405

Forget Carmageddon II: Westside traffic about to feel a whole lot of pain

rampmerge550.jpgSometime this summer, the 405 freeway in Sepulveda Pass will close for another weekend of quiet and relative bliss on the Westside. Then it will be over, like last summer's faux Carmageddon. But in June, the rebuilding of the Wilshire Boulevard on- and off-ramps will begin a year-long traffic disruption in one of the nation's congested spots that will be so majorly disruptive it's being called The Rampture.

We've been warning you this was coming. In case you were hoping it would just go away, it didn't. Once done more than a year from now, the new Wilshire Boulevard flyover ramps will probably do more to ease traffic flow on the west side of Los Angeles than anything else could (short of a Great Depression.) The messy clash of competing interests that clogs up the area each day — cars jockeying to get on and off the freeway, traffic backing up into the cities of Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, commuters trying to leave UCLA and Westwood's high-rises — will be cleaned up so the cars getting on the freeway never have to see those getting off.

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But to get there will require 90-day closures of each of eight heavily used ramps — and freeway crews working feverish 24-hour, 7-day calendars to rush things to completion.

It begins on June 22, timed to follow the final UCLA graduation ceremony of the spring, Metro's I-405 crew will close the northbound 405 entry ramp from westbound Wilshire. On most afternoons, commuter traffic from Westwood, Beverly Hills and points east backs up into Westwood Village trying to enter that ramp. Those drivers will now fan out into whatever alternative routes or transit modes they choose, adding to the traffic load elsewhere.

There's a good rundown today by the writers at Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website, and this video from Metro explaining the situation.

Previously on LA Observed:

Metro confirms trouble with 405 retaining wall
Would you believe the 'Rampture' on I-405?
Next for the 405 - closing the Wilshire ramps
Interesting stats from Carmageddo weekend
Bad news: 405 to reopen


More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent 405 stories on LA Observed:
Metro's 405 contractor sues the agency over delays
Westside's long 405 construction nightmare all but over (photos)
This will be a bad traffic weekend around Sepulveda Pass
LAPD officer saves lucky Christmas drunk from burning car on 405
'Carmageddon' bridge over 405 opens
Final Wilshire@405 fly-over ramp to open Thursday
First flyover ramp opens at Wilshire and the 405
Soon as the 405 is done, more work planned for Wilshire


 

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