405 project: No more playing nice

I405-East-View-of-Mulholland-Bridge-5501.jpgYou may think the disruption on the 405 freeway has been bad this past year, with all the lane closings, bridge munching machines and overnight shutdowns. Well, now it's serious time. As a story on ZevWeb puts it, "you ain’t seen nothing yet." The entire freeway has to close in both directions for 53 hours — that's two whole days and change — for removal of half of the Mulholland Drive bridge in Sepulveda Pass. The plan is to do it over a weekend in July. Summer weekend: bummer for suburbanites trying to go to the beach, or travelers between SoCal and NorCal (or MidCal.)

With a half million or so vehicles moving along that stretch of the 405 during a typical July weekend, the closure has the potential of becoming a midsummer night’s nightmare for motorists heading to LAX, the beach or other destinations. But, with enough planning and advance notice, Metro officials say that the worst can be averted.

“This is manageable as long as the public cooperates. They’ve got a lot of summer plans and we don’t want them to be surprised,” said Metro spokesman Marc Littman. “If you can stay home, great. If you don’t have to drive, great.” And if you do have to get behind the wheel, follow the officially marked detours, which by that point will have been widely publicized.

Already, Metro is gearing up for a major blitz to raise public awareness of what will almost certainly be one of the project’s most disruptive weekends. (The other will come when the freeway is closed again for the demolition of the north side of the bridge some 11 months after.) Ads in local newspapers are expected to start running next week, and a press conference—the first of many outreach activities— is scheduled for May 23.

Previously on LA Observed:
Wilshire fly-over ramps on 405 confirmed
405 project gets serious again
Sunset Blvd. bridge, 1957
405 project, $1 billion, one bidder
Our love-hate affair with the 405 freeway
Dismantling the 405: Be very afraid

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