405 update: What's going to happen at Wilshire


A few hundred feet from the busiest street intersections in Los Angeles — Wilshire Boulevard at Westwood and Veteran — Caltrans and Metro will soon begin transforming one of the city's most messed-up traffic snarls. The new Wilshire on- and off-ramps to the 405 will be sleek and efficient when they are done: check the rendering above, which looks northwest from a vantage point of above the federal building. But the work, scheduled to start for real in August, is expected to take 21 months. In other words, the traffic disruption in that area hasn't even gotten serious yet — though people are already tired of it — and there's at least two years more to go.

Some highlights from a Metro fact sheet:

The reconstruction of the Wilshire Bl ramps and their connections with the I-405 freeway require a complex construction schedule to minimize the traffic effects at these heavily traveled interchanges. Although the reconstructed interchanges will produce some of the I-405 project’s greatest traffic improvements, the multiple ramp closures will affect traffic flow for miles...

We are going to segregate the Wilshire Bl traffic from the I-405 traffic. We’ll build two fly-over ramps which curve above the freeway. One will carry traffic exiting the southbound I-405 over the freeway to eastbound Wilshire Bl. The other fly-over will carry westbound Wilshire Bl traffic to the southbound I-405. The fly-over ramps will be taller than the common on- and off-ramps, so the Wilshire Bl/I-405 interchange will have a new profile....

The first ramps–Wilshire Bl westbound on-ramp to northbound I-405 and northbound I-405 off-ramp to westbound Wilshire Bl–will begin reconstruction in August 2011 for 90 days. Other ramps are scheduled to begin reconstruction in August 2012.... Approximately 21 months will be required from the start date to complete the Wilshire Bl ramps.

More immediately: Metro CEO Art Leahy on Wednesday sent an alert to local transportation officials to begin making them aware of the full 405 freeway shutdown in the Sepulveda Pass over the July 15-18 weekend. His message is after the jump.

Dear Transportation Partner,

As one of our valued Metro stakeholders, we are including you in a series of email distributions pertaining to the full closure of the I-405 freeway beginning July 15, through July 18, 2011. It is our hope that you can relay the emails to your own contact network so the information reaches the widest possible audience.

As background, Metro is currently improving the I-405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass to add a northbound HOV lane. Part of the project scope necessitates the demolition and reconstruction of the Mulholland Bridge. The bridge will be demolished one half at a time. The first demolition is scheduled for the weekend of July 16-17, 2011. The second demolition will occur one year later.

The entire 53-hour closure of the 405 freeway will be managed through an incident command post headed by LAFD/LAPD/CHP/Caltrans/Metro. Our outreach to commuters and travelers will have to be local, regional, statewide and even national because the routing of vehicles around the Sepulveda Pass will have impacts on the regional system. Please expect to receive regularly scheduled information including approved routing maps, communications options for up to the minute updates and expected system impacts. It is our intent to provide you with all the critical information necessary leading up to the actual demolition date so travelers on this weekend can make informed choices to arrive at their destination or choose to refrain from unnecessary travel through the affected area.

Your first line for information is the project website: www.metro.net/405. You may also call Jennifer Gill at xxx.xxx.xxxx for a referral to your regional lead. Please be advised that our Board of Directors and the agency staff are committed to getting you all the information you and your stakeholders need in advance to facilitate travel on this weekend. In the future, all communications on this very important road closure will be labeled I-405 SEPULVEDA PASS CLOSURE ALERT.


Arthur T. Leahy
Chief Executive Officer

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