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Live discussion: Mayor Villaraigosa talks Carmageddon II

Officials are hoping Carmageddon II will be a repeat of last year's "Carmaheaven," when a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway is shut down for 53 hours starting Saturday at 12:01 a.m.

Construction crews will use the closure on the 405 Freeway between the 10 and 101 freeways to demolish the rest of the Mulholland Drive bridge, all in the name of a more than $1-billion freeway improvement project that includes adding a northbound carpool lane through that section of the Sepulveda Pass.

But are L.A. motorists up for round two?

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will join The Times' transportation reporter Ari Bloomekatz to tackle that question during a Google+ Hangout at 4:15 p.m. Friday.

[UPDATE: The chat will begin a few minutes later than anticipated because the mayor is running late.]

"We can't do what we did last time," Villaraigosa recently acknowledged. "This time around, we're not going to say, 'Folks, look, we're going to have the worst traffic ever.'

"What we're going to say is: 'What about another day without a car in L.A.? What about Angelenos accepting the challenge to stay out of their car?' "

Transportation officials are encouraging residents to "avoid the area, or eat, shop and play locally."

But for drivers who must hit the freeways, Caltrans suggests they look at their new traffic website, QuickMap. Those using public transit can check out Metro's Trip Planner. Motorists can also call 511 or click on "go511.com to get real-time traffic information.

Read more Carmageddon II coverage by the Times' Bloomekatz, Matt Stevens and Martha Groves, among others.


Carmageddon II: Baseball, soccer on tap during closure

Live video series: What does Carmageddon II mean for L.A.?

Carmageddon II: Organizers 'confident' triathlon will run smoothly

-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: Mayor Antonio Villagraigosa tours the Mulholland Bridge project from the media viewing area at Skirball Center Drive in July 2011, during the first 405 freeway closure. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

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