Updated 9 p.m.: Metro officials said Saturday night that quick work by its crews means the northbound San Diego 405 Freeway has a third open lane and should be wide open as of sunrise Sunday, City News Service reported.
The third northbound lane was open as of about 8 p.m., Metro spokesman Dave Sotero told CNS.
The Los Angeles Times reported that construction work that has caused lane closures on the northbound 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass is proceeding ahead of schedule, and the entire freeway could be reopened earlier than planned, according to Sotero.
Construction work on a 2.4-mile stretch of the freeway caused shutdowns of some or all northbound lanes at different times. The lane closures began Friday night.
The freeway was reduced Saturday afternoon from five to two lanes between the Montana Avenue offramp and the Getty Center Drive offramps in West Los Angeles, Metro officials said. The closures were planned to last until early Monday.
Traffic on the northbound 405 was sluggish if not stalled most of Saturday as onramps were closed and traffic lanes were reduced.
The 405 north was crawling at 10 miles an hour as far back as Venice Boulevard, and there was also stopped traffic on ramps to the 405 from the Santa Monica (10) Freeway.
Previously: For those traveling north on the 405 Freeway this weekend around the Sepulveda Pass area, be prepared for fewer lanes or consider an alternative route.
Starting Friday night, three lanes of the northbound 405 will be closed between Montana Avenue and the Getty Center Drive off-ramp until early Monday morning. Los Angeles County Metro spokesman Dave Sotero says two lanes of the Northbound 405 will remain open, but the going will be slow. (Story continues beneath document window.)
I-405 Partial Closure Map by CalTrans/Metro
"If you don’t want to use those two lanes, you can divert onto Sepulveda. That has two lanes in the northbound direction," Sotero said. "Or you may want to bypass the 405 and use another freeway to continue northbound. We do anticipate that there’s going to be additional traffic delays in this area…all weekend long."
If you need to exit the freeway between Montana Avenue and Moraga Avenue, get off the freeway at Wilshire Boulevard and take Sepulveda northbound instead.
If you need to get onto the freeway from this area, take Sepulveda and enter at Wilshire Boulevard to the south or Skirball Center Drive to the north.
And you should probably avoid the freeway altogether late at night: All lanes of the northbound 405 will be closed between 1 am and 6 a.m. Saturday, 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday and midnight to 5 a.m. Monday.
Crews are working to realign that stretch of the 405 to incorporate a future carpool lane. The new HOV lane will eventually stretch between the 10 and the 101 freeways. Once it’s completed, the northbound 405 will have a continuous carpool lane between Orange County and the San Fernando Valley.
The effort is part of the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. Transportation leaders say two-thirds of the work is done, but there are some construction issues that are holding the project back, says Metro’s Dave Sotero.
“The utility work on Sepulveda Boulevard has been challenging," says Sotero. " There’s been 17 utilities underneath Sepulveda that have had to be relocated.”
Sotero says Metro also underestimated how long it would take to build the new HOV lane. Metro originally planned to finish the overall project by this summer. Now it’s aiming for the middle of next year.
And then there’s the matter of money.
“The project is going to require additional funding to complete," notes Sotero. The project had been forecast to cost $1.048 billion, but Sotero says the revised forecast is $1.149 billion. "We are going to be coming to our board and identifying some additional sources of funding” for that additional $100 million, he says.
In the meantime, Sotero says the agency is on track to finish the Skirball and Mulholland bridges by the end of the year. There’s also work to finish on the six ramps at Wilshire Boulevard.