Updates From the 405 Closure

Construction bosses say bridge the bridge tear-down is ahead of schedule.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Workers demolish the south side of Mulholland overpass on the 405 freeway during the 53-hour total freeway closure resulting in massive traffic disruptions expected throughout the region on July 16, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

    Maryor Antonio Villaraigosa reiterated that the construction on the 405 is on schedule, when he addressed the media almost 16 hours into closure.

    "So far, and I do say 'so far'," the Mayor warned of the tenuous nature of the construction.

    Mike Barber, a Metro project manager who is helping head the project, reiterated the Mayor's words on the construction's delicate state.

    Barber said that the reports that the construction is currently ahead of schedule are true, but that is because they "haven't had problems," and said they may lose time if they come upon any stumbling blocks during the process.

    Deputy Chief Kirk J. Albanese said that they have had several instances of people, either on vehicles or foot, entering the freeway, which he said would result in arrests.

    "If anyone comes onto the freeway, they will be arrested," said Albanese.

    Villaraigosa said that while the first day of the closure has gone smoothly, tonight could present a different story with a home Dodger game and other events around the city.

    "Don't get in your car unless you absolutely  have to," said Villaraigosa. "But if you absolutely  have to, car pool."

    Extra: Carmageddon Survival Kit

    Updated: 3:15

    Sheriff's Lt. David Thompson of the Malibu Station said Saturday afternoon that the traffic is moving on Pacific Coast Highway and "pretty ligh" for a weekend.

    Thompson said deputies are re-evaluating their beefed-up deployment and could send home some extra personnel on duty because of "Carmageddon."

    Work on a dry-season, runoff-diversion project along southbound PCH through Pacific Palisades has been suspended for the weekend to enable traffic to flow better. The coastal route had been squeezed down to two southbound lanes, but all three are expected to be open through Monday.

    Meanwhile, construction bosses say the tear-down of the Mulholland Drive bridge is ahead of schedule so far.

    Updated: 1:30 PM

    Police arrested a drunk driver in West San Fernando Valley who drove through the road closure onto the highway, said police.

    The male driver was under the influence and made it through the closure at approximately noon, CHP Officer Monique Mischeaux told NBCLA’s Toni Guinyard.

    The age of the drive and direction of travel were not available.

    Another male was escorted off the freeway after being cause skateboarding on the closed 405 near the 10 Freeway.

    He was cited for "disobeying the regulatory sign," said police.

    An unknown number of pedestrians have been cited as well for going onto the freeway near the Sunset Blvd area to try and take photos.

    The CHP responded by posting officers at the on and off ramps in the closure area.

    There have also been are rumors that people are trying to plan as a group to bicycle and picnic on the 405.

    Updated: 12:20 p.m.

    The crew at the Mulholland Drive Bridge site, underwent its first "safety stand down," around noon Saturday, Doug Failing, Executive Director of MTA Highway Projects, told Guinyard.

    The stand down takes place before each shift to review safety issues with the demolition crews.

    This is the first time work has stopped since they started the demolition process at midnight.

    The contractor appears to have the crews working 12 hour shifts.