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The proposed Farmers Field football stadium would be constructed more than two miles south of Echo Park next to Staples Center. But the 72,000-seat stadium at the south end of downtown would have a more immediate impact on Echo Park and local commuters, according to a 10,ooo-page environmental impact report released on Thursday. In order to handle and lessen the impact of the thousands of football fans and other Farmers Field visitors traveling on local streets and freeways, the developer, Anschutz Entertainment Group, is offering to help pay for an approximately mile-long, westbound, auxiliary lane on the Hollywood Freeway that runs along Echo Park and Angeleno Heights. A Transportation Summary provides an overview of the proposal:
The Project will make a one-time fixed fee financial contribution of $2,400,000 towards a project that would add an auxiliary lane to the westbound US-101 Hollywood Freeway between the four-level interchange and Alvarado Street.
The Daily News reports that a Monday night game at Farmers Field would bring 19,000 additional cars to downtown, with many of those vehicles passing through neighborhoods such as Pico Union and Echo Park. How much of that $2.4 million would cover the total cost of construction? The Eastsider has contacted Anschutz Entertainment for more details.
* Update: No response yet from Anschutz but the environmental impact report says the $2.4 million would help fund an engineering study – not construction – of the auxiliary lane to correct “merge-weave related traffic congestion.” Anschutz anticipates the study could be used to try and get taxpayers to pay for the added freeway lane through state and federal funding.