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Carmageddon: Tourists from New Zealand came prepared

July 16, 2011 |  2:16 pm

Click for more photos of the 405 Freeway closure
Nicki Forgesson, 39, arrived in Los Angeles from Wellington, New Zealand, with her two sons, well aware that "Carmageddon" could await them.

The closure of the 405 Freeway was news in New Zealand, where reporters explained what construction would take place and what dreadful repercussions it could have. Those TV reports even noted that Erik Estrada from the "CHiPs" TV series was used in one ad.+

PHOTOS: 'Carmageddon' closes the 405 Freeway

Forgesson even posted a link to a Reuters story about the impending nightmare, and asked friends if she was making the right choice.

Her husband, Wayne, 45, had already been in L.A. for a conference. She joined him to take their kids to Disneyland, which is, luckily, the other way down the 405. "I would have changed plans so I wouldn't have to sit in a plane for 12 hours and a car for six."

"We didn't come for the traffic, we're coming for the timing."

Luckily, they're heading to Orange County for the first leg of their trip. By the time they head north, the 405 should be back in business. "Its good fortune," Nicki Forgesson said.

In the week he's already been in the area, Wayne Forgesson has been stunned by what he's seen: so many cars, so much pavement. In one place, he marveled at seeing 22 lanes of freeway come together, something implausible back home. But he would definitely come back. "I just wouldn't want to drive."


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Carmageddon: Arrest order issued after cyclists, jogger get on 405

Full coverage: All you need to know about the 405 shutdown

-- Rick Rojas at LAX