Amid sweeping flyovers and an overall fantastic freeway design, Interstate 105 (Century/Glenn Anderson Freeway) cuts a swath across El Segundo, Hawthorne, south Los Angeles, and Downey on its venture from Los Angeles International Airport to Interstate 605. Like Interstates 278 and 678 in New York City, Interstate 105 is not directly connected to its parent.
Interstate 105 was completed and opened to traffic in October 1993, and it is the last major freeway to open in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It is the Glenn Anderson Freeway, and it provides an east-west route to serve Los Angeles International Airport and connects Interstate 405 near El Segundo with Interstate 605 in Norwalk. With the completion of Interstate 105, the only remaining new freeway construction projects in the area involve the tumultuous and controversial Interstate 710 northbound into Pasadena and the final connection of California 210 with Interstate 215 near San Bernardino. Other freeway proposals are on the official California state highway map as proposed corridors (such as the California 14 southerly extension, California 64, California 90 parallel to Slauson Avenue, and others), but none of this are likely for construction anytime soon.
As a multi-modal freeway, Interstate 105 carries a segment of Metrolink in its median, providing rapid transit through South Los Angeles toward Los Angeles International Airport. Large train stations are in place at several interchanges, thus allowing easy access to bus corridors along city streets.
Replacing parallel California 42 (Manchester Avenue), Interstate 105 was originally slated to meet Interstate 5 in Norwalk, but that extension was deleted from the plans. The City of Norwalk considered the freeway to be divisive, and many would argue that the effectiveness of Interstate 105 as a primary east-west freeway was undercut by Norwalk's action to keep the freeway from crossing its boundaries. Nevertheless, access to Interstate 105 from Interstate 5 may be afforded via California 91 and Interstate 605. In addition, some motorists use former California 42/Firestone Boulevard from Interstate 5 to Interstate 105.
Additional controversy plagued the entire route of Interstate 105. Protests against the freeway from adjacent community members lasted for years, throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Construction began in 1982, so it took over ten years to complete the freeway.
Between 1964 and 1968, Interstate 105 was commissioned as an Interstate linking Interstate 5/10, U.S. 101, and California 10 (former Interstate 110) north of downtown Los Angeles, as shown in the map below. Interstate 110 ended at the same interchange where former Interstate 110 ended. In 1968, Interstate 105 was decommissioned, and that portion of the Santa Ana Freeway was folded into U.S. 101.
Interstate 105 was revived several years later as the number for the proposed Century Freeway.
Even though Norwalk denied the connection of Interstate 105 to Interstate 5, it is possible that this connection may resurface, perhaps as part of the planned widening and modernization of Interstate 5 between the Los Angeles-Orange County Line and downtown Los Angeles (for more on this, see Caltrans District 7's Interstate 5 web page.
In addition, there were early proposals to extend Interstate 105 east past Interstate 5 to meet the California 90/Richard M. Nixon Freeway in Orange County. Such a freeway was squashed by public outcry, but the extension still appears in the official California state map as a proposed freeway corridor along unconstructed California 90.
All things considered, it is very unlikely that Interstate 105 will be extended any time soon.
Western Terminus - Los Angeles International Airport - El Segundo, California
Perspective from Westbound Interstate 105
Westbound Interstate 105 as it passes over Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. This is the last freeway to freeway interchange for westbound Interstate 105, and the freeway continues for another mile or so past this point before reaching its end at California Street. Photo taken 08/16/03.
The transit corridor that has followed the median of Interstate 105 will shift toward Los Angeles International Airport, and there are no additional transit stops along the rest of westbound Interstate 105. Most traffic remaining on the freeway are accessing the airport and its ancillary development or headed toward El Segundo and the beaches near Vista Del Mar. Photo taken 08/16/03.
Westbound Interstate 105 meets La Cienega Boulevard before merging traffic from Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway reaches the freeway (note the ramps coming in from the right of the picture). Photo taken 08/16/03.
The runways, control tower, and other structures of Los Angeles International Airport are plainly visible from Interstate 105 after it passes Interstate 405. The airport encompasses much of the economic vitality of this section of Los Angeles, including hotels and other traveler amenities. Photo taken 08/16/03.
The next exit along Westbound Interstate 105 is for Nash Street. The main exit for Los Angeles International Airport is the Northbound California 1 interchange. Photo taken 08/16/03.
Westbound Interstate 105 at Northbound California 1. This is the best route to reach Los Angeles International Airport, the busiest airport in Southern California and arguably one of the nation's busiest. Planes are frequently seen flying in tandem as they approach parallel runways from the heights of the Interstate 105 viaduct. Photo taken 08/16/03.
The final exit along westbound Interstate 105 is for Southbound California 1, the Pacific Coast Highway (which follows historic Sepulveda Boulevard near the airport). Photo taken 08/16/03.
