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Carmageddon: Construction project draws spectators

July 16, 2011 | 12:56 pm


As crews work around-the-clock this weekend to demolish the Mulholland Drive bridge over the 405 Freeway, already "Carmageddon" is drawing curious onlookers.

Joggers, cyclists and spectators stopped near the construction site Saturday morning to see for themselves what all the hype is about.

PHOTOS: "Carmageddon" closes the 405 Freeway

Richard Katz, a board member for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, brought his 4-year-old son, Mitchell, to the media staging area at the Mulholland Drive bridge to see what the crews were up to.

"For a guy with a 4-year-old son, can you get anything better than a construction site?" Katz said.

When asked what he thought about the work, Mitchell's reply was simple: "Good."

Noreen Shortway of Bel-Air was walking her King Charles spaniel late Saturday morning when she stopped at the Sunset Boulevard bridge over the 405. She's noticed very little traffic and said she was contemplating going out to dinner if the roads remain clear.

"Geez," Shortway said at the bridge. "It's never been this quiet -- except for the helicopters," she said, referring to the media helicopters circling overhead.

Shortway said news of the project had spread across the country to friends, many of whom called to see what she was doing to avoid traffic problems "in the middle of ground zero" of the project.

Neil Lewis, an assistant film director, was risking traffic to drive from his home in West Hollywood to Pacific Palisades for a meeting with another director. He stopped at the Sunset Boulevard bridge on his way.

"I drove from West Hollywood faster than I've ever done it in eight years," Lewis said. "There's no one on the road. It looks like everything has worked."


Carmageddon: Construction ahead of schedule, officials say

Full coverage: All you need to know about the 405 shutdown

Carmageddon: Helicopters annoying but 'perfectly safe,' FAA says

-- Dan Weikel at the Mulholland Drive and Sunset Boulevard bridges

Photo: Spectators watch construction workers take down the Mulholland Drive bridge over the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press