<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California.
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Pulling the curtain back on CAR-MAGEDDON: what’s really going to happen on the 405 this weekend?

Some graders pictured near a freeway, used for construction.
Some graders pictured near a freeway, used for construction.
Accretion Disc/Flickr

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When the 405 is shut down late on Friday night one kind of traffic jam will be replaced by another: gone will be the gridlock of commuters, beach-goers, LAX-bound travelers and other Angelenos who crawl up the dreaded but vital stretch of highway. In their place will be thousands of construction workers with their dump trucks, bulldozers, demolishers, cranes and more equipment to create a traffic jam of an entirely different kind. An orchestrated dance of workers and trucks will take place over 53 hours on a 405 freeway that will be anything but dormant, even as it’s closed off to the roughly half a million cars that would normally be using it this weekend. A bridge connecting two sides of Mulholland Blvd. over the Sepulveda pass will be demolished, cracks in the road will be repaired, guard rails will be replaced and moved around and maintenance projects of all kinds will be carried out over two days. The freeway is scheduled to completely reopen by 6am Monday, but if not the contractor carrying out the work will be fined roughly $72,000 per hour the 405 remains closed. We pull back the curtain on CAR-MAGEDDON to give you peak of a weekend on the closed but busy 405.


Doug Failing, executive director of highway programs at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)