405 Freeway Project Begins Next Month

Expect three years of even more congestion

And you thought things couldn't get worse on the 405 Freeway.

Full-lane closures will begin Jan. 12 as crews begin to widen the road through the Sepulveda Pass. It's the start of a project that will create a 10-mile northbound carpool lane  between the Santa Monica (10) and Ventura (101) freeways.

Although the closures will occur during overnight hours, the project is likely to result in about two months worth of added challenges for motorists. Metro's statement warns: "Commuters, residents  and businesses in the vicinity should now anticipate upcoming freeway  construction impacts and begin planning needed travel alternatives and  schedules."

Work will be done on weekdays only, 7 p.m. to 6  a.m. The first month will consist of setting up temporary traffic lanes along the 10-mile Sepulveda Pass freeway segment.

Caltrans will close all lanes on various segments of the northbound  stretch as work schedules require, according to Metro. But full freeway segment  closures will only take place between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.,  according to the transit agency.

Beginning about Feb. 15, workers will begin placing concrete barriers on  the 10-mile freeway shoulder to isolate the work zone from existing traffic,  resulting in temporary lane closures. That part of the project is also estimated to take about four weeks and  will also be done between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Drivers should expect ramp closures to start as early as 7 p.m., followed by freeway lane closures at 9 p.m.

Metro will announce changes in dates and locations of segment closures on its website. If you're looking for someone with whom to commiserate, find a ridesharing partner.

The construction is part of a larger project to complete a continuous  carpool lane on the 405 between the San Fernando Valley and Orange County --  expected to be finished in 2013.

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