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Weekend 405 closures seen as 'Carmageddon II' warm-up

September 7, 2012 | 10:12 am

Carmageddon

Just think of these freeway closures as dress rehearsals for the upcoming sequel to last summer's transit drama known as "Carmageddon."

Transportation officials will close portions of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass over the next two weekends so that workers can prepare the remaining (north) half of the Mulholland Bridge for the final phase of its demolition. The work is in anticipation of what is billed as "Carmageddon II" -- the full 10-mile closure of the 405 Freeway, in both directions, between the 10 and the 101.

The first preparatory closure -- of the southbound 405 between the 101 and Getty Center Drive -- will begin at 11 p.m. Saturday and end at 9 a.m. Sunday. The northbound 405 between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Boulevard will close at 11 p.m. Sept. 15 and reopen at 9 a.m. on Sept. 16.

That 53-hour closure is slated to begin about 7 p.m. on Sept. 28, when workers begin shutting down ramps along the closure route. Individual lanes will begin closing about 10 p.m., with the entire freeway expected to be closed by midnight. The closure is expected to continue until 5 a.m. Oct. 1.

The work is part of the epic project to add a carpool lane through the Sepulveda Pass.

During the partial closures, the contractor will remove the supporting wood structures from the newly built south side of the bridge and will adjust Mulholland Drive's alignment and elevation to meet the bridge's new approaches, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the California Department of Transportation said.

Last July's unprecedented full-freeway closure quickly came to be known as Carmageddon. The effects turned out to be less than feared after the contractor finished work 17 hours earlier than expected and motorists stayed home or otherwise heeded officials' warnings to steer clear of the construction zone.

For residents along that stretch, the full closure made for a delightful weekend without the usual 405 roar.

This year's work is expected to require the full 53 hours because workers will be removing two sets of columns rather than one, as was the case last year.

With all of the upcoming closures, transit officials advise motorists to prepare for delays and seek alternate routes, such as Sepulveda Boulevard.

For a listing of daily closures and other updates, visit the 405 project website.

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-- Martha Groves

Photo: Last summer, a lone CHP officer stood watch during the full closure of the 405 in the Sepulveda Pass. Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

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