Empire Avenue Interchange Project Benefits

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What is the Project?

The Empire Interchange / Interstate 5 Improvement Project is a series of enhancements to the Interstate 5 Freeway, including a new interchange at Empire Avenue. This project, lead by Caltrans and funded primarily by State transportation funds and Los Angeles County transportation sales tax funds, will relieve congestion along Interstate 5 while providing an important new access to the Golden State area of Burbank, including the Empire Center and Bob Hope Airport.


Project Highlights

  • Full freeway interchange at Empire Avenue
  • New freeway and railroad crossing allowing access to Empire Center
  • Freeway widening including 2carpool lanes and weaving lanes
  • Burbank Blvd. Interchange Demolition & Reconstruction
  • Railroad grade separation at Buena Vista Street
  • Realignment / Closure of San Fernando Blvd near Lincoln Street.

 Project Location Map

This complex project is fully funded and construction is underway.  Construction began in May 2014 and all the project components should be completed by 2018. However, certain project components would be completed earlier depending on project phasing.

Project Benefits

The highlight of the project is the construction of a new interchange with Empire Avenue in the vicinity of the current Scott Road offramp. This new interchange will provide full access to the freeway from both San Fernando Boulevard and Empire Avenue and allow traffic destined to the new Empire Center a direct freeway connection. The intersection would connect San Fernando directly to Empire Avenue providing a new link between Downtown Burbank and eastern Burbank with the Airport Area in western Burbank. This connection will improve circulation for vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit vehicles.

Project Diagram

This project also includes reconstructing the Burbank Blvd interchange near the former "5-Points" intersection to improve circulation and reconfigure the outdated loop ramps with a modern diamond interchange.  The project also removes a railroad crossing at Buena Vista Street to improve safety by removing train-vehicle conflicts. Metrolink tracks will pass over both Buena Vista as well as the new Empire Avenue connection.  The Empire Interchange project is part of a larger effort to add carpool lanes along Interstate 5 through the City of Burbank. The freeway will be widened, and extra auxillary lanes added to accommodate the new freeway ramps. The map below shows the various components of the Empire Avenue Interchange and related projects in Burbank.

Project Components

Project Renderings


Empire Avenue looking east from Valpreda Street towards the new Empire Interchange.  New Victory Place overcrossing and railroad bridge are visible.  Rendering includes optional landscaping treatments being considered by the City.


Aerial view of new Empire Interchange looking northwest.  New diamond interchange, freeway bridge, and railroad bridge is visible.


Buena Vista Street looking north at San Fernando Boulevard towards new railroad grade separation.

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