Improved Sunset Boulevard Bridge reopens, making crossing the 405 easier

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LA’s best-known boulevard now has a bigger, better span across the city's busiest freeway - the 405. The eight-lane Sunset Boulevard bridge reopened Monday.

Crews started upgrade on the bridge more than two-years ago as part of the $1 billion I-405 improvement project.

In addition to the extra lanes, the crews have given the bridge a seismic upgrade.
The bridge now has new water and underground power lines.
It also features higher capacity on and off ramps for the 405, as well as dedicated turn lanes from the bridge to access those ramps.

K.N. Murthy, the executive director of transit projects for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, stood on one of the widened sidewalks of the bridge Monday and watched cars move across with ease.

"Most mornings, the traffic would be jammed up on the bridge," Murthy said. "You can see it flowing quite smoothly now."

Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board chairman Zev Yaroslavsky said the extra lanes will make it easier for residents of Brentwood and Westwood to cross the 405 without getting stuck on the bridge.

He also applauded area residents for their patience after the renovation lasted about four months over schedule.

"They have taken it, they sucked it up," said Yaroslavsky, who represents the area. He added that residents had no choice. "Because you can’t repair a freeway and widen the freeway that carries half-a-million cars a day without having some sort of inconvenience."

The Sunset Boulevard bridge carries an estimated 18,000 to 22,000 motorists on an average weekday.

It's one of three bridges to be demolished and rebuilt as part of the 405 improvement project.

The other two bridges are Skirball and Mulholland Bridges.

Final demolition of the Mulholland Bridge is scheduled September 29 and 30. Known as "Carmageddon II", the work will shut down the 405 northbound between the 101 and 10 freeways, and southbound between the 101 and the Getty Center.

Correction: An earlier version of this story didn't completely state where the 405 will be closed.

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