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Metro to Shift Funds and Seek Grant Money for 405 Freeway Widening

6:14 PM PDT on June 13, 2023

Metro is planning to add two more lanes to the 405 Freeway between Artesia Boulevard and the 105 Freeway. Photo via Google Street View

Tomorrow the Metro Planning Committee will vote on a Metro staff proposal to allocate $8 million for a 405 Freeway expansion project that would add additional lanes to the 405 between Artesia Boulevard and the 105 Freeway.

If approved, this week's action will shift $7 million from another 405 Freeway widening account, and add another million dollars. This will bring Metro's total allocation to nearly $40 million for this project, estimated to cost $100-120 million.

Metro's 405 Freeway widening from the 105 to Artesia Boulevard - from 2020 Metro presentation

Streetsblog reported on this Metro 405 expansion project last year. Metro and Caltrans are currently widening the 405 in Torrance, and are planning at least six other 405 Freeway expansion projects in the South Bay. The agencies have chopped up their 405 widening into at least 16 short (less than one mile) "auxiliary lane" segments - a length just short enough to allow Metro to declare a Notice of Exemption (NOE) or Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) instead of doing a full environmental clearance process (which Metro does for Bus Rapid Transit and bike path projects, despite a state law exempting those from full environmental review).

The Artesia/105 405 Freeway project was environmentally cleared via a 12-page NOE back in 2020.

The Metro Planning Committee item [staff report, attachment spreadsheet - see page 9] would add and shift Measure R (Metro 2008 countywide sales tax) Multimodal Highway Subregional Program funds to various projects, mostly freeway lanes/ramps expansion and arterial streets/intersections expansion, but also including some multimodal projects (complete streets and transit, bike, walk components and projects). Metro would deobligate $7 million from planned 405 widening in the city of Carson and add $8 million to this project in the cities of Hawthorne, Lawndale, Redondo Beach and Torrance.

Metro staff proposal to add $8 million to 405 Freeway widening project - detail of Metro spreadsheet. Note the Artesia/105 project is listed twice - in the first and 6th rows. Totaling those two rows ($17,381,000 and $22,000,000) brings the project total to just under $40 million. The second row shows the $7 million proposed to deobligated from 405 widening in the city of Carson.

The Metro staff proposal notes that this project funding is for a "State/Federal Grant Match" but it's not clear what grant that might be.

Streetsblog asked Metro to clarify the project location and which grants Metro planned to seek. Metro Communications Manager Patrick Chandler noted that the $8 million was for the Artesia/105 405 project but declined to provide specific grant information, noting that "the project is in the final planning phase" and Metro staff would be "seeking approval from the Board to secure local match funding if it seeks out[side] state and/or federal funding."

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