Carmageddon II: Officials worry about Sepulveda truck traffic
Authorities are worried that large commercial trucks may spoil what so far has been relatively smooth-flowing traffic during this weekend's 10-mile closure of the 405 Freeway.
The 405 was shut down between the 10 and 101 freeways for 53 hours starting Saturday so that construction crews can demolish the remaining half of the Mulholland Drive bridge, part of a larger $1-billion freeway improvement project that includes adding a northbound carpool lane along the Sepulveda Pass.
Fearing gridlock because of the closure, officials have called for motorists to stay off the road this weekend unless absolutely necessary. Approximately 250,000 motorists use the closed portion of the 405 each day on an average weekend and officials say they need two-thirds of those drivers to avoid the area.
Lt. Andy Neiman of the Los Angeles Police Department said there have been reports that large commercial trucks are using Sepulveda Boulevard to try and bypass the freeway closure, but that poses problems because of a tunnel along that stretch and because the road is restricted to certain heights and weights.
"We absolutely cannot have that," Neiman said, adding that he worries the trucks could cause a traffic jam or other problems.
"The concern is if those trucks break down, damage the roadway, damage the tunnel or get stuck, it becomes a huge issue for the community," Neiman said.ALSO: Carmageddon II: More street closures Sunday for triathlon
-- Ari Bloomekatz
Photo: A bicyclist stops at a designated viewing area to watch the demolition of part of the Mullholland Drive bridge on Saturday morning. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times