/EIS and public hearing materials are available using the following links:
- Draft EIR/EIS
- Formal Presentation
- Video recording of Formal Presentation
- Information Stations:
Situated in the Antelope Valley in the northwest corner of Los Angeles County, just south of the Kern County border, State Route 138 (SR-138) extends 36 miles from Interstate 5 (I-5) to State Route 14 (SR-14). The highway is the main east-west route west of SR-14 and connects this portion of the County to Lancaster, Palmdale and other High Desert communities. This corridor currently functions as a bypass for people and goods movement, as well as providing critical mobility for the Antelope Valley economy which provides employment opportunities not found elsewhere in the County such as space technology and alternative energy. The area is also home to Edwards Air Force Base, an important site for testing and evaluating new military aircraft and systems.
Metro (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are studying various transportation projects in the North County area. The Northwest 138 Corridor Improvement Project together with the other improvements will link the Antelope Valley from the I-5 to the Inland Empire.
The Northwest 138 Corridor project will expand on the previous North County combined Highway Corridor Study which was completed in 2004 to develop a multi-modal transportation plan for the northern portion of Los Angeles County to address both short and long-term needs for a variety of trip purposes and goods movement. To accommodate the potential for both population and economic growth in the future, recommendations were made to improve this portion of SR-138.
The SR-138 is commonly used as a local bypass for trucks and commuters when emergency closures happen on the I-5 or SR-14. Providing operational improvements such as improving sight distances and bringing non-standard roadway features to standard will help accommodate future demand, emergency access and improve connections to residential and business property located along the corridor.
Metro and Caltrans have initiated a new environmental study to evaluate the corridor alternatives. The project corridor traverses from the I-5, just south of Gorman Post Rd, to the SR-14 at West Avenue D.
A Project Study Report was completed in 2009 to advance the following objectives:
- Define the ultimate type of facility (freeway and/or expressway)
- Identify the right-of-way requirements for the corridor
- Provide guidelines for corridor improvements and establish technical study requirements
- Identify improvements for potential programming in the future
The main corridor alignment proposed for alternatives 1 and 2 extends generally along or near the existing SR-138 highway for approximately 36 miles from I-5 to SR-14. Portions of SR-138 not used for the proposed improvements would remain and serve as a local access road only. Improvements proposed for both alternatives would include modifying the existing SR-138 roadway into expressway and conventional highway sections, including changing the alignment in some areas to avoid impacts. Alternatives 1 & 2 also include improvements to I-5 and SR-14. Below is a summary proposed improvements for each alternative.
- Freeway/Expressway + Antelope Acres Variation Option
- Freeway (6-lane divided): West of Gorman Post Road to 300th St W; access limited to interchanges
- Expressway (4-lane divided): 300th St W to SR-14; access limited to intersections
- Antelope Acres Variation Option (4-lane divided expressway): 100th St W to 70th St W; access limited to intersections
- Expressway/Limited Access Conventional Highway
- Expressway (6-lane divided): Gorman Post Rd to 300th St W; access limited to intersections
- Expressway (4-lane divided): 300th St W to 245th St W; access limited to intersections
- Limited Access Conventional Highway (4-lane): 245th St W to SR-14; Limited access restrictions
The Northwest 138 Corridor environmental studies are being funded by Measure R, the Los Angeles County half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008. The environmental studies are scheduled for completion by mid-2017. Funding for construction has not been identified and no timetable has been set for project completion.
The project development process is defined by federal and state environmental requirements. The following flow chart highlights the major milestones in the process from beginning to end.
- Public Scoping Meetings – Early 2014
- Release of Draft Environmental Impact Statement /Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) and Public Hearings – Spring 2016
- Final DEIR/EIS and approval – Summer 2017