LA transportation officials warned last month's Wilshire ramp closures on the 405 Freeway would make driving on West LA surface streets a nightmare and they were right. Traffic has moved from the freeway to side streets and Brentwood is bearing the brunt of it. Angie Crouch reports from Brentwood for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 11, 2012.
Transportation officials warned LA drivers that Wilshire ramp closures on the 405 Freeway would make driving in West LA a nightmare – and they were right.
Traffic being diverted from the freeway is now clogging surface streets and Brentwood is bearing the brunt of it. The Brentwood intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Barrington Avenue has become arguably the worst in the city.
On June 22, workers closed the westbound Wilshire Boulevard on-ramp to the northbound 405 and the northbound 405 off-ramp to westbound Wilshire. The ramps will remain closed for three months.
Much of the freeway traffic is being detoured to Sunset Boulevard and despite traffic control officers trying to keep things moving, traffic is at a slow crawl.
"You don't move," said commuter Nancy Reiter. "If you want to go anywhere, you have to choose your time well."
The locals are finding out that due to all the construction in the area, there are no good shortcuts.
"Every street is a no-outlet street," said commuter Jay Gira. "So literally I'd be stuck driving in circles."
Some West LA residents say their commute time has tripled over the past two weeks since the Wilshire ramps were closed.
"It is very difficult," said commuter Dr. Alvin Reiter. "You have to make time to go back and forth to work. [It can take] two to three hours."
Metro officials say they know it's tough, but they're asking drivers for a little more patience while they complete this complex, multi-billion dollar construction project.
Officials are reminding the public that there is a light at the end of the congested tunnel.
"What we're saying to the public is bear with us," said Dave Sotero, Metro spokesman. "We have another year of construction and then we'll be out of this area and onto other projects. In the short term, we're going to have a lot of traffic pain."