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Carmageddon 2012 Announced, Full 405 Closure in September

Another 10-mile full closure of the San Diego (405) Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass is announced Thursday.

A 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway is scheduled for full closure Sept. 29-30 while construction crews work to demolish a portion of the Mulholland Bridge, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials announced on Thursday. 

Dubbed "Carmageddon II," the work is the second phase of demolition and reconstruction of the bridge. The northern portion of the bridge will be demolished to facilitate the widening of the freeway as part of the $1 billion Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, according to Metro.

Though the last summer, a larger workload this year makes the early finish less likely.

"We were able to demolish one set of bridge columns during the last 405 closure," said Dave Sotero, Metro spokesperson. "This time we have two sets of bridge columns to demolish in the same time period, so we're going to be very busy and unlikely to end early."  

The 405 is the busiest and most congested freeway in the nation, said Sotero, and it's located between two other of the nation's busiest freeways — the 10 and the 101.

"These are the triple threat[s] of freeway congestion at this particular location," said Sotero. "The Sepulveda Pass is obviously a canyon and so it's very difficult to maneuver outside of the canyon with any effective alternate routes because the alternate routes are local roads over the canyon passes and they're not adequate to accomodate diverted 405 traffic. And there is besides the 405." 

Sepulveda Boulevard will be open for local access only and won't be recommended for diverted 405 traffic, according to Metro. 

Last summer, during the first Carmageddon, streets remained clear through the weekend without any major incidents. Eyes were on Los Angeles, anticipating the opposite of what actually happened.

"During Carmageddon I, drivers proved the skeptics wrong,'' said County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, also a member of the Metro board. "They heard our warnings and stayed off the roads, creating a traffic breather not seen since the free-flowing freeways of the 1984 Olympics. I have every confidence they'll rise to the occasion again."

Metro officials are concerned Angelenos will be more bold this year, expecting to cruise vacant streets all weekend.

"The big thing here is the public may become complacent because it was such a cakewalk last year that they may be tempted to get on the roads and continue on their regular driving patterns for that weekend," Sotero said. "That's really going to create the potential for creating the congestion we're hoping to avoid."

Despite the appeal of completely clear streets in the greater Los Angeles area, Metro is again asking motorists to avoid the area, said Sotero. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, also chair of the Metro Board of Directors, is encouraging residents to enjoy a local weekend.

"Rather, let's join together to enjoy another car-light or car-free weekend with family and friends," Villaraigosa told City News Service. "Let's all help get this critical job done safely and without incident.''

"Let's make this another Carmageddon-Schmarmageddon experience for us all," Yaroslavsky said.

How will you spend Carmageddon Weekend this year? Vote in our poll below and tell us in the comments.

This report was compiled with information from City News Service.

