County provides details on $250M upgrades to The Old Road 

A portion of The Old Road is scheduled to receive a $250 million upgrade to make it safer for motorists and pedestrians. Tyler Wainfeld/The Signal.
A portion of The Old Road is scheduled to receive a $250 million upgrade to make it safer for motorists and pedestrians. Tyler Wainfeld/The Signal.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works provided details last week at the Stevenson Ranch Library regarding a $250 million project that is meant to make a portion of The Old Road in the northern Santa Clarita Valley safer for motorists and pedestrians. 

The project is slated to begin in the fall should all of the necessary permits be obtained and the environmental impact report is accepted. 

The EIR is available for review on the Public Works website at and is expected to be finalized during the summer. Public comments on the project are being accepted until April 11 via email at [email protected]

The purpose of the project, currently slated for a 2-mile stretch on The Old Road between Magic Mountain Parkway and Henry Mayo Drive, is to relieve congestion as more traffic is anticipated in the area in the future and to rebuild two bridges in that area to bring them up to code, according to Natalie Thompson, principal environmental planner for AECOM, a multinational infrastructure consulting firm. 

L.A. County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the SCV, said in a statement that this project has taken a long time to come close to fruition but is finally knocking on the door. 

“Large-scale road improvements like this one are complex and have a lot of moving parts,” Barger said in the statement. “It has taken six years to get to this point and there are still important milestones ahead — including obtaining an environmental clearance — but we’re getting closer … The goal is to break ground in 2024 with community enthusiasm and support of this Old Road project.” 

The Santa Clara River bridge is structurally deficient, according to Federal Highway Administration standards, and would not be able to withstand a potential flood, Thompson said. That bridge would be elevated by 9 feet on the north end and 15 feet on the south end. 

Thompson added that the other bridge, located over the abandoned Southern Pacific Transportation Co. railroad tracks, would be lowered to be more in line with Rye Canyon Road’s current elevation. 

The Old Road itself would get an upgrade, with the aforementioned stretch of the road scheduled to be widened from two lanes on each side to three lanes. Class IV bike lanes — meaning a physical buffer between motorists and bicyclists, according to Bashar Subhed, one of the engineers for the project — and pedestrian walkways would also be part of the upgrades. New drainage facilities would also be constructed while older ones would be reconstructed. 

One lane in each direction would be kept open during construction, Thompson said. 

Nina Moskol with the SCV Bicycle Coalition said these improvements should be approved and would make the area safer. 

“We’ve seen numerous members of our community using these bridges that do not have any sort of bicycle or pedestrian infrastructure, which causes a major safety hazard,” Moskol said. “We know that The Old Road is a frontage road for (Interstate 5) and can be extremely dangerous for non-motorized users in particular.” 

Multiple people asked for the project to be broadened to go further north to the roundabout located at Hasley Canyon Road. Thompson said that question would be answered in the final EIR. 

Not wanting people to turn away from supporting the project, Moskol noted that the alternative option — which would see no action taken and the current status of The Old Road and the bridges in question would remain — is worse than the project’s current scope. 

“Currently, The Old Road is in terrible physical condition and the bridges are also in bad condition,” Moskol said. “I’d like to emphasize the (project) is really the best option for the entire community.” 

To view the project presentation in its entirety, visit 

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