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MTA considering more freeway toll lanes to reduce congestion [Updated]

November 15, 2010 |  1:10 pm


Advancing their experiment with toll roads, Los Angeles County transportation officials are considering more projects for local highways -- including a freeway on the Westside -- that would allow solo motorists to pay to use carpool lanes.

A preliminary study by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has recommended five locations that should be explored further for the installation of high-occupancy toll lanes, or HOT lanes. The MTA's ad hoc congestion-pricing committee is set to discuss the matter on Wednesday.

Officials said the highways demonstrating strong potential for the conversion to HOT lanes, include:

    -- Interstate 105 between I-405 and I-605.
    -- The 405 from the 105 to I-5 north of Los Angeles International Airport.
    -- State Route 91 from the 110 Freeway to the Orange County line.
    -- State Route 57 from State Route 60 to the Orange County line.
    -- I-10 between the 605 and the San Bernardino County Line.

Caltrans and the MTA are now converting existing carpool lanes to HOT lanes on 14 miles of I-10 from Alameda Street to the 605 and on 11 miles of the 110 from Adams Boulevard to the Artesia Transit Center at 182nd Street. It is the county's first venture into congestion-based pricing -- tolls that are set higher or lower in direct relation to traffic volume.

The demonstration project, which will be evaluated to see if congestion is indeed reduced, has received a $210.6-million federal grant. Some of the money will go to improving bus service along the 10 and 110. The project is expected to be completed in 2012.

[For the record at 1:27 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that the project is expected to be completed later this year or in early 2011. Officials now say it is to be completed in 2012.]


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-- Dan Weikel

Photo: Toll Lanes on 91 Freeway in Orange County. Credit: L.A. Times.