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Drivers, officials prepare for ramp closures on 405 Freeway

This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.

Los Angeles transportation officials are expected to release new details Friday about closures this summer of entrance and exit ramps on the 405 Freeway through Sepulveda Pass as a massive carpool lane construction project continues.

Some are calling the closures The Rampture. It's not expected to be a pretty picture.

"People have said they're going to go out of town ... or just won't travel that far from home," said Cori Solomon, president of the Brentwood Glen Assn., a homeowners group. "What the community is concerned about is access ... getting up Sepulveda during peak hours and traveling Sunset."

When it first starts, "it will probably be a nightmare," she added.

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority floated the idea of closing the ramps on Wilshire Boulevard in mid-May but decided to wait until public schools close June 20.

All eight ramps on Wilshire must be demolished and rebuilt by 2013. They will be closed in phases for periods of two weeks to three months each.

The first two ramps slated for closure are the westbound Wilshire entrance ramp to the northbound 405 and the northbound 405 exit ramp to westbound Wilshire.

One reason for the delay has been utility line work on Sepulveda, which will be a key detour route during the ramp construction period. Metro officials project that completing the ramp work in phases will take 21 months.

"Nowhere is improvement needed more than at the Wilshire Boulevard/I-405 interchange," Metro says on its website. Indeed, the ramps at rush hour resemble a bowl of tangled noodles, with drivers attempting to enter the freeway weaving among exiting motorists.

At a Friday morning news conference at the southeast corner of Sepulveda and Wilshire, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Metro project director Michael Barbour and others plan to admonish the public to "plan ahead, adjust travel times or share the ride" during the construction.

Renderings of the new ramp configurations and other information are available at the Metro website.

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-- Martha Groves

[For the record, 12:25 p.m. May 11: A previous version of this post and headline incorrectly referred to the ramp closures as Carmageddon II, but that name should refer only to the expected full closure of the 405 Freeway this summer.]

 
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