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'Carmageddon 2' warning signs to light up tonight

August 17, 2012 |  1:05 pm

Traffic alert signs hanging above freeways across Los Angeles County will light up with a new message, warning of impending "Carmageddon 2" gridlock
Traffic alert signs hanging above freeways across Los Angeles County will light up with a new message tonight, warning of impending "Carmageddon 2" gridlock.

The signs will read: "405 will close -- Route 10 to 101," said California Department of Transportation spokesman Patrick Chandler.

The 405 Freeway is expected to be closed for 53 hours starting Sept. 29 while crews expand the Mulholland Drive bridge, which spans the freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, shutting down a 10-mile stretch of freeway in what is expected to be a sequel to last year's shutdown, dubbed "Carmageddon."

"This is kind of the first rollout," Chandler said. "And it should continue on throughout the closure."

Last year, work crews shut down the same stretch of road as part of a $1-billion project that includes adding a northbound carpool lane on the 405. But residents avoided the freeway, and scenes of apocalyptic clogging never came to fruition. Public officials even held a news conference last month to tell the public not to ignore next month's closure just because it went so smoothly before.

Last year, crews opened the freeway 17 hours ahead of schedule. But the public should not to count on that next month, because this time around there's more work, officials said.

The closures are set to begin Friday Sept. 28 around 7 p.m., with the freeway to be completely shut down by midnight. It is expected to open the following Monday by 5 a.m.


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Photo: A freeway sign thanks northbound 405 Freeway motorists for helping to avoid the feared "carmageddon" traffic jam scenario last summer. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times