WHITTIER – Officials from the California Transportation Commission now plan to recommend full funding for the widening of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway between the Orange County border and the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway. Last week the Commission said it would only advise that half of the $387 million still needed for the $1.2 billion project be allocated, causing an uproar from various agencies and cities involved. But late Monday CTC staff amended their recommendations, agreeing that not fully funding the project “may be a hardship for the implementing agencies,” said Mitch Weiss, deputy director of the CTC. “After talking with the different agencies that will be affected, the Commission decided they wanted to make sure enough money was available to implement the project,” Weiss said Tuesday. The money will come from a transportation bond passed by voters in November that directed $4.7billion for highway improvements throughout California. Originally, the plans called for widening the freeway from the Orange County border in Buena Park to Bloomfield Avenue. But officials in La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk have been pushing for years to extend the project all the way to the 605. The plan now is to widen the I-5 Freeway from six to 10 lanes between Buena Park and the 605, with a car-pool lane on each side. Sixteen years ago those city leaders formed the I-5 Joint Powers Authority to find the funding for the extension. So far, they’ve acquired $800 million, but in order for all the work to be accomplished, they have said they need an additional $387million. Officials claim that stretch of the I-5 is one of the most congested sections of highway in the Los Angeles basin. As both a representative from the Joint Powers Authority and city manager of Santa Fe Springs, Fred Latham said now the project can finally go forward. “I’m very pleased,” Latham said. “It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride. We were led to believe that they were going to recommend full funding a couple of months ago, then last week they said they’d only give half. Now I’m pleased again.” Much of the pre-construction work has already been completed, including the environmental impact reviews and initial designs, he said. The nine-member CTC will vote today on the recommendations. email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The Miller and Etiwanda girls basketball teams will host CIF Division I state playoff games tonight – a season that exists for an increasing number of San Bernardino County and Inland Valley basketball teams. The No. 2-seed Rebels will host No. 15 Los Angeles Dorsey tonight while No. 5 Etiwanda will take on No. 12 Perris After pouring their hearts and souls in to the CIF-Southern Section season and making that the main goal, the teams are faced with a post-postseason. How much effort and emphasis can be placed on a tournament that is normally just a bonus round? “It’s anti-climatic after this,” Ayala coach Mel Sims said after winning the section championship on Saturday night. “This is what you work for right here. The rest is icing on the cake.” The Norco girls, for example, were crushed after their loss to Miller in the sectional finals. The Cougars had their sights on a CIF-SS title, but came up five points short. Now, they’ve been given the No. 3 seed in D2 and could have a potential matchup at Ayala, which plays Sanger Thursday, on Saturday. Ten local teams advanced to the state playoff level, with No. 16 Kaiser boys – which plays at No. 1 Los Angeles Fairfax – and No. 11 Arroyo Valley – which heads to No. 6 Los Alamitos – playing tonight in D1 as well. All games tip off at 7 p.m. The state tournaments are filled with more area teams than ever, making for a bit of an unusual dilemma. The winner of that game would play at Pauley Pavilion on March 17 with a trip to the state finals in Sacramento on the line. In the past, that line of thinking just hasn’t been realistic for area teams. Diamond Ranch won a first-round state playoff game last year. There are some powerful area teams that certainly seem capable of replicating that feat tonight. But any team making a run at the state title – Miller and Ayala being the leading local candidates to do so – would be practically unprecedented. The 1986 Chino girls basketball team was the D2 state runner-up. Before that, the Banning boys finished second in 1982. Those are the only two area teams to reach the state basketball finals. But with the record success for girls basketball in the area – this year had more CIF finalists than ever – is it time for area girls teams to start setting their sights higher? Tonight’s games should start to provide the answer. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!