Angelenos dealing with a congested commute to Los Angeles International Airport will face an extra roadblock this weekend in what is being dubbed the "Century Crunch."
In the tradition of "Jamzilla" and "Carmageddon," the "Century Crunch" will force a closure at the intersection of Century Boulevard and Aviation Boulevard from 9 p.m. on July 25 to 6 a.m. on July 28.
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The 57-hour closure allows for the demolition of the Century Boulevard bridge as part of construction for the Crenshaw/LAX line, slated to connect the Metro Green Line to the Expo Line in 2019.
Century Boulevard is one of the busiest paths to LAX, with Metro officials estimating almost 93,000 drivers passing through the intersection each day.
"We know summer is peak travel season and not a great time to disrupt airport traffic and we’re sorry about that," said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, a member of the Metro Board of Directors, at a news conference. "But the demolition work is necessary now so that construction can stay on schedule for the Crenshaw Line."
During the closure, traffic will be diverted around the intersection onto Manchester Avenue.
"Avoid the area if you do not need to be there, and if you must, allow for extra travel time and use public transit," LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a video announcing the closure.
Metro officials also recommended alternate routes to get to the airport from the freeway:
- If traveling south on the 405 Freeway, exit at Howard Hughes Parkway and going south to Sepulveda or exiting at Manchester Avenue and going south on Sepulveda.
- If traveling north, take the 105 Freeway west to the northbound Sepulveda Boulevard exit.
Officials are also taking steps to keep the public in the loop on the progress of the construction.
Travelers can get traffic updates by using Go511's website or mobile app.
Additionally, FlyAway service is available in Santa Monica, at Union Station in Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Westwood and at the Metro Expo station at La Brea Avenue. The Metro Green line has LAX shuttles from the Imperial Highway and Aviation stop.
Metro bus lines and municipal lines in Torrance, Santa Monica, Culver City and beach cities also provide service to the Bus Transit Center on 96th Street just east of Sepulveda Boulevard.
Metro also showcased its new hi-tech $1.2 million Mobile Command Center Monday, a massive black van which officials said will communicate the construction operation to the public from the site.
“It’s designed to support both our agency and our partner agencies like the sheriff’s department, the police department, the fire department,” said Scott Norwood, emergency and preparedness manager for Metro. “We can utilize it for response to, all number of, any kind of emergencies.”
Once the bridge is demolished, one lane in each direction on Century Boulevard will be closed for 16 months as contractors continue construction.