2015-05-14 / Front Page
Lindero overpass complete, open to bikes and cars
With two added traffic lanes, a protected bike and pedestrian path and decorative motifs showcasing the Westlake Village lifestyle, the new Lindero Canyon bridge is a model gateway for Los Angeles County, Mayor Ned Davis said during a ribboncutting ceremony Tuesday.
About three dozen city and county transportation officials and other stakeholders gathered on the bridge to mark the end of a reconstruction project that began in October 2013.
The $7.5 million bridge and interchange renovations are part of an overall program to improve local roads and pedestrian pathways throughout Westlake Village.
Most of the bridge work was funded by a county half-cent sales tax for transportat ion improvements, and recons truction took place in phases as funding became available.
All major intersec- tions near the bridge were also improved.
Including the overpass, the city spent more than $30 million on transportation upgrades, City Engineer John Knipe said.
The bridge’s center median was removed to provide an additional lane in each direction, and an 11-foot-wide lighted pedestrian and cycling path was added on the east side of the structure.
“I’m going to call this bridge the bridge of opportunity,” Davis said, describing that the project was carefully planned to minimize traffic interruptions and provide an inviting corridor for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
Built in the 1970s, the freeway bridge served its purpose well for many years, but it needed to be reconstructed to address seismic and safety issues, Davis said.
He praised artist Joe Wertheimer for his contributions, sculpting a 300-foot-long mural on the bridge’s exterior. The mural depicts a scene of the city with its lake and hillsides.
The bridge mural is the first of its kind for a freeway bridge in the state.
“It’s Joe’s image that we will all be reminded of when we pass through here,” Davis said.
As the gateway to Westlake Village from L.A. County, the Lindero Canyon Bridge is a fitting and beautiful testimony to the city.
This project required a great deal of coordination. “It was an opportunity to show all the things that you can do when you have a plan,” the mayor said.
With the improvements, the interchange will accommodate a growing number of commuters and local residents who are headed to the new community park and shopping centers on the north side of Westlake Village.
Metro Project Planner Ben Yong said the Lindero Bridge venture is one of dozens of road improvements underway in Los Angeles County that are funded by Measure R sales tax money to facilitate circulations throughout the region.
“The (renovated Lindero) bridge provides better mobility, not only for Westlake Village residents, but all local drivers,” Yong said.
He said that two other major freeway interchange projects are scheduled to begin soon in neighboring Agoura Hills and Calabasas.