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State OKs Funds for 2 Road Projects : Transportation: California 30 will be expanded to eight lanes between La Verne and San Bernardino. Valley Boulevard will be upgraded in four cities.


SAN GABRIEL VALLEY — State transportation planners have approved spending $136 million for two major projects aimed at reducing traffic congestion on the eastern and western ends of the San Gabriel Valley.

The California Transportation Commission, meeting Friday in Sacramento, approved $129.2 million for expansion of California Route 30 into an eight-lane freeway for 28.2 miles between La Verne and San Bernardino.

In addition, the commission approved $7.5 million for upgrading Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, San Gabriel, Rosemead and El Monte.

Although criticized as ill-conceived by some critics in the Claremont area who favor increased use of mass transit, the Route 30 project is considered crucial by transportation planners who say they are responding to the demands of frustrated commuters in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

The roadway would extend the Foothill Freeway east from La Verne.

The project, calling for the eight-lane highway to include two high occupancy vehicle lanes, is estimated to cost between $700 million and $800 million. Initial construction is not planned until 1998. The federal government has pledged to pay 85% of the cost, and the state will pay the rest.

The improvements on Valley Boulevard, on which preliminary work has begun, will improve a 7 1/2-mile stretch of the road from the Long Beach Freeway (710) east to Santa Anita Avenue in El Monte, officials said.

Five key intersections will be targeted for widening and for parking restrictions. They are Fremont Avenue, Atlantic Boulevard and Garfield Avenue in Alhambra; San Gabriel Boulevard in San Gabriel, and Rosemead Boulevard in Rosemead.

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