Gordon Tokumatsu and Joel Cooke
The 405 widening and improvement project will once again test nerves this summer, when a series of on- and off-ramp makeovers could last up to three months. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 11, 2012.
The next round of 405 Freeway closures on the Westside won't be Carmageddon, but it won't be heavenly either.
On June 22, Wilshire Boulevard's northbound on-ramp to the 405 will shut down completely, and so will the westbound Wilshire's northbound off-ramp.
The two Wilshire ramps are just the first round. Six other ramps in the area are also going to be closing soon. It will take from two weeks to three months to reopen them.
Experts said the ramps are too small and they're not earthquake safe. The new ones are designed to improve traffic flow and address safety concerns.
"After this 90 day period, things will be much better for all of us," said City Councilman Bill Rosendahl. "We have to believe that."
But three months of heavy Westside traffic in the heat of the summer?
"We shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that these closures are going to be anything but horrible," said County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
Transit planners announced the next phase of the widening on Friday. As painful as it is now, it's all designed to open a new carpool lane.
But that doesn't take the sting out of it.
"It's a total nightmare," said Westside resident Karim Wataghani, assessing the entire widening project.
"For sure, I feel bad for people who have to get to work in this," said resident Khama Anku.
Officials advised commuters to double their anticipated travel time through the area.