How Truckers Will Survive the 405 Project

When the 405 Freeway shuts down this weekend, how will the people who drive those big rig trucks for a living find a way to get around?

By Conan Nolan and Julie Brayton
|  Tuesday, Jul 12, 2011  |  Updated 7:22 AM PDT
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When the 405 Freeway shuts down this weekend, how will the people who drive those big rig trucks for a living find a way to get around?

Conan Nolan and Rodney Danson

When the 405 Freeway shuts down this weekend, how will the people who drive those big rig trucks for a living find a way to get around?

It has been the talk of the trucking industry for weeks.

"It's going to effect me a lot. I'm going to have to find another way to get from LAX, up the five freeway," says trucker Moses Rubio. "I'm thinking of taking the day off."

Besides delivering people, the San Diego Freeway that snakes through the Sepulveda Pass also serves as a concrete river of commerce.

Caltrans says it has gone out if it's way to get the word out to the trucking industry about this weekend's 405 closure between the 101 and Interstate 10.

"We've gotten to the California Trucking Association, the National Trucking Association," says Mike Myles, Caltrans District Director.

Planners say the trucking industry has long proved it's ability to adjust. Such as during the 1984 Olympics, when then just at now, businesses were asked to stagger shipment times, with truckers routed away from major venues.

Even with no advance warning such as following the Northridge earthquake, big rig drivers quickly piloted around the collapsed 14 freeway, and the damaged Santa Monica Freeway.

"We're trying to encourage people to try to get their deliveries in early. Bring in a little extra stock," advises Doug Failing, of MTA.

The CHP's major worry is the increased stress they expect to see on the area's other freeways.

"The roadways themselves are engineered to be able to handle the weights. It's just a matter of the extra flow of the traffic, and obviously it's going to be the extra flow causing the grid lock," according to Captain Greg Hammond, of the California highway Patrol.

In truth, those who drive for a living are the least of their worries. They're paid to figure it out.

"I'm going to avoid LA this weekend," says Martin Lee, of Modesto.

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