Sherman Lauds 2014 Lane through the Sepulveda Pass
Sherman Oaks – Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), who was instrumental in securing federal funds for the new northbound lane on the 405 freeway, issued the following statement on the 1-year anniversary of the opening of the new lane. Two studies, one from Inrix and the other from Metro (released today) analyze the effectiveness of the additional lane. Previously, some commentators used the Inrix study to argue that the new lane did not reduce travel times. Sherman said:
“The northbound lane on the 405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, which opened a year ago, was an important investment in our transportation system and a good use of both federal and state funds.”
“Major construction work began in January 2010 during the depth of the recession, when fewer people had jobs. While the recession reduced traffic delays, we needed another lane for when the economy improved.”
“Today, the northbound 405 freeway carries 15% more vehicles through the Sepulveda Pass than it did in 2009. And because the new diamond lane attracts carpools, the freeway carries 30% more people. If we hadn’t built the lane, traffic would be much worse as more people than ever are driving home through America’s most crowded highway bottleneck. In fact, without the new lane, motorists would spend 6,000 more hours each day creeping through the Sepulveda Pass.”
“Now it’s time to build public support for a subway through the Sepulveda Pass, from the Valley to LAX, connecting in Westwood with the Purple Line, now under construction.”
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 improvements 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.