Carmageddon: Don't 'get complacent' after smooth morning, officials say
For all the fear and nervousness of gridlocked "Carmageddon" traffic preceding this weekend's closure of 10 miles of the 405 Freeway, city and county officials said early Saturday morning that their biggest concern now is that things are going too well.
"Great job Los Angeles," was the statement released by Unified Command at the Emergency Operations Center downtown at about 8:30 a.m.
"Thank you for staying out of the closure area. The project is on schedule thanks to the public's help," the release said.
Now authorities are asking "that the public not get complacent."
Real-time traffic maps showed traffic mostly free-flowing throughout the morning, but Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Alicia Mathis said the critical period Saturday would be about 3 p.m.
"Right now things are quiet," Mathis said, adding that most people had still not yet started their day and that roads would likely begin getting more congested as the day moves on.
"So far people are doing great," said Veronica Hendrix of the city's Emergency Management Department. "But people haven't really gotten out yet," she said.
Hendrix said she hopes motorists who plan to make trips in the region Saturday will "get out early" and be patient.
Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese aptly rounded out the morning:
"The only thing that's happened is the bridge is being deconstructed and the traffic's light."
-- Ari Bloomekatz at the Emergency Operations Center in downtown L.A.
Photo: Construction crews continue demolition work on the southern portion of the Mulholland bridge over the 405 Freeway Saturday morning. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times