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405 Freeway Shutdown Will Be A 'Nightmare'
Posted by Amy Oppenheim on May 22, 2011 - 7:27:17 PM

405 freeway contraction on Wilshire and Sepulveda Blvd. Photo by Kibiwot Limo
BEVERLY HILLS—On May 14, Los Angeles transportation officials announced that sections of the 405 Freeway will be shut down for an entire weekend in July.

Los Angeles County 3rd District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said in a press release that the freeway shutdown, dubbed the “I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project,” will commence between Friday night of July 15 and the following Saturday morning, and will not conclude until 53 hours later on Monday, July 18 at 5 a.m.

The project requires that the freeway is closed from Getty Center Drive all the way to the 101 in order to make way for the demolishing of the Mulholland Bridge.

Yaroslavsky states in the release that the freeway “closure has the potential of becoming a midsummer night’s nightmare for motorists heading to LAX, the beach or other destinations. But, with enough planning and advance notice, Metro officials say that the worst can be averted.”

Indeed, Metro officials are spreading the word about the approaching shutdown of the 405 (San Diego Freeway) in order to help commuters and local residents plan alternative routes to their destinations for that week. Metro spokesman Mark Littman has said that anyone who can avoid driving in this area for the duration of the demolition weekend should do so, and that those who cannot avoid the drive should take care to follow detour signs.

In addition to this first announcement of the prospective closure, Yaroslavsky says, “Ads in local newspapers are expected to start running next week, and a press conference—the first of many outreach activities—is scheduled for May 23.”

Areas such as Beverly Hills, Westwood, Topanga Canyon and Santa Monica will be affected heavily by the freeway closure, and motorists in these areas will need to take detours, which are predicted by city officials to be overcrowded and “a nightmare.”

The Mulholland Bridge, constructed in 1960, is one of three major bridges being demolished and rebuilt during this project. The Sunset and Skirball bridges, which have already been revamped, were also included in the development plan, but construction on these bridges didn’t have as large of an effect.

However, Mulholland Bridge’s “steepness makes the weekend-long closure necessary to protect passing motorists,” according to Metro officials.

The $1 billion project, which includes the construction of a 10-mile carpool lane and the reconstruction of the bridges, also plans to widen underpasses in order to build 18 miles of sound and retaining walls, as well as create both new and improved ramps, such as the “flyover” ramp at Wilshire Boulevard.


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