MTA develops plans for rail line underneath Sepulveda Pass

Carlos Granda Image
Monday, March 21, 2016
Cars pass through the Sepulveda Pass in an undated file photo.
Cars pass through the Sepulveda Pass in an undated file photo.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The 101 and 405 freeway interchange is the most congested in the country, but now the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has outlined a new transportation plan to change the way SoCal residents get around.

The plan would add rail lines and expand freeways all over Los Angeles County. One of the more ambitious projects is a tunnel under the always crowded Sepulveda Pass. But it wouldn't be for cars - it would be for a rail line connecting the San Fernando Valley to West Los Angeles.

"The tunnel cost goes exponential as you get wider and more difficult and risky. So we're looking at proven tunneling technology for heavy rail that moves people under the pass efficiently," said David Yale with the MTA.

The authority needs funding for the projects and is considering a half-cent sales tax. There are also plans to set up toll lanes on the 405 Freeway.

"What we are proposing is some type of express lane package where there are tolls at a reasonable toll price to help us pay for the rail," said Phillip Washington with the MTA.

People who take public transit said they believe the changes would ease congestion all over the area.

The Metro board of directors will now have to decide which projects to greenlight and whether to place the tax increase measure on the November ballot.