Freeway rattle

Dear Editor:My husband and I have lived here in Downey for 37 years, two houses south of the I-5 Freeway. Never, in all the years of living here, has the freeway vibration been as bad as it is now. Except for rush hour in the morning and evening when vehicles are traveling at slow speeds, our house is in a constant state of shake and rattle. Our cabinet doors rattle. The windows rattle. The couch and the bed jerk and shake even into the wee hours of the morning. The whole house shakes. The icing on the cake was when a picture actually fell off the wall one evening a month ago. The continual shaking can not be good to the structure of the house. We are noticing cracks at the drywall joints and drywall nails are popping through the drywall spackle. The source of the noise and shaking appears to be from concrete panels in the freeway that have sunk and have broken into numerous smaller pieces, resulting in uneven surface between damaged concrete panel and the adjacent undamaged panel. One example is the southbound lane just north of the Lemoran Avenue overcrossing. There are additional damaged panels between Lakewood Boulevard and the 605 Freeway. Our quality of life has been adversely affected. Living in this house is like experiencing the initial shock of an earthquake and the accompanying "fight or flight" of adrenaline all day long. This is not a healthy way to live for adults or children. There are numerous studies done showing the detrimental effect that the "fight or flight" cortisol levels exert on the human body. The resale value of our homes are adversely affected as well. Imagine potential buyers walking through your house as trucks bounce around on the freeway, rattling windows and doors and shaking pictures off the walls. It is also embarrassing to have guests over during all this commotion. The freeway was here before we were and we understand the implications of living close to this vital corridor but an intolerable threshold has been reached. We are at the mercy of the thousands of vehicles that use the I-5 - the traffic levels continue to climb and vehicles are larger and heavier than in years past. We are asking Caltrans for consideration of a fair balance between the benefits of the I-5 corridor to California and the nation, and the citizens directly affected by the 24-hour shaking that we must endure. We ask that Caltrans please fix the problem and give residents peace of mind and a feeling of some control in their lives. I am aware that resurfacing of the I-5 from Lakewood Boulevard north to Slauson Avenue has been funded and scheduled. Too bad that the short span between Lakewood south to the 605 was not given the same consideration. It has been suggested that complaints be emailed to -- Paula and Greg Mayfield, Downey

********** Published: January 6, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 38