'Jamzilla' 405 Freeway closure finally over


Officials with Caltrans and Metro Los Angeles officially reopened the stretch of the northbound 405 between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Boulevard at approximately 5 a.m. - about an hour ahead of schedule. That's when California Highway Patrol officers escorted the first cars through the reopened portion of the freeway.

Authorities thanked motorists for heeding their warnings and staying away from the freeway over the 80-hour holiday weekend closure.

All northbound lanes through the 6-mile construction zone were closed overnights starting Friday, and the freeway was whittled down to just two lanes during the day. Motorists were warned to use alternate routes and avoid the area. Officials say drivers did just that for the most part, causing only minor backups over the President's Day weekend.

The closure was necessary to pave the future carpool lane that is being built as a part of the three-year, $1 billion 405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.

"They had to shift a portion of the freeway center line 20 feet to the west and rebuild the Sepulveda Boulevard undercrossing on Sherman Oaks," said K.N. Murthy with Metro.

Some drivers have doubts that the project will help with congestion.

"I think it's too little too late. I would rather that we have more access to public transportation and some bike lanes where people don't get run over on the street," said Jessica Brooks of Encino.

The entire project is expected to be completed by this summer, with no other large closures planned beforehand.

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