20 homes face demolition to clear road for expansion

first_imgFor the last several years, Caltrans has been meeting and negotiating with property owners such as Rojas, whose homes are in the path of expansion. Caltrans, which is handling the acquisition and demolition of the 20 homes, has already settled with some homeowners and demolished five houses, said Norwalk City Manager Ernie Garcia. Garcia said he understands it is a difficult situation for property owners and is sensitive to the issue. The city has been facilitating meetings with residents in an effort to make things as “harmless as possible,” he said. Caltrans is offering market value for the houses, paying for relocating costs and allowing time for residents to find another home. But Rojas, who is still negotiating with Caltrans, said his house is to be demolished by Nov. 27. His son worries about having a place to live, he said. “His grades dropped at school,” he said. “I hug him and tell him not to worry about it. It pisses me off to no end. There’s no loyalty here.” [email protected] (562) 499-1303 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Caltrans plans to clear Rojas’ home and about 19 others to widen the Santa Ana (5) Freeway to 10 lanes – a $1.2 billion project that has now been fully financed by state and federal funds, city and transportation officials announced Thursday in Norwalk. The 8-mile expansion, which would stretch from the Artesia (91) Freeway to the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway, would include rebuilding the two-lane interchange at Carmenita Road. This is the first part of a larger plan to upgrade the aging 5 Freeway from the 91 to the Long Beach (710) Freeway. Built in the 1950s, the 5 Freeway is traveled by more than 200,000 vehicles daily and can barely accommodate the growing traffic, according to Caltrans. Anticipating Caltrans’ expansion plans, Norwalk, Buena Park, La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs, Downey and Commerce formed in 1991 the I-5 Consortium Cities Joint Powers Authority. It was established to ensure local input and to work with transportation officials to make improvements “that will not cause economic and social disruption of communities,” according to the consortium. NORWALK – There are only two places Daniel Rojas calls home. The first was his parents’ house on Dinard Avenue, where he lived until he was 22. The second is the Gracebee Avenue house down the street from his parents, where he now lives with his 10-year-old son. Both homes are being demolished this year to make way for a freeway expansion. “I’ve lived here all my life and I think it’s unfair,” said Rojas, 53, a mechanic for the city of Norwalk. last_img

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