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Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project Now Expected To Cost $1.1B

LOS ANGELES ( — The completion date of the massive project to widen the 405 Freeway has now been extended into 2014, according to the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Los Angeles Times.

The $1 billion Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, originally slated for completion in the spring of 2013, will now be finished in June of next year with an estimated total price tag of $1.1 billion, the report claims.

The project aims to widen the 405 Freeway, rebuild on and off-ramps, add a carpool lane, and ease the congestion-prone roadway that carries about 300,000 vehicles a day.

According to the LA Times, the delay and added costs are due to a variety of components including faulty materials that led 15 retaining walls to crumble, contested right of ways, design changes and the tedious task of moving dozens of underground utility lines.

The paper said Thursday it will take construction officials months to figure out who is to blame for the delay and extra costs.

Projects of this size usually have penalties for construction delays, but in this case, those have been postponed due to further evaluations.

Kiewit, the project's primary contractor, has said the project could stretch into September of 2014, but city officials claim the project is on track for the new end date.

Despite the additional costs that will ultimately be picked up by taxpayers, Metro says they are still saving citizens money.

"If we had gone the traditional freeway construction route, it would take up to seven years longer in costs. We saved the taxpayers probably hundred of millions of dollars by accelerating the project," Mark Littman of Metro said.


Despite news of the delay, Metro has announced new completion dates for several smaller projects.

-Work at the bottleneck at I-10 and I-405 freeways: early summer 2013

-Skirball and Mulholland bridges: end of 2013

-On and off ramps for Wilshire: end of 2013

For more information, visit Metro's Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project website.

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