ECHO PARK — After about two decades in the making, the $12 million project to improve conditions on the southern end of the 2 Freeway near Glendale Boulevard will kick into high gear this winter with the construction of about 2,000 feet of sound walls along Allesandro Street as well as new ornamental street lighting, landscaping and crosswalk improvements.
Work on the initial phase of the project, which has over the years stirred up controversy and opposition among some residents of Echo Park and Silver Lake, actually began last year with some relatively minor changes, including re stripped lanes and new traffic control signs. The next phase, planned to begin at the end of this year or early next year, will be much more involved, according information provided by Metro and Caltrans. While the project’s To-Do list contains many items, the most visible will be the construction of about 2,000 feet of walls – up to 12 feet high – intended to shield residents from freeway noise.
Silver Lake residents rejected a proposal to build a sound wall along the southbound lanes, but the residents of Echo Park and Elysian Heights had no problem with a structure on the northbound side of the 2 Freeway. As a result, two sound walls – one measuring 400-feet long, the other 1,530-feet long – will be built north of Oak Glen Place.
This phase of the project, which will cost about $8.6 million, also includes decorative street lights on Glendale Boulevard; the extension of the Glendale Boulevard median south to Allesandro Street; wider sidewalks; brighter lights under the 2 Freeway overpass; and additional landscaping.
This part of the project is expected to be finished by Spring 2016 but transportation officials are seeking an additional $20 million for further improvements. Click here for details.