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Relief ahead for freeway ramp

June 01, 2002

Laura Sturza

MEDIA DISTRICT WEST -- Commuters might not be waiting as long at a

congested intersection now that the City Council has approved a property

swap that takes a big step toward building new freeway ramps.

The council's unanimous vote to exchange properties owned by the

Redevelopment Agency and the city means the necessary land will be freed

for construction of a new on/off-ramp at Hollywood Way and Alameda

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Avenue. In addition, two apartments will be relocated and an electrical

substation will be moved and modernized.

"It's going to make traffic circulation in the Media District much

better," Mayor David Laurell said.

Traffic must presently make left turns to get from the freeway to

Hollywood Way.

"Left turns are the major slow-down in intersections," Burbank

Transportation Engineer Greg Herrmann said.

Primary funding for Burbank's $11 million part of the project will

come from the sale of bonds and the contribution of land. The bonds are

expected to be repaid by Los Angeles County from property taxes.

But all funds that rely on the state are in question, a result of the

state's budget shortfall, Laurell said.

"I would hate to see that transportation issues would fall victim to

any budget cuts," Laurell said. "But we as a city will fight tenaciously

to be sure that the money is there and that the governor doesn't balance

any of the state's budget on local municipalities."

Caltrans is scheduled to start construction in April 2004, providing

$21 million for the project. Final agreements between Burbank and

Caltrans are expected to be finalized this summer. Temporary ramps will

keep traffic moving in the area, officials said.

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