By Hannah Taylor
We’ve all been biting our tongues when it comes to complaining about the inconveniences of the massive, $1.034 billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, because we have hopes that it will successfully relieve traffic congestion.
But, the recently released plan to close the I-405 from Getty Center Drive to the 101 Freeway from July 15-18 has even the LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s website complaining about the potential “midsummer’s night’s nightmare.”
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Just after midnight on Friday, July 15, the I-405 will be closed in both directions until 5 a.m. on Monday morning. The 53-hour closure will be the first of two complete closures of the freeway to demolish the Mulholland Bridge; the southbound side will come down this summer and the northbound side will follow next year. This is part of the ongoing freeway-widening project that will create a 10-mile northbound carpool lane between the Westide and the San Fernando Valley.
The Mulholland, Sunset, and Skirball bridges are all being rebuilt for the project. Unlike the other two, work on the Mulholland Bridge cannot be completed in a series of nights, because officials say its steepness makes the weekend-long closure necessary to protect passing motorists.
“This is manageable as long as the public cooperates. They’ve got a lot of summer plans and we don’t want them to be surprised,” said Metro spokesman, Marc Littman. “If you can stay home, great. If you don’t have to drive, great.”
Metro is preparing many outreach activities to raise public awareness and provide detours for the estimated half a million drivers who will be effected.
The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project will add a 10-mile HOV lane and widen lanes between the I-10 and the US-101 in addition to improving supporting infrastructure such as ramps, bridges, and sound walls on the I-405. The project is expected to reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, and promote ridesharing.