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Carmageddon means trouble for tourists

July 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
People walked the Santa Monica Promenade on the Fourth of July, but there are questions whether tourists will be able to make it to the Westside in less than two weeks.

Starting the evening of July 15, the San Diego (405) Freeway will be closed through the weekend for 10 miles from the 10 to the 101 freeways.

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

Caltrans is spreading the word far and wide with highway messages extending to the Nevada and Oregon borders.

"What we're encouraging people to do is stay out of their cars," said Robin Gee, who works for the city of Santa Monica. "It's going to be a great summer weekend in Santa Monica and one of the keys to success is not be in your car."

Midway Car Rental in Santa Monica argues against that point. They said they believe there will be ways to get around the mess caused by the 405 shutdown.

"We're surely going to help everybody navigate where they are going and tell them when they return the car, explain to them you have to leave two to three hours extra time to get to the airport," said Ken Kerzner with Midway.

At Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, management said it's warning those making reservations about the freeway closure. They said there are people who want to stay near work rather than deal with the hassle.

"We have seen a surge of traffic coming in from the San Fernando Valley," Loews hotel manager. Bill Doak said.

There are predictions that people who believe they can still make it to the beach will be unpleasantly surprised by all the traffic on Pacific Coast Highway and side streets.

"We're doing a stay local, play local, bike local program," Gee said. "We have a page on our website at santamonica.com/405 making it the perfect weekend to explore a new place our residents might not have checked out."

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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