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1st Leg of Carpool Lanes on 14 Freeway to Open in 2 Weeks

April 22, 1998|DARRELL SATZMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

SANTA CLARITA — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday that the first leg of planned 40-mile carpool lanes on the Antelope Valley Freeway will open May 5.

The diamond lanes will stretch 6.4 miles between San Fernando and Sand Canyon roads on both sides of the 14 Freeway, said MTA spokeswoman Marta Maestas. Two or more riders per vehicle are required to use the lanes.

"This is the first segment of a much larger project that will eventually run from the 5 [Golden State] Freeway to Lancaster," Maestas said.

Maestas said that MTA studies indicate that carpool lanes save county drivers an average of one minute per mile. During peak commute times, about 1,000 vehicles per hour are expected to use the new lanes.

Construction on the first segment, which cost about $24 million, began in the summer of 1995, officials said. Another 9.9-mile segment, between Sand Canyon and Escondido Canyon roads, is scheduled to open in June 1999.

The city of Santa Clarita will mark the lanes' opening May 5 at 9 a.m. with a celebration featuring a procession led by the Santa Clarita Valley Antique Auto Club.

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