405 shutdown: Hospitals concerned about July freeway closure

The dreaded 405 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
The dreaded 405 freeway in Los Angeles, California. arbyreed/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

The representative of four hospitals on the Westside gave a dire warning Thursday night at a public forum: next month’s weekend closure of the 405 Freeway could endanger the health of current and pending patients.

Posie Carpenter, the Chief Administrative Officer of the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, warned that next month's weekend freeway closure will be traveler nightmare.

Carpenter estimates about 1,500 employees work at the hospitals during each 12-hour shift, and noted that patient care could be jeopardized if employees are unable to get to work.

She told transportation and law enforcement officials Thursday night that there is a serious gap in planning for the July 15 start of the 53-hour shut down of Interstate 405.

Carpenter was also representing UCLA Ronald Reagan medical Center, St. John’s Hospital and the VA hospital at Thursday night’s meeting at the Skirball Center. Caltrans intends to close the 405 on July 16 and 17 to demolish a bridge in the Sepulveda Pass.

The freeway closure is necessary to allow bridge demolition.

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