The State Department of Transportation — Caltrans — currently has two separate construction projects on the Marina Freeway (State Route 90) in progress.

One project includes a new overpass bridge to extend the freeway westward beyond Culver Boulevard.

A second project involves construction of a new freeway sound wall from Centinela Avenue to Ballona Creek.

BRIDGE PROJECT — The Caltrans project to extend the Marina Freeway west by constructing a new bridge at Culver Boulevard began in mid-April.

The project was requested by the City of Los Angeles in response to projected traffic growth in the area associated with the development at Playa Vista, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Marina del Rey that is expected to occur in the near future, Caltrans officials said.

The $15.2 million overpass project also includes the replacement of the center median barrier from Centinela Avenue to Culver Boulevard, improvement of frontage roads and the modification of traffic signals.

Dave White, Caltrans spokesman, said the project is expected to increase corridor capacity, improve traffic flow and reduce congestion-related accidents in the area.

“The project is to extend the freeway in order to ease (traffic) congestion at Culver,” White said. “Instead of waiting at a lengthy traffic signal, people can go right over (Culver Boulevard).”

The new overpass will extend the Marina Freeway beyond Culver Boulevard and drop back to ground level before Mindanao Way, White said.

“It will make travel through the area smoother,” he said.

As part of the overpass construction project, two new freeway on- and off-ramps will be constructed on the west side of Culver Boulevard and the existing freeway ramp will be slightly widened, White said.

Construction of the Culver Boulevard overpass project is expected to be completed by early fall next year, he said.

SOUNDPROOFING — The other construction project on the Marina Freeway for a new sound wall from Centinela Avenue to Ballona Creek began in the middle of March.

The $3.3 million sound wall project includes traffic signal modification and widening of freeway on- and off-ramps at Centinela Avenue.

Sound walls are constructed on nearly all state freeways to help prevent freeway noise from entering nearby residences, White said.

“They are for the residents’ convenience,” he said.

When residents who live near a freeway express concern about the noise being generated, a sound reading of the freeway is usually conducted by either the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) or Caltrans, White said.

If the sound readings are at a certain level, they become prioritized for the construction of a freeway sound wall, he said.

Sound walls are generally constructed as part of a freeway widening project, but the sound wall project currently being constructed on the Marina Freeway is strictly to ease noise, White said.

Construction of the new sound wall on the Marina Freeway is expected to be completed by winter.