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Carmageddon II: Officials want SoCal to plan ahead

August 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Carmageddon II is coming to the 405 Freeway again in just a few weeks, and the message to plan ahead is loud and clear.

"Stay home, stay in the neighborhood, stay off the freeways. Whatever the hell you do, don't come near the 405 corridor" said L.A. County Supervisor third district Zev Yaroslavsky.

A 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway will be closed for 53 hours starting Sept. 29 so crews can dismantle the north side of the Mullholland Bridge. The closure is slated to start as early as 7 p.m. Individual freeway lanes will shut down around 10 p.m., with the entire freeway expected to be closed by midnight. The closure is expected to be lifted by 5 a.m. Oct. 1, with connectors opening by 6 a.m.

It's the second phase of the billion-dollar project to widen the 405 Freeway. Public and transportation officials are hoping for a repeat of the first Carmageddon from last year, and so are drivers.

"I hope we do as well with it as we did on Carmageddon I, and my husband and I have already made plans to be out of town," said Catherine Waygar of Van Nuys.

Officials fear drivers will underestimate this closure because last year's closure went so well. This time it is not likely crews will finish ahead of schedule like they did last year.

"Last year's demolition only involved the removal of one set of bridge columns. This time we're going to have two sets of bridge columns and we will also have inactive utility lines in that bridge. So it's going to be a slower process, there's going to be more work to do," said Dave Sotero with the MTA.

Many drivers are vowing to stay away and say enduring the traffic troubles now will likely pay off in the future.

"It's definitely going to fix the problem. It's a long Time coming. I wish we would have done it sooner," said Brandon Wilkins.

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