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Santa Monica considers a new kind of freeway-building

March 27, 2009 | 12:53 pm

10_fwy Goodbye, wasted freeway space. Hello, a slightly bigger city of Santa Monica.

City officials in Santa Monica are exploring the idea of “capping” the 10 Freeway between 17th and 14th streets as a way to add seven acres of land to the city and possibly create more open space.

The Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday night to authorize city staff to submit an application to the state for $250,000 in grant money to fund a feasibility study for the idea.

The freeway deck is envisioned, according to a staff report, as “an opportunity to expand open space, explore joint development, and repair connections with neighborhoods that were broken by construction of the freeway.”

The deck also might serve as a connection between Memorial Park and the part of the city located south of the freeway, the report continued. Memorial Park is on Olympic between 14th and 16th streets, just north of the freeway.

Kate Vernez, assistant to the city manager, said that the plan would support the current land use framework for the area around Memorial Park.

A similar proposal, to build a 44-acre park atop the Hollywood Freeway between Bronson Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, already has passed its own feasibility study — and would cost about $950 million to complete.

-- Cara Mia DiMassa