101 Freeway closed nightly at these roads for wildlife crossing project construction

Overnight closures to accommodate construction of a wildlife crossing over the 101 Freeway in the Liberty Canyon area near Agoura Hills will shift to the northbound side of the highway Wednesday evening.

Northbound lanes of the Los Angeles 101 Freeway will be closed between Liberty Canyon and Cheseboro roads beginning at 11:59 p.m. and continuing through 5 a.m. Thursday. The closure will be repeated nightly, Monday through Friday, while crews install massive girders on which the crossing will be built.

Installation of girders over the southbound freeway lanes began in mid-April, requiring overnight closures on that side of the roadway. With that work now completed, the closures now shift to the other side of the freeway.

The closures are necessary for crews to lift and install large concrete beams, or girders, over the freeway. Each of the girders weighs between 126 and 140 tons, stretching from the center median to the freeway shoulder, according to Caltrans.

A total of 82 girders are expected to be installed.

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Caltrans officials said motorists who need to traverse the area during the closure hours should consider using the 118 Freeway as an alternate between the 405 Freeway and state Route 23. More localized detours on area streets will also be in place.

Construction on the wildlife crossing began in 2022, and it is expected to be completed by late 2025 or early 2026.

The fully landscaped crossing will span over all 10 lanes of the freeway. It is designed to provide a connection between the small population of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains and the larger and genetically diverse populations to the north. The crossing will be the largest of its type in the nation, officials said.

Decades of road construction and development have been deadly for animals trying to cross the area's freeways, while creating islands of habitat that have genetically isolated wildlife ranging from bobcats to birds and lizards.

Wildlife advocates hope the crossing can save the threatened local population of mountain lions from extinction, which could become inevitable if lions continue a historic pattern of inbreeding due to the limited numbers of cats in the area.

More information about the project is available online at www.101wildlifecrossing.org.