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L.A. Now Live: Is L.A. ready for Carmageddon II 405 closure?

September 26, 2012 |  8:23 am

The warnings for the first Carmageddon were dire: "Avoid the area like the plague," Councilman Paul Koretz advised. "It will be an absolute nightmare," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa warned.

The traffic mayhem never materialized and with another closure of a 10-mile section of the 405 planned this weekend, officials are retooling the message with less-apocalyptic cautions. Whether it works remains to be seen.

Times staff writer Matt Stevens will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. to discuss Carmageddon II and how officials are urging motorists to stay away.

The closure, starting early Saturday morning, will allow the remainder of the Mulholland Drive bridge to be demolished as part of a $1-billion project that includes adding a carpool lane to the busy freeway.

"The challenge for officials is actually greater this time because of people saying, 'We've heard this disaster message before,'" said Brian Taylor, coauthor of a UCLA study titled "Why It Wasn't Carmageddon" prepared for the mayor's office.

The researchers' conclusion? "Dramatic messages of fear" will not work in the Carmageddon sequel.

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