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Roads to avoid when 'Carmageddon' closes 405 Freeway

July 11, 2011 |  7:42 am

Click through for larger graphic. With the 405 Freeway set to be closed this weekend, transportation officials have identified several "hot spots" that are expected to be hit hard by traffic gridlock. The Times' Dan Wiekel identified some of them:

CANYON ROADS: It's the mostly two-lane, north-south canyon roads connecting the San Fernando Valley and western Los Angeles County. Those roads, which traverse affluent neighborhoods such as Bel-Air, can bog down in normal weekend traffic.

They include Sepulveda Boulevard, Beverly Glen Boulevard, Benedict Canyon Drive, Coldwater Canyon Drive, Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Cahuenga Boulevard. Despite extensive public warnings to stay away from the area, representatives of some canyon neighborhood groups are dreading a hillside traffic nightmare — or worse.

COASTAL ROUTES: Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is a tourist and beachgoer magnet on almost any summer weekend. Officials fear that drivers who might angle around the closure to the west — particularly those traveling to or from Ventura and the Central Coast — could overload the scenic highway.

Although Topanga Canyon Boulevard has been designated an alternative route, officials are urging people to avoid that narrow, winding mountain pass, which links Pacific Coast Highway to the Ventura Freeway in the western San Fernando Valley.

FREEWAY BACKUPS: To the south, Santa Monica officials are preparing for a potential onslaught of detouring motorists, in addition to the usual throng of summer visitors. Backups are likely near Interstate 10 and the town's busiest freeway offramps — Cloverfield Boulevard and 4th and 5th streets. Twelve miles east of the closure, the Harbor Freeway also could be a mess. It will probably capture much of the rerouted traffic, and on Saturday as many as 100,000 people are expected to attend a soccer match between Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy at the L.A. Coliseum, next to the freeway.

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--Shelby Grad

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