Construction begins on I5 for HOV lanes to connect LA with Santa Clarita Valley

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Elana Goldstein/KPCC

Bill Dance, Mike Miles, Cameron Smyth, Paul Krekorian, Zev Yaroslavsky, Jess Talamantes, Michael Antonovich, Ara Najarian, Cindy McKim next to I-5 at Buena Vista where construction on the project will begin.

Bad traffic is the common lament in Los Angeles. Today crews started construction of a new carpool lane on a stretch of the 5 Freeway. The goal is to ease traffic in the four miles between the 170 and Burbank Airport.

Cindy McKim, director of the California Department of Transportation, says commuters will feel the difference.

“I don’t have to tell you that time is money," says McKim. "And when this carpool lane is done in 2014, commuters on this stretch of the Golden State Freeway will have a whole lot more time to spend on the things they love to do."

The project costs nearly $70 million. L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian says it also creates jobs.

“And at a time when the construction trades have 40 percent unemployment," says Krekorian, "we need this kind of project moving forward to get people back to work and start our economy. “

More than half of the money comes from President Obama’s stimulus package. The new lane is expected to open in the summer of 2014.

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