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Caltrans preps for new Echo Park freeway sound wall

About 2,000 feet of sound walls will be built on the east side of the 2 Freeway north of Oak Glen Place.

About 2,000 feet of sound walls will be built on the east side of the 2 Freeway north of Oak Glen Place.

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ECHO PARK — Construction will soon begin on about 2,000 feet of sound walls along the 2 Freeway as part of a larger project to reconfigure the southern end of the  2 Freeway.

Workers have been placing signage warning motorists about year-long lane and intermittent ramp closures on the northbound 2 Freeway. Temporary K-rail barriers will be installed before construction begins, said one Caltrans official.  The $6.8 million project is scheduled to be completed by early 2016.

Caltrans initially proposed building the sound barriers on the Echo Park and Silver Lake sides of the 2 Freeway. Silver Lake residents rejected the 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 also includes the meters to regulate southbound traffic; extending the median on Glendale Boulevard; additional crosswalks and sidewalk repairs on Glendale Boulevard; brighter lights under the 2 Freeway overpass; and additional landscaping.

Officials have also planned and are seeking funding  realigning traffic lanes and removing the ramp that crosses above Glendale Boulevard as part of a future phase of the project.  Click here for details.

Sound wall rendering presented at a 2013 community meeting

 



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21 comments

  1. This Project is such a incredible disservice to the community!
    The Sound wall is a nuisance ! it will be a blank canvas for graffiti and a noise refractor for all the hillside homes that will suffer significantly from the noise that rises up. What is Cal Trans Thinking? The few homes that may possibly benefit from the noise reduction will suffer from lowered property values that the graffiti will bring. Cal Trans has made it clear that No plantings will go in to cover the wall Due to no Water being available. Past maintenance history should be enough to see that Allesandro St. is not well cared for by Cal Trans.
    The Noise study needs to be made available to all the hillside homes that will be affected, This study has been requested several times and never provided. Considering a large class action to remediate this project, unfortunately seems the only way hillside home will be able to sleep at night. Good bye green trees and nesting Hawks.

    • Street-level walls readily accessible on Allesandro remain relatively graffiti-free. Any new graffiti is removed within 24 hours of calling graffiti removal. My biggest concern is retaining the greenery and shrubbery. A blank wall would be a definite letdown from the current green wall lining the 2.

    • Peace and Quiet matters. The sound walls should have been built years ago.

      Susan Rocha

  2. I plan to hold Cal Trans accountable for retention of shrub and greenery as specified in their bulletin to local residents. This will discourage graffiti. Otherwise, the wall is needed. It gets very noisy at night (especially the big rigs) and several cars have crashed through the shrubbery, jumped the wall and/or crashed through the fence, before careening across Allesandro and into parked cars. It’s only been a fortunate coincidence that there wasn’t any head-on collisions or that nobody was walking along the sidewalks. Similar walls have worked pretty well in Elysian Valley. I expect these walls to be an overall improvement as well BUT I do expect them to retain or replace trees as promised in their notification to residents.

  3. Something tells me that all the trees will end up getting cut down…. I hope the residents do not accept this!

  4. TheSquiggleySpooch

    Caltrans has gone on blocked off that whole freeway side of Allesandro from Oak Glen Place all the way down to Riverside!! Where they hell are we supposed to park??? Ben Jong at metro said he would make sure we had our parking during construction when I brought it up at the town hall meeting last year and now he’s claiming it was never an issue!

    There are dozens of cars that are being displaced and a lot of us live up a walking only street so our only option is street parking. There is not enough room on the other side of the street to accommodate all the cars that would’ve parked on the freeway side. Where the hell are we going to park for the next 8 months?!

    Please, if you are having your parking location displaced or you just want to help us out in calling for action from our representative … Call Senator Kevin De León – District 24 Tel: (213) 483-9300 and tell him we need his help in reasoning with Caltrans.

  5. Why doesn’t everybody who drives alone in their car pair up and then we would have half the noise? And half the cars!
    Easy! Oh, wait… that is just so inconvenient! Nevermind!

  6. As stated above, this project is such blatant waste of tax-payer dollars. At every meeting I attended with Caltrans and Metro (there were several community information meetings) every single resident who spoke was against building sound walls.

