Carmageddon Comes Twice for LA
The $1-billion dollar Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project will wrap up after two years and two months of reconstruction, heavy traffic jams and ramp closures.
The Sunset Boulevard bridge, which hangs over the 405 Freeway, will close Friday and Saturday nights. Church Lane between Kiel Street and Sepulveda Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard between Veteran and Barrington will also be closed at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday evening.
"I live off sunset so in order to get home I have to get on the 4-0-5 and I know it wasn't that bad last year but there's no way I'm gonna risk it," said USc student Katie Shelton.
Both streets are scheduled to reopen at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. Additionally, the section on Sunset Boulevard between Barrington and Veteran will be cut down to one lane from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
"I don't know what to do. I have a birthday party, but let's hope it won't be too bad," said Lauren Berry.
The Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project has added a northbound carpool lane on the 405 Freeway between the I-10 and the US-101. 27 ramps have been realigned and 13 structures and underpasses have been widened. In addition, 18 retaining and sound walls have been built to increase stability and reduce traffic noise. The Skirball Center Drive and Mulholland Drive bridges have also been demolished and reconstructed.
A widespread public information campaign including radio advance warnings and flashing signs on the 405 Freeway have been warning motorists about the closures since mid-July. Authorities hope that Carmageddon II will be practically nonexistent, as it was during the initial Carmageddon.
"Our plan is to try and engage our on-call staff if they're not working local to try and provide them with housing here on campus or in the city of Santa Monica," said UCLA Director of Emergency Prepardness William Dunne.
Authorities warned motorists for months prior to last July's Carmageddon, which shut down a 10-mile section of the 405 Freeway for 53 hours. Thousands of drivers avoided the streets and traffic was lighter than normal, even during Friday evening rush hour.
This time, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is encouraging Los Angeles drivers to "Eat, Shop and Play Locally." Restaurants, museums and retail stores in the county will be offering discounts and deals Saturday and Sunday.
CNSNews.com contributed to this report.