East L.A. freeway exit getting greened up

Photo by C.J. Salgado

Caltrans crews have been working since last summer on landscaping the eastbound 60 Freeway on the border of East Los Angeles and Monterey Park near the Atlantic Boulevard entrance and exit ramps. It’s one of the busiest gateways into East Los Angeles, and resident C.J. Salgado, a weekend gardener, was interested in finding out what has been planted in what now resembles a dust bowl. Here is what he found out:

This landscaping project includes, in part, planting of 9 Tuskegee Crape Myrtle trees, which are “allergy free”; 9 New Zealand Flax plants, which can tolerate dry conditions; 20 California Sycamore trees, which can grow to 100 feet tall; 30 Boston Ivy vines, which are low maintenance ground cover; 218 Red Meidiland Rose shrubs, which have beautiful crimson blooms year round; and 1440 ice plants, which offer erosion protection.

No landscaping project is complete with out some “hardscaping,” and irrigation, too. Here, over 130 square yards of rock blanket are being installed as well. Oh, and if you’re wondering what that big, concrete structure is that has been built on the site, it is for storm water treatment. Maybe the Boston Ivy can work its wonder on this structure? To keep these new plants healthy, a new irrigation system is being installed, mostly shrub sprayers and bubblers.

The project, which was funded by Los Angeles County,  should be completed early this year.  “The plants need time to establish themselves in their new home,” said Salgado.  “With luck, we can enjoy the sight of a little, forest-like oasis in the concrete jungle.”


  1. I love plants but traffic should be moving so fast on a freeway or an on ramp that you shouldnt even be looking at the scenery.

  2. Why were these types of plants planted? There are plenty of native plants that will do the same job with minimal to no irrigation needed. Time for LA to become irrigation free…

  3. Ick. Ivy. Iceplant.

  4. http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/LandArch/hwyplanting/planting-policy.htm

    Caltrans uses non-native vegetation so it is not destroying natural habitat when they eventually re-landscape or repurpose that section of right of way.

  5. Those flax, or Phormiums, are not that drought tolerant.
    That plant list is a trainwreck.

  6. so….why isn’t caltrans using NATIVE greenery? one would think that it would the sensible thing to do!

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