Local News in Brief : Picus Pushes Plan for Interchange Project

Moving to head off opposition to a proposed Woodland Hills freeway interchange project, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joy Picus said Wednesday that there is "strong, broad-based community support" for the $40-million project.

Picus warned that the long-sought Valley Circle-Mulholland interchange to the Ventura Freeway will never be built unless state and city transportation engineers believe they can construct something that will handle future traffic in the fast-growing Woodland Hills and Calabasas areas.

To accommodate that traffic, transportation officials say, the project must include a secondary east-west bridge over the freeway linking Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills with Calabasas Road in Calabasas and a widened north-south bridge at Valley Circle Boulevard

Opponents of the secondary freeway "flyover bridge" have claimed it would funnel heavy traffic into the Old Town village of Calabasas. They also oppose off-ramp designs that call for the paving of land behind the historic 145-year-old Leonis Adobe.

Project foes have scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. tonight at El Camino Real High School, 5440 Valley Circle Blvd., to discuss their opposition.

Picus said that recent revisions in the flyover bridge plan would prevent heavy traffic from clogging Calabasas and would eliminate the need to widen two-lane Calabasas Road. She said the project has the support of state Sens. Ed Davis (R-Valencia) and Gary Hart (D-Santa Barbara) and of City Councilman Marvin Braude.

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