Ramp Jam: Commuter headaches expected with Wilshire ramp closures
Monday, the real headaches begin.
For the first time since the closures started Friday night, weekday commuters to and from the Westside will have to navigate the San Diego (405) Freeway with onramps and offramps to Wilshire Boulevard closed.
Officials have dubbed the latest traffic slog “Ramp Jam” and residents have bemoaned that the shutdown will cause from a “huge pain,” “chaos” and “misery.”
"The closures will create chaos for the entire area as commuters seek alternate on- or offramps," said Debbie Nussbaum, chairwoman of the Westwood Hills Property Owners Assn.'s traffic committee. "They have the potential for completely gridlocking the streets surrounding the residential neighborhoods in Westwood and Brentwood."
Starting at 10 p.m. Friday, workers closed the westbound Wilshire onramp to the northbound 405 and the northbound 405 offramp to westbound Wilshire. The ramps will remain closed for three months, the first phase of a yearlong effort to demolish and rebuild all eight ramps at the interchange.
The ramps will be closed in succession, for periods of two weeks to three months each. The new ramps will be designed to reduce traffic backups and dangerous lane-weaving.
The work will affect tens of thousands of commuters, who will be forced to find alternate routes to and from the Westside.
"There's no end to the misery after 90 days," said Dave Sotero, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "It continues."
With the offramp closed, Los Angeles SigAlert showed solid smooth green on the northbound 405 Freeway from the 10 Freeway to the 101 Freeway. The story was different on the southbound side with the normal heavy traffic stretching from the 101 south to about Sunset Boulevard.
-- Matt Stevens and Martha Groves