Greg Fry July 19, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Thanks for the heads up--this gives me enough time to make out-of-town plans for that weekend.
Jared Morgan July 19, 2012 at 08:52 PM
You're right, Randy. That was my fault. I got a little too excited, I guess.
eddie July 19, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Only 4-5 months behind schedule! (Last year, Metro said they would be done with the first half of the new bridge in 9 months.)
Elie D. July 19, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I'm jealous, Greg! I don't see myself lasting in L.A. more than a few more years.
Paul B July 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Looking forward to it. I loved how quiet it was around Sherman Oaks that last weekend they did it.
christina martinez July 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Jared, please help educate residents of actual closures. I produce the 11th Annual Kickin' Cancer® 5K Walk/Run & Family Expo in Brentwood on Sunday, September 30 to raise vital funds and awareness needed to combat ovarian and breast cancer. I want people to know they can stay in LA, cross the 405 using Wilshire just fine. They can even use the Wilshire Blvd. exit on the 405 after 6am on Sunday morning, September 30th. The alarming posts make people want to avoid the area. We need people to feel good about coming to our walk/ run again. Maybe you can help us promote Kickin' Cancer? The non-profit group, Lynne Cohen Foundation, started by 3 sisters, raised in Brentwood, lost their mom to ovarian cancer. Lynne was very active in the supporting the community. Thanks Jared :)
eddie July 19, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Don't count on Wilshire exit being open by 6 AM Sunday. Last year, the whole freeway opened around Sunday @1 PM (17 hours ahead of original Monday 6 AM schedule). But this year "larger workload this year makes the early finish less likely."
Jared Morgan July 19, 2012 at 11:04 PM
I'm always happy to promote this event, Christina! Don't kill the messenger. :)
Pa Niu July 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Greetings from the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia! I'm no longer bothered by SoCal traffic because I moved here five years ago and am rarely looking back. Roundabouts are mostly used with a few traffic lights but congesting is mostly just a memory!
Frank Mihelcic July 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Well I am not going to do what I did last year. I sayed home and did yard work. This year it will be a weekend in the mountians.
Paul Grisanti July 20, 2012 at 12:05 AM
No actual dates anywhere?????
vinniecarruso July 20, 2012 at 12:22 AM
carmeagddan is coming for us all, haha local news you make me laugh, thanks!
vinniecarruso July 20, 2012 at 12:24 AM
local news makes it likes its the end of the world and well be seeing this thill its over
Jared Morgan July 20, 2012 at 12:35 AM
You make us laugh too, Vinnie.
Jared Morgan July 20, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Sept. 29-30. Start with the first paragraph.
Rachel H. July 20, 2012 at 03:20 AM
ummm... except for the helicopters hovering the whole time....
John Sycamore July 20, 2012 at 04:24 AM
The worst part was the helicoptermageddon. The news choppers and law enforcement helicopters were flying all weekend long, day and night. Can't they fly higher and not hover in one place for so long? I can understand the occasional flyby but it seemed excessive the last time. I can only hope for a dense fog to ground the choppers during the morning newscasts so we can sleep in on Saturday and Sunday morning.
venice beach rider July 20, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The minute obama got elected the meaningless road construction doesnt stop . They are all driving brand new trucks worth 50k everyone is overpaid and the road they are fixing drove fine last week. What about use that money for the people instead of lining the pockets of your friends and lobbyist in the road construction business? . Spending billions on road construction doesnt help anyone but create inflation . Ever hear of the term if its not broke dont fix it?
Richard Niederberg July 20, 2012 at 03:19 PM
If anybody wishes to support Ovarian Cancer Research by means of participating in a Walk/Run, but doesn't want to deal with the 405, The Ovarian Cancer Coalition's 14th Annual Walk/Run/Health Fair is at CBS-Radford in Studio City on September 9.
Glenn Bailey July 20, 2012 at 03:35 PM
One thing you can do locally on Saturday, September 29th is go to the Encino Community Center between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and VOTE for new board members for the Encino Neighborhood Council. If don't want to travel at all, request a Vote-By-Mail ballot by August 30. You can also become a candidate yourself, all at http://empowerla.org/enc/encino-nc-elections/ Glenn Bailey, Chair Ad Hoc 2012 Election Committee Encino Neighborhood Council
John July 20, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I think that was the idea; to scare people to stay off the roads, and I think it worked very well. It was the absolute best day to travel in LA since 1955 (guessing).
Diane July 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Spend the weekend walking and biking and shopping and dining locally!
Ann Tomkins July 21, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Wish you would have told me about the Malibu drivers' license checkpoint instead. Spent 15 minutes stuck in that mess tonight. Has there been a discussion about why the City of Malibu thinks shutting down PCH makes sense? I plan my moves around Malibu to avoid being stuck in traffic whenever possible, so to have the City intentionally create a traffic jam with tons of cops sitting around doing nothing is really infuriating.
Jessica E. Davis July 21, 2012 at 05:44 AM
Ann, LASD doesn't release information about where they set up checkpoints in advance. Thanks for the tip that it is going on right now.
Another WorldView July 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM
But don't you feel "safe" ? By bringing traffic to a screeching halt, they lower the amount of damage caused by the accidents - which bringing traffic to a screeching halt, is bound to generate. And think of all the money for the Sherriff's Dept., the courts, the city, and the tow-truck/impound yard companies. And as an added benefit, it selectively targets the poor, and undocumented workers, that really don't 'belong' in Malibu.
Another WorldView July 21, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Clearly a boondoggle - it doesn't even add any extra lanes, just widens the existing lanes by 1 foot. But this is a way to generate economic activity, since the Congress has made jobs, jobs, jobs - job #1, 2, 3, and 4. And by jobs, of course, we mean anti-abortion legislation. The work is consistent with Transportation Dept. guidelines for lane-width; which obviously don't need to be followed, if the last 50 years is to be any guide. I think that they are also creating a few more miles of HOV lane as well. Which works out great since they can sell those to the impatient-rich, at quite a premium.
Jared Morgan July 21, 2012 at 06:07 PM
HOV lanes: "they can sell those to the impatient-rich, at quite a premium." Do you mean to those who've purchased electric vehicles? Or are you talking about SOV's? There's no other way to use the HOV lane as a single-occupancy vehicle in California, so how would they sell access to the rich?
Another WorldView September 06, 2012 at 10:02 AM
Actually Jared - you need to take a look at what the DOT has planned in the near future. Right now they are talking about a pilot project on the 110 FWY, if memory serves me correctly. While HOV's and other envirnmentally friendly vehicles will be able to use the lanes - they will be joined by people who want to pay for the privilege to use the lanes - hence 'the impatient rich'. The HOV lanes on the 110 were sold originally as car-pool lanes too. But as greedy-government and social-engineering interests get involved, these lanes become less of an incentive for carpooling, and more an excuse to create toll-roads out of our otherwise public highways.
damian washington September 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM
In honor of Carmageddon II, here is a music video!  "Can't Believe The 405!" is a funny spin on R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" about this fateful stretch of road.  Check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV3zaKDbxLs Finally, a tune that Los Angelenos can proudly sing in their cars, if they don't already in their hearts. Please share if you like! Godspeed this weekend, everyone!!
Matthew Sanderson (Editor) September 28, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Haha. This is awesome damian! Thanks for sharing!

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