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Caltrans tries to drive down cost of easing congestion problem

January 18, 2010 |  8:17 am

"Dynamic" lane

With the state's fiscal woes making many major freeway improvements unlikely, and with severe geographic restraints limiting options, Caltrans was looking for an inexpensive way to reduce congestion and accidents on the notorious interchange of the 5 and 110 freeways near Dodger Stadium.

The agency came up with fluorescent bluish-white lights and electronic warning signs.

Until recently, motorists crawling out of downtown Los Angeles on the 110 north queued up in the far left lane to transition to the 5 north. But beginning last week, cars have been able to use a second lane to get onto the 5 during the peak afternoon rush hour.

The new lane didn't involve any major construction. Rather, officials embedded bluish-white light beacons in the roadway and added new electronic signs that help guide motorists.

Read the full story here.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

Photo: Next to the traditional highway sign is a digital display that informs drivers when they can use two lanes from the 110 Freeway to the 5. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times