Carmaggedon II: 405 Freeway is slowly reopening to traffic
The process of reopening the 405 Freeway -- ending Carmageddon II -- is underway, and the freeway should be fully open by 11 p.m.
On-ramps and roadways were begin to reopen at 8:45 p.m., several hours earlier than scheduled. Northbound lanes will open first, followed by southbound lanes. The entire process should take about three hours.
The freeway closure began Friday night and had officials worried about the potential for massive gridlock throughout the region. It was supposed to last until 5 a.m. Monday; now the freeway probably will finish reopening much earlier.
There was a similar freeway closure, also dubbed Carmageddon, in July of last year. That freeway closure also ended much earlier than originally expected.
California Highway Patrol officers cited seven people on the 405 Freeway on Sunday morning, including a group of rollerbladers and a pair of newlyweds who wanted to celebrate on the closed roadway.
Officer Rick Quintero said the first citation was issued about 3 a.m., when a pedestrian tried to enter the northbound lanes of the freeway at Sunset Boulevard.
About 40 minutes later at the same spot, two people were cited for trying to get on the southbound lanes of the freeway. The couple were "recently married and wanted to celebrate on the freeway," Quintero said.
"Their wedding gift was a citation," he said.
The final round came about 6 a.m., when officers discovered four rollerbladers exiting the freeway near the Getty Center, Quintero said.
All seven people were cited, not arrested, for being pedestrians on a freeway, Quintero said.
The CHP warned earlier this week there would be "zero tolerance" for pranksters hoping to repeat some of the antics seen last year during the first Carmageddon.
-- Ari Bloomekatz
Photo: Construction crews work on the Mulholland Drive bridge over the closed 405 Freeway on Saturday. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times