After two years, the Mulholland Drive bridge has reopened.
The bridge opened at about 5:20 a.m. Wednesday, 40 minutes earlier than the scheduled 6 a.m. reopening, according to an official from Kiewit, the contractor hired on the reconstruction project.
The bridge crosses over the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda pass. Approximately 20,000 cars travel the bridge daily.
Construction of the new bridge dates back to 2011, when the city implemented a weekend-long closure of the 405 Freeway, popularly known as “Carmageddon,” to accommodate the demolition of the previous Mulholland Drive bridge.
The construction of the new bridge was also responsible for Carmageddon II in 2012.
The new 608-foot-long Mulholland Drive bridge is 10 feet wider thant the previous bridge, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It's also seismically stronger than the original bridge, which was built in 1959.
The reconstructed bridge is part of the ongoing, billion-dollar I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.
The project will add a 10-mile carpool lane on the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway between the Santa Monica (10) Freeway and the Ventura (101) Freeway. The Skirball Drive and Sunset Boulevard bridges will also be replaced; 27 on and off-ramps will be realigned; and 13 existing underpasses will be widened.
Officials hope the will cut traffic and air pollution and promote ridesharing. It is expected to be completed by mid-2014.