First there was "Carmageddon." Now, the "Rampture" a.k.a "RampJam."
Although these continued freeway closures have led to amusing nicknames, the drivers stuck in their path will likely not be amused. Starting Friday night, the Sunset Boulevard off-ramp of the 405 North will be closed for 120 days. (See map below.)
Metro Spokesman Dave Sotero said that even without the closure, this area experiences a lot of traffic.
“The average daily trips at the Sunset off-ramp are about 10,000 per day," he said. "And this was data aggregated by Cal-Trans. So those trips are going to have to find an alternate off-ramp on the 405.”
Metro says that during the closure, workers will demolish the existing ramp and build a new one, which will be able to hold more cars and better separate Sunset Boulevard traffic from the northbound I-405. The new ramp will have two turn lanes to eastbound Sunset and one turn lane to westbound Sunset.
The improvements are part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, which Metro says aims to reduce traffic on the heavily used freeway. The project will also add a 10-mile carpool lane and widen lanes from the 10 to the 101 freeways.
Metro hopes the 405 project will help encourage more carpooling, and eventually lead to less freeway traffic.
Here are some detour options for the four months the Sunset Boulevard off-ramp will be closed. Sotero said alternate routes may vary depending on the time of day:
For drivers going Westbound on Sunset Boulevard:
Daytime: Northbound I-405 off-ramp to westbound Wilshire Boulevard, to northbound Sepulveda Boulevard, to eastbound Sepulveda Way, to westbound Sunset Boulevard?.
Alternate: Moraga Drive off-ramp, to southbound Sepulveda Boulevard, right on Church Lane to Sunset Boulevard (14’-6” height restriction at Church Bridge).
Nighttime: Northbound I-405 off-ramp to westbound Wilshire Boulevard, right on northbound San Vicente Boulevard, right onto north Barrington Avenue, left onto westbound Sunset Boulevard.
For drivers going Eastbound on Sunset Boulevard:
Northbound I-405 off-ramp to eastbound Wilshire Boulevard, to northbound Veteran Avenue to eastbound Sunset Boulevard.
In addition to the off-ramp closure, there is a lot of work happening on and around Sunset Boulevard that won't help the congestion. The Source reports that workers will be reconstructing and widening the Sunset Boulevard bridge over the 405 Freeway, while also widening the Church Lane undercrossing. Sotero said that there will be 24 traffic control officers at popular intersections in the area, in addition to extra signage.
But Angelenos should be experts at the detour drill by now. With the previous Carmageddon (followed by Carmageddon 2), L.A. braced for the worst and in some cases, were pleasantly surprised. The original Carmageddon finished 17 hours early, and many people took transit officials' advice and stayed near their homes.
Sotero said the existing Sunset Boulevard off-ramp will close at 7 p.m. Friday.