    Initially, Metro had proposed walls from the I5 to the Glendale intersection. The residents on my street (Elysian Heights side) joined together, canvassed the homes and apartments adjacent to Allesandro St.; and gathered signatures. Theses signatures were enough to have Metro scrap the walls from Oak Glen Pl. to Glendale, on the Allesandro side. This opposition was from the Elysian side of the 2 freeway; as we clearly “had a problem” with the sound walls. Residents on the “Silverlake side” also banded together to oppose the walls; as did St. Teresa de Avila (which Metro proposed to almost surround by walls “in order to protect the children”). All these walls will not be built thanks to community opposition.

    As Metro was granted the federal funds for this project several years ago, at this point it was either build or loose the funds, which no agency wants to do. I believe Metro was (at least) disingenuous in seeking input from only residents directly on Alessandro, whom they saw as the only folks affected by the noise. It was our belief that the entire community is affected by the cutting of all trees and building of walls between our communities. I personally asked a Metro engineer at a meeting if the residents were informed that they could choose other mitigating options besides sound walls (such as double pane windows and HVAC, as may be provided by law) and he said “no”.

    I am proud that residents were able to stop a large part of this project, but dismayed that Metro is proceeding with this against a clear majority of the community. Imagine what $6.8 million could do to increase the walkability, safety and improved green-space of our streets. The central problem is that Metro still sees the area as a “regional traffic flow” problem for an “unfinished” 2 freeway, instead of a thriving community being intersected by a freeway that should never have been built. Everyone should stay informed of the future stages of this project.

  7. TheSquiggleySpooch

    Caltrans has gone on blocked off that whole freeway side of Allesandro from Oak Glen Place all the way down to Riverside!! Where are we supposed to park??? Ben Jong at metro said he would make sure we had our parking during construction when I brought it up at the town hall meeting last year and now he’s claiming it was never an issue!

    There are dozens of cars that are being displaced and a lot of us live up a walking only street so our only option is street parking. There is not enough room on the other side of the street to accommodate all the cars that would’ve parked on the freeway side. Where are we going to park for the next 8 months?!

    Please, if you are having your parking location displaced or you just want to help us out in calling for action from our representative … Call Senator Kevin De León – District 24 Tel: (213) 483-9300 and tell him we need his help in reasoning with Caltrans.

  8. Why does this stub of the 2 still exist anyway? The freeway should end at the 5 and turn into a surface street/boulevard that links to Riverside Dr and adds to, rather than detracts from, the neighborhood. Stop wasting money putting lipstick on a pig.

    • @LAifer agreed. Why keep throwing money at something that will never function properly. This will always be a problem area until it either ends at the 5, or connects to the 101.

    • Originally the 2 freeway was supposed to continue across town, through Bevery Hills, and connect with the 405.

      • Yeah, I know, Bill. Same as how the 710 was supposed to slice through South Pas and Pasadena. It’s hard to fathom what some of our current neighborhoods would look like if they were split apart by 8 lanes of rolling traffic.

  9. The freeway walls along the 5 that runs through Elysian Valley have worked fine and dramatically diminished the noise pollution in that area. I’m anticipating the same will be true of the sound walls along the 2. Not certain what all of the opposition is about(?). The majority of people directly affected by this project approved it. Undoubtedly because of the threat of vehicles that have occasionally flown off the 2 and landed directly on the street below and collided with parked cars. That’s no joke!

    • What Procopio said.

    • Isn’t the issue how the refraction of sound will affect folks living higher up on the hillsides? That was my understanding.

      • No. The primary issue is alleviating the sound pollution and safety hazards experienced by those directly affected by this project. Noise is one thing. But cars flying off the freeway and colliding with street traffic or landing upside down on a residential street in front of your home is another. Homes on the opposite hillside may have to simply take one for the team.

      • Yes! Please see my comment below, sound on hillside is much worse now!

    • Driving along riverside dr on the Elysian Valley stretch is not the prettiest :X

  10. PEACE AND QUIET MATTERS!!

    Susan Rocha

  11. I live on the Silverlake side of the end of the 2. They have just completed the wall on the Echo Park side and the noise has more than doubled on the SL side The Engineers said it would increase by only 1 or 2 decibels, well they were wrong. Think about it, the noise is being reflected off of that wall and bouncing over to the SL side. It doesn’t hit the wall and shoot straight up. Whoever put the kibosh on building it on both sides must be sorry now, I know I am. Luckily I’m moving out of this neighborhood in a few months. It’s a travesty the city was allowed to build a noise wall on just 1 side of a freeway. The noise is unbearable now! Seems like common sense to me.

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