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WASHINGTON, D.C. 20590
August 14, 2013
The Honorable Henry A. Waxman U.S. House of Representati ves Washington, DC 205 15 Dear Congressman Waxman: Thank you for your letter regarding the 1-405 Sepul veda Pass Project. I appreciate your letting me know of your concern about the delays in completing thi s important project. I understand the frustration of area motorists who a\vait expansion of the hi gh occupancy vehicle (HOY) lanes on I-405 while the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) finish wideni ng a 10-mile section of i-405. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) worked with Caltrans. Metro, and its partners to investigate all the relevant causes of the delay. We found that two constructi on activities caused the most significant delays. The December 20 II failure of mechanically stab ilized earth (MSE) walls, not sound walls. built for the project was the single biggest factor in ex tending the completion date to September 2014. The fHW A worked with Caltrans and its partners to determine the cause of the failure and implement the necessary corrective actions. The contractor, Kiewit Pac ific Company. has si nce reconstructed the MSE walls in line with the modified design. The FHWA also determined that utility relocations contributed to the delay. The denselydeveloped project area required identification and relocation of I00 utilities along the freeway and busy city streets, including a 96-i nch water line, regional telecomm uni cations, gas lines, and a sensitive FBI fiber optic cable. The utility conflicts were not known prior to the award of the contract, and the design-build contractor assumed responsibility for ident ifying conflicts and relocating the utilities. This process enabled an accelerated start of construction, but the complex utility relocations took much longer than anticipated. All these delays are unfortunate, but I wa nt to emphasize that the Federal dollars invested in this highly complex project are being properly expended. Caltrans, Metro, FHW A, and Kiewit are cooperating to keep the project on schedule for the revised completion date of September 2014. To date, 76 percent of all work is complete wi th 70 percent of the cost spent ($723 million of $ 1.034 billion), includ ing all Federal construction funds. Kiewit is work ing with Caltrans and Metro on a "24/7" schedule to complete the project on time.
The Honorable Henry A. Waxman Page 2
I can assure you that FHW 1\ is working with Caltrans and its partners to monitor construction safety and progress. If I can provide further information or assistance, please feel free to call me.
Anthony R. Foxx