7/14/2011 11:30:00 AM
Bridge Demolition Planned for on Major Trucking Route
By Suzanne Winchell, Special to Transport Topics
This story appears in the June 27 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
The Los Angeles region is bracing for a 53-hour shutdown of Interstate 405 in mid-July that will cut off a critical, high-traffic trucking route.
City officials announced the mid-July closure more than a month ahead of time to prepare for what some residents are calling â€œCarmageddon.â€�
Interstate 405, also known as the San Diego Freeway, connects to several other Los Angeles highways, including Interstate 5, the primary north-south West Coast link between the Mexican and Canadian borders.
The focus of the shutdown is planned demolition work on the Mulholland Bridge, part of a I-405 widening and improvement project. The shutdown is scheduled for Friday, July 15, with ramps closing as early as 7 p.m., freeway lanes starting to close at 10 p.m. and the highway fully closed by midnight.
The route will reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, July 18.
The freeway will close between Interstate 10 and U.S. 101, also known as the Ventura Freeway.
On a typical weekend, an estimated 500,000 vehicles travel this stretch of road, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Significant delays are expect-ed along I-10 and U.S. 101, the most direct path around the closure. Those who need to travel through the area during the closure should plan other alternative routes, Los Angeles officials said.
They have advised drivers to â€œplan ahead, avoid the area, or stay home,â€� according to a joint press release by the Los Angeles Police Department, Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Metro and California Department of Transportation.
The northbound side of I-405 will be closed for 10 miles and southbound for four miles for the demolition of the south half of Mulholland Bridge.
This is part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, which ultimately will widen the freeway and bridge and add a northbound high-occupancy vehicle lane.
Michael Shaw, executive director of external affairs for the California Trucking Association, said the projectâ€™s benefits for trucking outweigh the inconvenience of the closure.
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