While Henrik Fisker was in Washington, D.C. being grilled by Congress over government loans received by his former company, Fisker Automotive, Tesla co-founder Elon Musk was offering to give the California government money to help widen the 405 freeway.

With delays and cost overruns plaguing the expansion of one of the busiest stretches of road in the US, Musk has already kicked in $50,000 to move the project along and is apparently willing to spend even more to get the job done.

According to the LA Times, the widening of the 405 is already at least a year behind schedule and about $100 million over budget, and Musk was quoted as saying that he'd be willing to contribute more to hire new workers to help end the "horrendous" traffic. The estimated completion date is now set for fall of 2014, which likely doesn't factor in any more problems that, according to the article, have included structural failure to miles of sound walls and legal battles over some ramp placements.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 83 Comments
      Carguy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm glad he is drawing attention to this problem. I drive that stretch almost everyday and on many days there are more people working on a home construction project then on this thing. Dont get me wrong there are millions of dollars of equipment most probably "rented" by a sister corp. of the contractor, Kiewet, but no body is using that equipment. If someone was building a retaining wall in their backyard they would have two masons on the job but on a multi billion dollar project I'm pretty sure they would need more. If the LA Times and our local tv stations were real journalists they would have a person on site asking questions everyday.
      Basil Exposition
      • 1 Year Ago
      More lanes. Yes, that's the answer. That will solve all the traffic problems.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anybody else notice the Towncar in the picture? Of all the things wrong with that grill, it's definitely noticeable.
      _I_I_II_I_I_
      • 1 Year Ago
      generous offer but more money doesn't fix stupid management of the project
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      More lanes wont help to ease congestion. The NYC subways system provides 5.3 million rides per day. Cali needs better mass transit in its big cities. 50k for one more worker wont do much to speed the construction process.
        Quen47
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Totally agree. Here in SF I just found out that the Bus Rapid Transit System that is supposed to serve my neighborhood is going to be delayed until 2020 at the earliest. That seems more urgent than widening a freeway that already exists, which never relieves congestion as planned. Also paulwesterberg, make up with Chris Mars already and get a proper Replacements reunion going already!
      joejoe509
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ugh. Something about this guy I still just want to punch him in the face. He is the essence of smug.
        T228
        • 1 Year Ago
        @joejoe509
        You need professional help.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @joejoe509
        Yeah . . . I like the guy but he can sure be smug.
      samich
      • 1 Year Ago
      Elon Musk is wasting his money because widening highways usually doesn't decrease traffic. More lanes encourage more people to drive, which leads to more traffic. It's phenomenon called "induced demand", i.e. you supply more of something and more people will use it. The only way to reduce traffic is to get less people driving. That means public transit alternatives and discouraging some driving. If drivers want those great country roads, then they need to get on board with more people driving less, because more drivers means bigger, more packed roads and there's a reason those are never in car commercials.
        Eddy Bobby
        • 1 Year Ago
        @samich
        I find it funny that the people on a driving enthusiast's blog are telling people to stop driving.
          Old Dude
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Eddy Bobby
          It's now "PUBLICTRANSITBLOG"!
        G
        • 1 Year Ago
        @samich
        More demand for cars? I wonder if Mr. Musk could take advantage of that?
      ngiotta
      • 1 Year Ago
      Over budget and behind schedule? With Caltrans on the job? Shocker! Here's a tip to the great state of California, if you've got 10 guys working on a patch of road and 9 of them are watching while 1 guy does all of the work, you've got problems.
        Donny Hoover
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ngiotta
        Yes, they should take a page from the book of Pennsylvania and Virginia, who really seem to have streamlined this process. I usually only see 3 or 4 guys dicking off while one works.
          Donny Hoover
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          Actually on second thought, Virginia saves their money by just not fixing their roads at all.
      Dfelix70
      • 1 Year Ago
      Traffic problems on the 405 occur at on/off ramps and when multiple highways merge. So, widening the 405 won't fix that. Better mass transit systems are the best answer, in addition to encouraging companies to allow more work-from-home opportunities.
      1guyin10
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should have subbed it out to Musk & Co. It would have been done early. Then again it is California, so every shovel full of dirt probably requires 40 government inspectors to check it, hold a few hearings and sign off before it can be deposited anywhere.
      vizcarmb
      • 1 Year Ago
      F that how bout you help out your home town in the Bay Area
        jonnybimmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vizcarmb
        LA native/SF resident here. Bay Area commuting traffic is something SoCal residents can only dream about. I don't think Musk's donations are going to help the construction problems in SoCal, but it is the better area to focus on for improving congestion problems.
      Old Dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like the pissed off Ciclovia crowd is taking an early lead with the comments.
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