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Obama Freeway O-bandoned?

Portantino Hopes to Finally Fund Obama Freeway

By Sean Brown, September 25, 2018 2:30 pm

State Senator Anthony Portantino (D-Los Angeles) was in attendance for an event today supporting his beloved Obama Highway project.

You might have heard about Los Angeles city leaders passing a proposal to rename Rodeo Road after President Barack Obama—the notion has made national headlines. But it’s not the only roadway in LA that lawmakers are hoping to name after the 44th president.

In 2017, the state legislature approved a resolution to designate a stretch of the 134 Freeway that runs between Pasadena and Eagle Rock as the President Barack H. Obama Highway. A year later, however, there’s little evidence of that decision.

The designated segment of the 134 between the 210 and 2 freeways lack any physical signage or recognition from Google maps. According to la.curbed, Portantino’s press secretary told them, “That’s because State Sen. Anthony Portantino is still raising money to pay for the new signs.”

While Portantino’s measure requests the Department of Transportation to determine the cost of appropriate signage displaying the designation, donations themselves will be derived from non-state sources covering the sign cost as well as the cost to erect them.

La.curbed also stated a “Caltrans spokesperson Tim Weisberg told the Eastsider in March that the signs would cost around $5,000 to make and install.”

So what is the status of this initiative? After Portantino’s tweet today, the Globe investigated the situation, but Portantino’s office was not keen to comment as they claimed, “It is currently a non-state matter.”

Despite the vague information given on the project funding or if the event was sponsored by Portantino, the Globe was able to gather information from a staffer inside his office who said it was a “Celebration of the signs that will be installed next month.”

The Globe will continue to follow this story.

Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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