The groundbreaking ceremony for the I-5 North County Enhancements Project took place last week, commemorating the start of a series of highway improvements, representing a new investment of $679 million in the corridor.
In a speech last year, author and columnist Tom Friedman described how the public and private sectors would work together in the future to address major challenges: climate change, housing, transportation infrastructure.
He said that “creative adaptive coalitions” would be formed to plan and implement solutions together.
Nearly 20 years ago, a “creative adaptive coalition” was formed in the Santa Clarita Valley. We called it the Golden State Gateway Coalition.
Our mission was — and still is — to improve roadway transportation throughout North Los Angeles County.
We initially focused on advocating for improvements in the Interstate 5 corridor — to enhance safety, reduce traffic congestion and expedite goods movement. Benefits of the project — now under way — will include an easier commute, more efficient movement of freight and services, and, safer roads.
New jobs will be created, tourism will be encouraged, economic development opportunities will open up. Law enforcement and first responders will get more timely access to situation locations. Travel times will shorten and north county residents will see an improved quality of life.
Our members and allies in this effort included community and business leaders, elected officials and government agency personnel.
Together, we sought and secured public support, political support and funding for the project.
In addition to successfully advocating for this and other roadway and transportation improvements, the Gateway Coalition achieved something else: We established a working model for public sector and private sector cooperation to move needed transportation projects forward. It is my hope that this can serve as a template for cooperation in planning, funding and building future projects together.
On behalf of the Gateway Coalition, I would like to thank the many organizations and individuals who played a part in making this happen, with special recognition of the board and membership of the coalition.
Golden State Gateway Coalition