Work crews began tearing out a pair of ramps over Sepulveda Boulevard on Saturday, as the major disruption of a partially-closed interchange on the San Diego (405) Freeway at Wilshire Boulevard spread to additional connections.
In addition to the pair of ramps that were widely publicized for a 3-month-long closure, work crews also had other ramps and streets temporarily closed for the weekend, including both directions of Sepulveda Boulevard, north of Wilshire.
Crews overnight began dismantling the 45-year-old pair of ramps that span Sepulveda north of Wilshire, forcing Sepulveda's closure north of Wilshire.
That potentially put a major crimp into driving plans for motorists trying to avoid the 10-mile construction mishmash that is the 405 this summer.
Also temporarily closed was the the eastbound Wilshire onramp to 405 north, where dump trucks were being staged. That ramp was expected to reopen by Monday. And Wilshire's four lanes in each direction were reduced down to one lane each way at the Sepulveda signal, as the demolition project began just a few yards north of the intersection.
Crews guided motorists through the trucks entering and leaving the project early today, and there were no early-morning backups observed. Those temporary closures are on top of the pre-announced, 90-day-long "ramp-jam" blockades of the ramps from 405 north to westbound Wilshire, and the westbound Wilshire onramp to 405 north.
The entire 405 is being widened and rebuilt from National Boulevard, north through the Santa Monica (10) Freeway interchange, past Wilshire Boulevard and over the Sepulveda Pass to the Ventura (101) Freeway.
The $1 billion project will add a northbound car pool lane, but also add exit and merge lanes and rebuild and widen narrow sections on both directions of the 405.
The first phase of work at Wilshire to the northbound 405 should take about 90 days, and the remaining six transition ramps will be closed and rebuilt in phases after that. The entire interchange may take crews working 24/7 about a year to complete.
With the exits and onramps closed, traffic is expected to back up on surface streets, such as Sepulveda Boulevard and the major east-west boulevards on both sides of Wilshire.