405 to open as scheduled, officials promise *

* 8:30 p.m. update: Opening is now expected around 11 p.m. Sunday, the mayor's office says.

Also Noted: CHP says people cited for entering the closed 405 on foot include "a lost couple from Europe & a bride and groom out for a stroll."

Original post:

Removal of the north side of the original Mulholland Drive bridge over the 405 freeway has gone about as well as expected. Mayor Villarigosa and Metro officials said Sunday evening that the lanes through Sepulveda Pass will open as promised by 5 a.m. on Monday. Some new concrete pavement poured at the construction site will be cured by then.

Sunday's traffic challenges were a bit more pronounced than Saturday's, mostly due to the Herbalife Triathlon. The race, scheduled months before Metro chose this weekend for Carmageddon, caused the closure of Venice Boulevard and cut off north-south movement across the Westside — unless you got on the 405, which a lot of drivers did. Those on the northbound side hit backups where the freeway closed at the 10 freeway.

I got around fine on Saturday, even driving Sepulveda Boulevard all the way from Pico to Sherman Oaks in the Valley, right past the Mulholland bridge construction site. I had no problems getting to 800 Degrees Pizza in Westwood Village on Saturday night. All in all, Carmageddon II was a good thing in my small part of the world, just as the first Carmageddon proved to be. The most people put out by the freeway closure, once again, were likely those from north of the city who had to get to LAX or drivers from Orange County and beyond who wished to transit Los Angeles by car over the weekend.

Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro

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