WESTWOOD—The first of eight projects to expand the Interstate 405 began June 22 with the Wilshire Boulevard ramp demolition, as Metro refurbished the I-405, the main goal of which is to add a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) northbound lane.
The “Sepulveda Pass Widening” focuses on creation of a 10-mile HOV lane on the San Diego Freeway that should relieve the busy stretch of road from Venture Freeway (US-101) to the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10), Los Angeles Metro reports. The first leg of construction is expected to take 90 days, during which time drivers should expect heavy delays. Metro is urging carpooling, detouring, time management; anything to ease the congestion to follow.
“One of the principle traffic bottlenecks occurs at…Wilshire Boulevard, where eight on and off ramps connect to the northbound and southbound 405,” explained Kasey Shuda, the Wilshire Segment community relations officer.
“Drivers merging on and off the 405 freeway, jockey with drivers travelling east and west on a heavily congested Wilshire,” explains a instructional video from the project’s Facebook page. “Currently, a dangerous weave occurs when drivers entering the freeway must merge with drivers exiting the freeway.”
The new ramps will have wide separation between on and off ramps in an effort to keep commuters from having to negotiate for a place on the 405. In addition, the smoother transition on to the freeway is expected to relieve traffic substantially.
In addition, the Sepulveda Pass Widening aims to “remove and replace the Skirball Center Drive, Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive bridges,” as well as realign 27 other on/off ramps along that route, widening 13 underpasses and structures and “construct approximately 18 miles of retaining wall and sound wall,” according to a release from Metro.
The entire project is scheduled to take more than a year, but the project has been under development since April, 2010.
“Our goal is to keep freeway and street closure times to an absolute minimum,” ,”once a ramp closes, construction will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until the ramp reopens.”
However, commuters can expect their daily drive to altered severely if they take the Wilshire ramp to and from work, and should consider the added effects to the surrounding ramps.
For traffic detour information and suggestions, visit www.metro.net/projects/ and click on the I-405 Sepulveda Pass project in the ‘Under Construction’ options.
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