Lemon Avenue ramps move ahead in Diamond Bar and Walnut

The nearly decade-old plan to make the 60 Freeway accessible at Lemon Avenue is moving forward. Residents living along the Freeway at Lemon Avenue have received notices to possibly sell portions of their property to Caltrans for construction of on-and-off ramps, according to Diamond Bar and Caltrans officials.

To make room for a westbound on-ramp and eastbound on- and off-ramps, nine property owners, including several along Flintgate Drive, will have to sell portions of their backyards. They were sent notices by Caltrans that their properties would be appraised in anticipation of a sale. Four commercial properties also will be asked for slivers of their land but they have yet to be notified by mail, said Maria Raptis, spokesperson for Caltrans District 7.

The LA Fitness that abuts the eastbound 60 lanes at Golden Springs Drive east of Lemon Avenue could lose 7 parking spaces to accommodate an eastbound on-ramp, according to a city report issued Tuesday.

If after appraisals are performed, the property owners refuse to sell, condemnation procedures will be started, explained city officials. Condemnation procedures can take 6 to 9 months. “That is always a last resort,” Raptis said.

It will take Caltrans the rest of this year and most of 2013 to acquire the land necessary to build the ramps. Land acquisition will cost $2.3 million and the city of Industry is picking up the cost, said Diamond Bar officials.

The city report said construction of the new on- and off-ramps will begin in May 2014 and be completed by December 2015.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story LEMON

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