Preparation in full swing for Carmageddon freeway closure sequel

Carmageddon

Grant Slater/KPCC

Los Angeles County transportation agencies hope for a repeat of this scene along the 405 freeway this weekend. That's when work crews will close the heavily traveled route to demolish the north side of the Mullholland Drive bridge. The photo depicts last summer's Carmageddon that shut down the freeway for most of a weekend last July; this time, authorities warn that crews will need from this Friday evening through early Monday morning to complete their work.

Transportation agencies are gearing up for this weekend's ‘Carmageddon 2’: the Friday evening partial shutdown of the 405 freeway. The closure is needed to demolish the north side of the Mulholland Drive bridge. True to Hollywood form, this Carmageddon sequel is likely to be more intense than the first.

Krishniah Murthy, the executive director of Transit Project Delivery under the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said work crews will catch up on some tasks they couldn’t finish during the first go-around.

“We have to do the additional paving work," said Murthy. "We have to do some additional excavation work and also some retaining work adjacent to the freeway."

More than 75 workers will clear storm drains, install new raised pavement markers, re-stripe, replace signs, remove graffiti and perform some basic landscaping. The 53-hour shutdown gives them time to work on both sides of the 405 - the nation’s busiest freeway - without vehicle traffic in the way.

The 405 will be closed northbound between the 10 and the 101, and southbound between the 101 and the Getty Center.

California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Calvin Aubrey said he doesn’t expect non-motorists to get in the way, either.

“I’ve put a couple additional officers in place to make sure we don’t have any dinner parties on the freeway," Aubrey emphasized. "And if that was to happen, the violators would be arrested and charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a peace officer.”

The CHP’s adding at least 16 officers to monitor the closed section of the 405 freeway. There’ll be about 45 in all. An additional 200 CHP officers will handle congestion in other places throughout LA County affected by Carmageddon 2.

Metro and Caltrans are jointly paving the remaining 10-mile gap of the northbound 405 carpool lane system over the Sepulveda Pass. The plan promises swifter traffic flow by connecting a continuous carpool lane of more than 70 miles in both directions from Orange County to the San Fernando Valley.

This effort is part of the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.

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