AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “I don’t believe it (the final study) is going to be positive,” said Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts, a MTA board member. “It may be a better idea to add more lanes.” Conventional car-pool lanes are in place from Santa Clarita through Acton and are being extended south into Palmdale, but officials are looking for ways to accommodate thousands more commuters expected to come from new housing tracts in Palmdale and Lancaster. The MTA study’s preliminary findings are that reversible lanes – controlled by gates or other measures that would direct traffic in the correct direction – would have to be located between the junction with Pearblossom Highway and a point north of the 14/Interstate 5 interchange. Going further south could add as much as another $80 million and going north would involve reworking a section of freeway that is already being widened for the conventional car-pool-lane extension. At the junction with Pearblossom, “flyover” on- and off-ramps – one-lane bridges spanning the freeway from existing ramps – might be necessary to reach the car-pool lanes in the middle of the freeway. Those would cost about $30 million to build, according to the preliminary study results. Seven ingress/egress points, each costing between $8 million and $10 million, have been identified along the freeway. Another challenge is that from Escondido Canyon Road north, a wide median separates the north- and southbound lanes, which are at different elevations. The idea of reversible lanes is being explored because of the Antelope Valley’s heavy commuter population. Roughly 70 percent of the traffic on the freeway is southbound in morning rush hours and the same percent northbound in the evening. Reversible lanes are in use in a number of cities, including Sacramento, Denver and Dallas. A review of the lanes in Dallas by the Texas Transportation Institute found that there was an increase of 8 percent to 12 percent in average vehicle occupancy, suggesting that car pools were formed to take advantage of the lanes, and that average trip times dropped by three minutes to 13 minutes. Daily traffic is up 38 percent on the Antelope Valley Freeway south of Palmdale between 2001 and 2004, and up 13 percent at its junction with Interstate 5. Thousands more commuters are expected to come from the 5,000-home Anaverde and 7,200-home Ritter Ranch master-planned communities in southwest Palmdale and smaller tracts under construction elsewhere in Palmdale and Lancaster. In 2001, average daily southbound traffic numbered 71,000 vehicles at the Pearblossom Highway interchange. Last year, daily southbound traffic there averaged 98,000 vehicles, Caltrans records show. Peak-hour traffic went from 6,600 vehicles to 8,400 in the same period. At the Interstate 5 interchange, daily northbound traffic averaged 159,000 last year, up from 141,000 in 2001. The conventional car-pool lanes are under construction between Pearblossom Highway and Avenue P-8. Coming two years later than originally planned because of state budget problems, the $41 million project will add a lane in each direction for 6.2 miles and relieve a traffic bottleneck at the Pearblossom Highway interchange. Completion is scheduled for spring 2007. MTA officials also plan a $126.6 million construction project to add car-pool lanes through the interchange between the Antelope Valley Freeway and Interstate 5, though work is still several years away. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – Putting reversible car-pool lanes on the Antelope Valley Freeway will cost about $300 million – 10 times greater than initial estimates – raising doubts of the viability of the project, transportation officials said Wednesday. A study in progress by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the freeway’s geography and the number of ingress/egress points are key reasons for the increased cost estimate for lanes that could funnel commuter traffic south on weekday mornings and north in the evenings. “We thought it was a low-cost investment,” said Brian Lin, the MTA’s planning manager for the study. “As it turned out, Route 14 is a challenge.” The study is expected to be completed in the spring. However, the early cost estimates are raising doubts about the viability of the concept.