Avoid Carmageddon? Try the Freeway

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    The Mulholland Bridge, flashpoint of Carmageddon

    Police, transportation, and local officials have some advice on how to avoid a potential traffic nightmare during the upcoming "Carmageddon" weekend:  stay home. 

    But if you have to travel, take the freeway.

    As crews begin preparations to shut down a 10 mile stretch of the 405 to remove the Mulholland Bridge, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation is advising commuters to avoid canyon roads and side streets— which will likely be jammed-- in favor freeway detours.

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    Bruce Gillman of LADOT suggested that those who have to drive stick to freeways -- even if that means a Westsider bound for Sherman Oaks has to take the Santa Monica (10) Freeway east, the Hollywood (101) Freeway north through the Cahuenga Pass, then Ventura (101) Freeway west.

    Caltrans crews, who have southbound Pacific Coast Highway narrowed by one lane for a dry-season runoff diversion project, are reportedly working to move K-rails and open up the coastal route for drivers using Topanga Canyon Boulevard or other valley-to-city canyon roads to bypass the mess.

    "If people want to go out and drive, they could be putting themselves into a very frustrating situation," Gilman told The Los Angeles Times.

    The affected stretch of freeway is said to be the busiest in the country, with about 330,000 vehicles traveling through the Sepulveda Pass daily.

    Other likely trouble spots include Beverly Glen Boulevard, Benedict Canyon Drive, Coldwater Canyon Drive, Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Cahuenga Boulevard. In West Los Angeles, surface streets around the junction of the 405 and the 10 freeways also could be jammed.

    The weekend closing is only the first of two. The same stretch of freeway will be closed for a weekend next summer to accommodate the replacement of the second half of the Mulholland Drive Bridge -- all a part of $1 billion carpool lane running from Orange County to the San Fernando Valley.