91 FREEWAY WIDENING WILL CLOSE GRIDLEY BRIDGE FOR NINE MONTHS

BY BRIAN HEWS

At last night’s meeting the Cerritos City Council considered the 91 freeway Caltrans project that will run from Shoemaker to the 605 freeway and the northbound 605 freeway to Alondra.

Since Fall 2016, Metro and Caltrans have studied options for improving traffic on the four-mile stretch of Southern California’s most heavily travelled freeways. 

The project is currently in the environmental evaluation phase with proposed improvements to include adding one lane in the westbound direction, modifying freeway entrance and exit ramps, and additional improvements on the arterial streets in the vicinity. 

The arterial improvements are going to cause quite a mess in that part of the  City.

As part of the improvements, the Bloomfield Ave. and Gridley Road bridges will be replaced to accommodate the widened freeway. 

The Bloomfield Ave. bridge will be replaced in two phases, however, the bridge will not be closed during construction; Gridley is another story.

The supports for the Gridley Road overpass are located in an area that would be part of the newly widened 91 freeway prompting its replacement. 

Caltrans proposes to remove and replace the bridge with a slightly wider two-lane road with ADA-compliant sidewalks on both sides. 

The bridge would be closed for an estimated nine months for the construction so anyone going to or coming from northern Cerritos and Norwalk will have to use Pioneer or Studebaker to get around the closure of Gridley.

The freeway improvements would result in the “incorporation” of part of Ecology Park, .63 acre,  to accommodate construction along Gridley Road. 

The permanent use of 0.15 acre of land would be required to construct a retaining wall at the top of the slope. 

Ecology Park, encompasses 1.5 acres in one continuous parcel. Pedestrian access to the park is provided via Gridley Road, where the sidewalk ends at the park entrance. 

Ecology Park does not maintain parking facilities, however on-street parking is provided in the residential neighborhood adjacent to the park. 

There is no access to the park via the north or west because the parcel is bounded by SR-91 in the north and single-family homes in the west. 

The park contains several amenities for public use, including a multipurpose field, basketball court (1/4), picnic tables, barbecues, a water fountain and a variety of playground equipment. 

The  Caltrans “incorporation”  of the park will encompass the slope that has vegetation, so no developed recreational facilities will be affected.

Caltrans was asking Cerritos to sign-off on a letter essentially 

Caltrans recently completed a “De Minimis Impact Finding” as it relates to the park. In order for the Gridley Road bridge design to continue, the City’s Public Works Director must sign the Impact Finding, which documents the minimal impacts to the park. 

Staff recommended that City Council the signing of the letter.

Have a Comment?