In case you haven’t heard, a ten-mile stretch of one of the busiest highways in the world is going to be closed all weekend. The stretch of highway involves Los Angeles’ I-405 connecting the San Fernando Valley with the West Side. Motorists are fearing the construction project is going to cause unprecedented delays and massive congestion. Unfortunately, everyone’s concerns are probably realistic as more than 250,000 cars traverse the stretch on a daily basis.
Nicknamed ‘carmageddon,’ the project is set to take the entire upcoming weekend and will involve widening the roadways and making significant changes to the flow of traffic. The Mulholland Bridge will be completely demolished as crews are set to add a carpool lane on I-405 that simply will not fit with the presence of the bridge’s support system. In order to complete this task, the entire freeway must be closed in both directions for 53 straight hours.
Analysis are estimating backups will reach between 28 and 65 miles long.
Transportation officials are begging and pleading with drivers to avoid the area all weekend and not to travel if it is not necessary. It is predicted that all nearby surface streets and freeways will be jammed with people seeking alternate routes to the West Side from the Valley.
California Highway Patrol Capt. Greg Hammond, in all seriousness, stated that the LAPD and CHP have “front loaded” their forces for this weekend to combat the influx of road rage-related incidents they expect. In addition to the expected assaultive conduct, CHP reminds all travelers to ensure they have plenty of gas in their car and to stay well-hydrated; travel times are expected to be tripled, at a minimum.
Blogs and websites have begun the ‘carmageddon countdown’ to prepare drivers for what is expected to be one of the most hectic and frustrating weekends in recent travel memories. The following FAQ will hopefully ease some of the fears for those expecting to have to travel between the West Side and the Valley at any point in the next 53 hours.
- The closure begins at 7:00pm on Friday, July 15.
- The closure includes all on-ramps to the northbound 405 between the 10 and the 101, and southboundbetween the 101 and Getty Center Drive.
- Construction begins at 12:00am.
- All lanes must re-open by 6am, Monday July 18. If construction is incomplete by that time, the construction contractors are obligated to pay government officials $6,000 for every ten minutes they are late.