Los Angeles Business Journal

'Carmageddon' Set for September Sequel

By Howard Fine Thursday, July 19, 2012

“Carmageddon 2” – the nickname for the coming closure of the San Diego (405) Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass – is now set for the last weekend of September, local transportation officials announced Thursday.

A 10-mile stretch of the nation’s busiest freeway that runs through West Los Angeles and the Sepulveda Pass will shut down late Friday evening, Sept. 28 and remain closed through Sunday evening, Sept. 30, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said. On a normal weekend day, roughly 250,000 vehicles travel through the Sepulveda Pass.

The closure will allow construction workers to demolish the northern half of the 50-year-old Mulholland Drive bridge. The southern half of the bridge was demolished last July in the first “Carmageddon” closure.

The work is all part of the $1 billion Interstate 405 improvement project that involves widening the freeway to accommodate a new northbound carpool lane, building of new bridges and construction of “flyover” ramps at Wilshire Boulevard. The aim of the project is to reduce congestion on the freeway and on streets near the freeway that are often gridlocked.

During last year’s freeway closure, hundreds of thousands of motorists avoided L.A. roads and freeways, producing the lightest traffic flow since the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. The closure had a mixed impact on local businesses: some saw customer traffic drop as people avoided the area, but others saw more customers as lightly-traveled roads made it easier to get around.

“Drivers heard our warnings and stayed off the roads,” said L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, an MTA board member. “I have every confidence they’ll rise to the occasion again.”