405 freeway carpool lane set to open before Memorial Day weekend

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After five years of construction and two closures dubbed “Carmageddon,” a 10-mile northbound carpool lane on the 405 freeway is set to open later this month.

Los Angeles Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who coined the term “Carmageddon,” announced the news in an online statement Tuesday, saying, “Officials have set a date for the lane’s grand opening—Friday, May 23, just in time for Memorial Day weekend traffic.”

RELATED: Carmageddon: The 405 freeway shutdown

The new carpool lane will close a gap and create the nation’s longest continuous carpool lane that links the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

Smaller tasks will still be in the works as part of the $1 billion-plus project, which has also included rebuilding three major bridges across the freeway and constructing safer, wider new flyover ramps at Wilshire Boulevard, soundwalls and other improvements.

The Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project was a year behind schedule in November and has gone at least $100 million over budget.

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“The project is expected to improve capacity and safety, and to help relieve worsening congestion on the perennially challenging freeway in the years ahead—although no one’s claiming it will actually reduce the onslaught of traffic,” Yaroslavsky noted.

Traffic on the already congested freeway is expected to grow from the current 300,000 vehicles a day to 430,000 vehicles a day in 2030, according to Yaroslavsky’s statement. 

Metro, which has project updates on its site, details the main parts of the project:

  • Add a 10-mile HOV lane on the northbound I-405 between the I-10 and US-101 Fwys.
  • Remove and replace the Skirball Center Dr., Sunset Bl. and Mulholland Dr. bridges
  • Realign 27 on and off-ramps
  • Widen 13 existing underpasses and structures
  • Construct approximately 18 miles of retaining wall and sound wall
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