On clear days such as this one, the Pacific Ocean shines in the distance, signaling the pending western terminus of westbound Interstate 105. The upcoming traffic signal at California Street indicates the end of the freeway; the ocean lies a mile or two west of here. Photo taken 08/16/03.
The freeway rapidly shifts from a raised viaduct to a surface street as it approaches California Street. Photo taken 08/16/03.
Westbound Interstate 105 finally ends at this traffic signal at California Street. The roadway continues straight ahead as Imperial Highway, a non-state maintained facility, en route to El Segundo and Vista Del Mar. To return to eastbound Interstate 105, one may make a U-turn at this traffic signal. Photo taken 08/16/03.
Perspective from Eastbound Interstate 105
Begin Interstate 105 as it transitions from Imperial Highway onto the freeway. Motorists may choose to take the freeway or follow Imperial Highway with its traffic signals and congestion. Photo taken 08/16/03.
Eastbound Interstate 105 approaching Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. Interstate 405 leads north to Santa Monica and the Central Valley; it leads south to Long Beach, Orange County, and San Diego. Photo taken 08/16/03.
Eastbound Interstate 105 at Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. Interstate 105 continues straight ahead to meet three more Interstate highways: Interstate 110/Harbor Freeway, Interstate 710/Long Beach Freeway, and Interstate 605/San Gabriel River Freeway. Photo taken 08/16/03.
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 605 - Norwalk, California
Perspective from Eastbound Interstate 105
Eastbound Interstate 105 approaching end at Interstate 605. Note the end Interstate 105 shield. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
This exit from Interstate 105 is available for high occupancy vehicles only via Studebaker Road. All regular traffic must exit onto Interstate 605. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Eastbound Interstate 105 heading under Interstate 605 stack interchange leading to Studebaker Road. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Eastbound Interstate 105 approaching stoplight end at Studebaker Road in Norwalk. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Perspective from Westbound Interstate 105
Begin Westbound Interstate 105 from Studebaker Road. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
Perspective from Northbound Interstate 605
Northbound Interstate 605 at California 91. California 91 provides a freeway connection east to Interstate 5, thus easing access to Interstate 105 from the south. The next exits are Alondra Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue, followed by Interstate 105/Glenn Anderson Freeway. Photos taken 07/21/01 and 08/16/03.
The next three exits along northbound Interstate 605 are Alondra Boulevard (Exit 7B), Rosecrans Avenue (Exit 9A), and Interstate 105/Glenn Anderson Freeway (Exit 9B). Both Alondra Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue run east-west through the area, passing through Norwalk en route to Bellflower and Paramount, two communities west of Interstate 605. Photo taken 05/13/05.
The following sign indicates that Imperial Highway is the next exit along northbound Interstate 605 after the Interstate 105/Glenn Anderson Freeway interchange. Without exit numbers, it is very difficult to determine the position of this exit with respect to the others except that this exit is a mile away from here, unlike the exits for Rosecrans Avenue and Interstate 105. Photo taken 08/16/03.
After the advance sign for Imperial Highway, northbound Interstate 605 meets Rosecrans Avenue, but the two right lanes provide access to westbound Interstate 105. Note that traffic for Imperial Highway is encouraged to remain in the Number 5 lane of the seven available lanes. Photo taken 05/13/05.
The two right lanes along northbound Interstate 605 exit onto westbound Interstate 105. Interstate 605 continues north to meet Interstate 5 near the border between Norwalk and Downey. Continuing along the San Gabriel River, Interstate 605 reaches its end at its junction with Interstate 210/Foothill Freeway in Duarte. Photo taken 05/13/05.
The transition between northbound Interstate 605 and westbound Interstate 105 flies high above Interstate 605. From here, the configuration of Interstate 105 with its light rail transit corridor in the median is immediately visible. And for a freeway that just began, it picks up traffic quickly as it journeys toward Los Angeles International Airport and El Segundo. Photo taken 08/16/03.
Perspective from Studebaker Road in Norwalk
Only high occupancy vehicles may use the final half-mile stretch of Interstate 105 between Studebaker Road and Interstate 605. Signage for Interstate 105 from Studebaker Road. As such, the traditional freeway entrance signage has been modified to inform motorists that this entrance may only be used by high occupancy vehicles. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).
This sign, as seen from southbound Studebaker Road in Norwalk just prior to the freeway entrance to Interstate 105, provides detailed information about the rules governing the High Occupancy Vehicle restrictions. Had Interstate 105 been extended east to Interstate 5, this interchange would be markedly different, and it would have ample room for more than just high occupancy vehicles. Photo taken by Andy Field/Casey Cooper/Joel Windmiller/Mark Furqueron (7/21/01).