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Westside commuters brace for 'Carmageddon'

June 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Commuters on the Westside are preparing for "Carmageddon," the closure of the 405 Freeway from the 10 to the 101 freeways the weekend of July 16-18.

The Los Angeles Police Department said they have been told to prepare for a backup in traffic that could reach the Mexican border.

See a live cam shot of the Mulholland Bridge construction site.

Speaking at a public meeting Thursday to help people get ready, police and fire officials said safety is their top concern.

"We're going to be able to get to a fire, we're going to be able to get to an emergency and we're going to get people to medical care, and if we can't get them there on the ground, we're going to get them there in the air," LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said.

Officials at four Westside hospitals said they fear there may be no one there to treat them if their staff gets trapped in traffic.

"If someone isn't there to take care of them who is appropriately competent to do that, that patient is going to be in trouble, now multiply that by a thousand," said Posies Carpenter of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

But that's not all. Business owners said the congestion could affect their bottom line.

"We're very nervous, we're going to lose business," said Sophya Brodetsky of Valley Inn Restaurant. "Business is very tough as it is. It's going to impact the employees. We're going to have to cut hours."

Beat Carmageddon with ABC7

The 405 shuts down the weekend of July 16-17, and ABC7 Eyewitness News is your home for the latest traffic news and information. Follow @abc7 and @BeatCarmageddon on Twitter, and use the hash tag #abc7traffic.

ABC7 has also partnered with Waze to help navigate the traffic. Download the Waze app, which provides free turn-by-turn GPS navigation based on the live conditions of the road. Join the community of drivers in Southern California today and beat Carmageddon.

Check out the latest Carmageddon coverage from abc7.com


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