Congressman can’t stomach 405 delay

File photo: Congressman Henry Waxman

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica) fired off a letter Friday to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood asking him to investigate delays in the construction of the Interstate-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.

The project, which had previously been scheduled to be completed by spring 2013, won’t be finished until fall 2014, according to reports.

“I am asking Secretary LaHood to investigate the delays and do everything in his power to speed completion of the project,” Waxman said.

The $317 million federal investment has been delayed by “complications with utility line relocations, legal disputes, and the failure of several miles of sound walls,” Waxman said. An additional $190 million was distributed to the project from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the federal stimulus bill.

“The construction has been a nightmare for the several hundred thousand commuters who pass along I-405 on a daily basis and any delays caused by mismanagement or incompetence are simply unacceptable,” Waxman said.

Construction started in 2009 on the new 10-mile carpool lane, which will connect the 10 and 101 freeways when finished. The 405 Freeway links the San Fernando Valley and the Westside, and the new car-pool lane was supposed to ease congestion in one of the busiest traffic corridors in the country.

This story originally ran in the Santa Monica Daily Press.