"Ramp Jam" came to an end today in West Los Angeles when the final ramp from Wilshire Boulevard to the San Diego (405) Freeway was opened, culminating a months-long construction effort aimed at reducing congestion at the popular interchange.
Construction crews removed the barricades on the ramp from eastbound Wilshire to the northbound freeway at about 6 a.m.
"The Wilshire 'Ramp Jam' is officially over as of this morning," said Metro spokesman Dave Sotero.
The new ramp is wider and three times longer than the original, and acts as a "flyover" that will carry motorists above the northbound freeway offramp to westbound Wilshire, according to Metro, which is overseeing the 405 Freeway construction project in the Sepulveda Pass.
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The new configuration does away with the traffic-slowing weave of motorists trying to exit or enter the freeway using a single lane. The wider, 3,129-foot-long ramp is also expected to accommodate almost twice as many vehicles trying to enter the northbound freeway.
Construction at the interchange forced the closure of the Wilshire interchange ramps beginning in late July, prompting warnings from area transportation officials to avoid the area -- dubbing the closures "Ramp Jam."
The ramp work was part of the three-year, $1 billion widening and reconstruction of 10 miles of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass. The project is one year behind schedule, but is expected to be completed in 2014.
"It is going to take until the middle of next year to put the final touches on the entire project," Sotero said.