LA Mayor: "Carmageddon" "Carma-Heaven" | NBC Southern California

LA Mayor: "Carmageddon" "Carma-Heaven"

A midnight reopening of the 405 shut down for "Carmageddon II"

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    Northbound traffic resumes Sunday night on the 405 Freeway

    All lanes of the 405 Freeway opened hours ahead of schedule, hours ahead of the Monday morning commute, the Mayor's Office said.

    Ramps along the Santa Monica Freeway that connect with the 405 began to reopen by 8:45 p.m. Then northbound lanes opened, followed by the southbound lanes.

    The news comes after a 5 p.m. press conference by Mayor Antonio Villaragosa, saying motorists could expect a 5 a.m. Monday reopening of a 10-mile stretch of the San Diego Freeway dubbed Carmageddon II.

    Carmageddon II: Complete Coverage

    Officials were hoping for an early reopening of the freeway, but Sunday evening officials said work remained even though the bulk of the project -- deconstructing the Mulholland Drive bridge in the Sepulveda Pass -- was complete.

    "First things first: We are not done yet, and the freeway will not open until 5 o'clock in the morning as we said it would," said the Mayor at a press conference on Sunday. "That being said -- we are on track."

    He called the project a success and thanked Los Angeles residents for cooperating with the messages of staying off the roadway, making "‘Carmageddon,’ ‘Carma-Heaven.’”

    "The real stars of Carmageddon II were the motorists who enjoyed a car-free weekend," he said.

    California Highway Patrol officers also called the closure a success, citing "minor breaches" of the closed freeway.

    Seven people were detained, including rollerbladers, skaters, and possibly a groom and his groomsman, the CHP said.

    Dan Kulka, a spokesman for the contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., said Sunday that crews still had to clear debris and sweep the roadway before the work could be complete. Engineers had to inspect the bridge work, Kulka said.

    Crews took advantage of the closure to take on seven weeks of maintenance projects such as trimming trees and restriping lanes, work that saved taxpayers $150,000 and will lead to fewer lane closures in the future, Villaraigosa said.

    The closure of the nation's busiest freeway section officially began late Friday.

    Officials closed the highway to demolish the north half of the Mulholland Drive overpass as part of a $1 billion upgrade to the 50-year-old freeway stretch between the Westside and the Valley.

    The south side of the overpass was demolished during last summer's first "Carmageddon."

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