La Cienega Boulevard – Baldwin Hills

Grade Separation at the Kenneth Hahn Park Exit.

Grade Separation at the Kenneth Hahn Park Exit.

Southbound from the Kenneth Hahn Bridge.
Southbound from the Kenneth Hahn Bridge.
Typical divided section. Just north of Stocker Blvd.
Typical divided section. Just north of Stocker Blvd.
Interchange for Slauson Ave.
Interchange for Slauson Ave.

Built in 1949, La Cienega Blvd through the Baldwin Hills was planned to be a part of the Laurel Canyon Freeway (State 170). The interchange with La Cienega Blvd and I-405 was also constructed with this freeway in mind, though only serves local roads today. The plan for the Laurel Canyon Freeway was dropped in the late 1960’s and no additional construction was done. Opposition, particularly in the Laurel Canyon area, helped end the freeway plan. This section of La Cienega Blvd was originally constructed with four lanes and later widened to its current six-lane configuration. Interchanges were constructed at Kenneth Hahn Regional Park and Slauson Ave, though the former was built much later in the 1980’s.

La Cienega Blvd today remains as a near-freeway grade roadway with two interchanges, one local road overcrossing, and a pedestrian bridge. From Rodeo Road in Los Angeles to Fairview Blvd in Inglewood, the roadway retains its freeway appearance. Only one major intersection, at Stocker Blvd, breaks this feel. A freeway-style median barrier also exists for most of its length. One bridge, just north of Stocker Blvd, retains its original 1949 railing. This roadway is a good reminder of what could have been, but wasn’t quite completed.

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