The infamous Sepulveda Pass could get a rail line

The unpaved Sepulveda Boulevard after completion in 1930. The hills have been cut back to widen the roadway, which is paved with graded gravel, as it was for most of the hilly portion of the road.  Hard pavement was added incrementally over the new 20 years.
The unpaved Sepulveda Boulevard after completion in 1930. The hills have been cut back to widen the roadway, which is paved with graded gravel, as it was for most of the hilly portion of the road. Hard pavement was added incrementally over the new 20 years.
Automobile Club of Southern California Archives

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority kicked off a series of public meetings Thursday to discuss plans to build a rail line through the Sepulveda Pass. It's just the latest in a long line of attempts to ease travel through this notorious choke point.

The steep, narrow passageway through Sepulveda Canyon is one of the only ways to get between the L.A. basin and the San Fernando Valley.

But it's never been easy.

What started as a footpath used by Native Americans, then the Spanish military and the Padres, became a paved road in the 1930s. But it didn't take long for it to become a clogged mess.

In 1962 the eight-lane freeway, which would come to be known as the 405, opened. Since then traffic has tripled, with more than 300,000 cars passing through each day. 

Two additional lanes were added in 2014, but they've done little to curb congestion.

Now Metro is exploring options to add rail - either a subway, underground light rail, freeway-running light rail or an elevated rail. The agency is presenting the preliminary options for designs, routes and stops at meetings through next week.

A 650-foot tunnel was built at the crest of Sepulveda Boulevard, opening in 1930 and providing a link between the West San Fernando Valley and the L.A. basin.
A 650-foot tunnel was built at the crest of Sepulveda Boulevard, opening in 1930 and providing a link between the West San Fernando Valley and the L.A. basin.
Automobile Club of Southern California Archives