It's Not Carmageddon, But Don't Go There | NBC Southern California

It's Not Carmageddon, But Don't Go There

The next phase of the 405 widening project will create Westside delays

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A crucial phase of the 405 Freeway widening project got underway Monday night (Published Monday, Oct. 17, 2011)

    Westside drivers face another round of  street closures, detours and delays -- short-term setbacks in an effort to reach a long-term solution for the 405 Freeway.

    Traffic Maps | 405 Freeway Project Details

    For the next two weeks, the 405 Freeway's southbound Sunset Boulevard off ramp will be closed from 6 am to 10 am.

    Westside commuters know that's when traffic is worst in Sepulveda Pass. There will also be nighttime closures from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. But CalTrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority say the closures are necessary in order to rebuild the Sunset Boulevard bridge, which is an important element of the 405 widening.

    "We're asking the public to make a sacrifice while we make some long term investments in the roadway infrastructure on the westside," said Dave Sotero, a spokesman for the MTA.

    If this all sounds familiar, it's because the 405 widening is the same project that led to last summer's widely publicized "Carmageddon" weekend, when the entire 405 Freeway was shut down through Sepulveda Pass.

    The weekend turned out to be more novelty than apocalyptic travel event. It was even fun for a lot of people. In some ways, the current inconvenience may be even worse, depending where you live.

    Lian Kimia, a Brentwood resident, is preparing for the worst.

    "Right now it's 8:20 (pm) and I'm just getting back from work in the valley," said Kimia. "I want to go home and now I have to go through all these detours and it's inconvenient but hopefully in the long term it will be better for all of us."

    Drivers who couldn't get to Sunset Boulevard the usual way Monday night, through Church Lane, at least had a road worker available to help them navigate. Tuesday morning commuters may not be so fortunate.

    The MTA says the situation really will get better, with the added 405 lane and more lanes along Sunset Boulevard. Until then, officials hope all those who are diverted from there usual routes, will handle the delays with patience and understanding.

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