I-405 expansion to cause Sepulveda Pass delays


The latest phase of the 405 Freeway widening project kicked off Monday morning.

The project, responsible for many drivers' traffic headaches, consists of squeezing three-quarters of a mile stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard down to about half of its size.

Crews are reducing the boulevard to one lane in each direction from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily through Monday, Dec. 3, due to the 405 Freeway project.

Sepulveda Boulevard will then be closed from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly through Monday, Dec. 3, as Caltrans works to regrade the street between Montana Avenue and Church Lane.

Transportation officials admit it's a pain but it's all part of the ultimate goal of moving traffic through the 405 Freeway more efficiently. But many Westside drivers are sick of the constant delays and don't think the work will be worth it.

"It's very frustrating. It's been a problem all summer with the closures," said commuter Samantha Schwartz of Encino.

Metro spokesman Dave Sotero urged drivers to take alternate routes and avoid the area.

"During these lane reductions and closures, it's a good idea for residents to find another way to bypass this area," said Sotero. "If you're getting on to the freeway, get on before or after the closure area and allow yourself extra time to get through."

The 405 Freeway is the nearest detour. The $1 billion widening project, which began in January and brought us Carmageddon and Carmageddon 2, is due for completion by 2013.

It will eventually add a 10-mile carpool lane on the northbound side of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass.

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