Retaining Wall Collapse Blamed for 405 Freeway Project Delay

The collapse led to a 15-month delay for the project through the Sepulveda Pass

Collapsed retaining walls contributed to a 15-month delay for the San Diego (405) Freeway widening project through the Sepulveda Pass, according to federal investigators.

The vertical retaining walls collapsed in December 2011 along the stretch of freeway that connects the San Fernando Valley with the Westside.  The walls, designed to hold back soil, were replaced, but the problem led to a 15-month delay in the completion of the widening project.

The results of the federal review of the project were first reported by the Los Angeles Daily News. The newspaper reported that metal straps connecting wall panels broke.

The collapse led to several lawsuits involving contractors and subcontractors, according to Metro officials. Some of the lawsuits have already been resolved, according to Metro officials.

The project has included phased closures, including two full closures of the 405 Freeway known as "Carmageddon I and II." One Wilshire Boulevard ramp, a Sunset Bridge ramp and Mulholland Bridge are some of the major upcoming phases of the project.

The project's target completion date is sometime in late 2014.

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