All the hype over this past weekend’s I-405 closure turned out to be just that: hype. Dubbed the “carmageddon,” Southern California residents, California Highway Patrol and local police departments prepared for what was expected to be a weekend filled with rage-related roadway incidents, gridlock, unfathomable traffic and three-hour travel times. However, many reports detail the seemingly cooperative nature of motorists as roadway crews scrambled to finish the job on time.
Not only did the construction project finish on time, but nearly an entire day early. This is a good thing for the contracted construction company completing the job as for every ten minutes they were late past the 6am Monday deadline, the contract required a liquidated damages amount of $6,000. One hour past the deadline would have resulted in a $36,000 judgment. Luckily, roadway crews finished the job around noon on Sunday.
All reports detail that the demolition went smoothly and without a hitch. In fact, the mayor beamed while relaying to television crews that the “mission [was] accomplished.”
Second only to the construction team in helping to avoid ‘carmageddon’ would be Southern California motorists who heeded incessant warnings to stay off the roads if possible. Motorists displayed cordial behavior and dealt with the temporary closures without incident. Many actually stated they enjoyed the “staycation” as it forced families to stay home instead of running errands all over town.
Another closure is scheduled for next June when the remaining half of the Mullholland Bridge must come down. Authorities are speculating the closures will go as smoothly as this closure and hope that the construction project will not cause much headache, if any, for Californians.
In addition to the seamless-ness of the I-405 closure, air pollution was reduced and smog lifted from the area during the closure. Hospitals and LAX operated as usual and only 8 bicyclists were cited for being unable to resist the urge to take a ride on the vacant freeway. A band of protesters also arrived to voice their stances on the benefits of mass public transportation as opposed to dependence on cars.