(Image Courtesy: Caltrans)
Diamond Bar – The City of Diamond Bar was recently notified that a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant (TIGER) was awarded by the federal government in the amount of $10 million for the 57/60 freeway confluence construction project.
According to City staff, the program was created by the 2009 Economic Stimulus Bill, which allows states and cities to apply for funding for transportation projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region.
The confluence project is designed to improve traffic operation on Grand Avenue from Golden Springs Drive to the interchange at SR-60 in Pomona, increase the capacity at the Grand Avenue Interchange, improve traffic operation on the freeway mainline, reduce traffic weaving and increase weaving distance, and improve safety.
David Liu, Public Works Director for the City, said the application process was an incredibly competitive process. This is the sixth year of the grant program, and the City’s second try in pursuing this grant. $600 million in grant dollars were appropriated in the current grant cycle. 72 projects were selected from the U.S. Department of Transportation, with grants awarded from applications in 49 states. Liu added that the award validates the project as a national priority.
The grant will be matched with $4.5 million in Los Angeles County MTA funds, $10.6 million in City of Industry funds, and $9.4 million in federal funds – for a total of $34.5 million – to be used for the ongoing project. The funds will be used to implement the first three phases of the project to accelerate the congestion relief, starting in early 2016.
“The folks that travel that every day probably would attest to the fact that it is the seventh most congested interchange in the United States,” said Mayor Pro Tem Steve Tye. “It will get worse before it gets better, but now we know that the funding is there and it’s on the horizon to get better.”
Along with this confluence comes the agreement between Diamond Bar and the City of Industry to move ahead with new interchange on the 60 Freeway, at Lemon Avenue, helping to alleviate the traffic on Brea Canyon Road. The interchange will include a westbound on-ramp, eastbound on-ramp, and an eastbound off-ramp.
This Lemon Interchange construction project will match Diamond Bar’s Metro Prop C funds in the amount of $405,430, with $80,725 from the City of Industry, and $1,751,045 in federal right-of-way funds. The right-of-way phase should begin in June of 2015, with completion scheduled for January 2017.