City Leaders Back Plan for Four More 210 Sound Walls

State Sen. Anthony Portantino
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
State Sen. Anthony Portantino discusses various types of sound walls to the La Cañada Flintridge City Council at a recent meeting.

A plan to build four more sound walls along the north side of the 210 Freeway was approved this week by the La Cañada City Council and will be submitted for approval by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The council OKd the proposal Tuesday night at its regularly scheduled meeting. A request that will be sent to Metro will state the locations of the latest noise-dampening barriers the city would like to have designed and built.
State Sen. Anthony Portantino was credited with arranging for $5.5 million in California’s current budget for these walls’ construction. An additional $5.5 million would come from the California Transportation Commission, via Metro, through the use of state Senate Bill 1 Local Partnership Program funds. SB1 helps finance transportation projects.
“It’s exciting,” said Portantino at the meeting, adding he was “optimistic” about the Local Partnership money and his staff was working with Metro and Caltrans regarding the sound walls.
The proposed walls would extend from Waltonia Drive to Glenhaven Drive, La Granada Way to Vista Place, La Cañada Boulevard to Angeles Crest Highway, and Commonwealth Avenue to Oakwood Avenue.
Previously, Local Partnership funding could be used only for construction, a city statement said. That posed a problem for LCF, but in this case it is anticipated the “construction only” restriction will not be in place, enabling LCF to use the full $11 million for both design and construction of the new phase’s walls.
City Public Works Director Patrick DeChellis said criteria involved in gaining Metro support included the greatest reduction in noise level served by each segment, cost and construction difficulties.
The current preliminary estimated cost for all remaining sound wall segments after three previous phases is more than $36.1 million, DeChellis said.
In a presentation, DeChellis explained the completion rate of the previous phases of sound walls.
The first phase, which included three segments, has been completed, he said. The segments are: the north side of the 210 from Indiana Avenue to Union Street; the north side of the freeway from the Crown Avenue/Foothill Boulevard westbound exit to the Berkshire Place on-ramp; and the south side of the 210 from the eastbound on-ramp east of Georgian Road to approximately the intersection of Meadow Grove Place and Meadow Grove Street.
A second phase — involving the south side of the 210 from west of La Tour Way to Alta Canyada Road — will begin in late fall with a completion date of June 2020.
A third phase, approved in December, is in the early design stage. A request for a proposal about it is set to be sent sometime next week, DeChellis said.
It involves the south side of the 210 with a continuation of the second phase from Alta Canyada to the bridge under Foothill at Memorial Park; the south side of the 210 from west of Vineta Avenue to the eastbound on-ramp east of Georgian Road that overlaps a first-phase project; and the north side of the 210 from the intersection of Baptiste Way and Vineta to the Crown/Foothill westbound exit.
Some council members voiced gratitude to Portantino.
“We can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for funding,” said Jonathan Curtis.
Portantino, a former LCF City Councilman who continues to reside in the city, said he had just returned from traveling through three states during the past three weeks and was interested in the different styles of sound walls he saw. One that especially intrigued him had a lower-level block wall and an upper level made of a Plexiglas-like substance.
“I saw that several times in upstate New York,” Portantino said. “We should look at what other states do for cheaper alternatives and lighter alternatives.”

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