Caltrans and Metro have all but finally decided to alter the way the impressively high, 1959-era Mulholland Drive bridge is replaced during the I-405 widening project. It's a simple change: they will build an all-new bridge before they tear down the old bridge. This actually saves $4 million to $10 million over juggling the two projects, according to the story at ZevWeb, and means less traffic congestion during construction for drivers on Mulholland.
The impetus to take another look at the construction plan grew out of meetings this summer with community activists concerned about how dismantling and rebuilding the Mulholland Bridge would affect traffic in the area, home to many educational and religious institutions.
There was applause when the new approach was announced at a recent meeting of the project’s Community Advisory Committee. The group was convened to provide input on the $1.034 billion project, a partnership between Metro and Caltrans that will create a 10-mile northbound carpool lane on the 405, along with other improvements.
“This group of decision-makers is actually listening to the public,” said Richard H. Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association and a member of the advisory committee...
The last couple of weeks has seen all the trees removed along the 405 south of Sepulveda Pass, and the first slopes being shaved away in the pass to widen the freeway's route. It all looks pretty denuded. KCRW board operator and traffic reporter Kajon Cermak keeps up to date on the daily lane and ramp closures at her blog Shortcuts.
Best news yet: Reading between the lines on the 405 project website, it appears the Wilshire on and off-ramps are being rebuilt as "flyovers" to separate traffic heading onto the freeway from traffic getting off. That could have good repercussions on the boulevard all the way back to the Santa Monica city line.