Complacency may make ‘Carmageddon II’ a real traffic nightmare

Aug. 23, 2012

After all the predictions of highway horrors surrounding “Carmageddon” — when a portion of one of California’s busiest freeways was shut down over the weekend — didn’t come true, CalTrans officials are worried that complacency from area drivers may make the upcoming “Carmageddon II” a real traffic nightmare. 

Next month a 10-mi. stretch of the 405 freeway — the major north-south highway through Los Angeles — will again be shut down over the weekend for repairs. On Sept. 29-30, the freeway will again be shut down between the 10 and 101 freeways for 53 hours.

The first Carmageddon closure was last July, when construction crews demolished the south side of the Mulholland Drive bridge that crosses the 405. This time around, highway workers will be replacing the north side of the bridge.

L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said the possibility of gridlock is increased this time around because of “public apathy” resulting from the extensive outreach efforts that proved successful last year. However, the work project is more complicated this time around and highway users are warned to stay off local freeways over the Sept. 29-30 weekend whenever possible.

“More motorists may now be tempted to rejoin local roads and freeways, which has the potential to create the very traffic congestion and multi-hour delays transportation and law enforcement officials have warned about,” a Metro news release stated.

“Last year, we proved that Angelenos far and wide could rise to the occasion and cooperate with authorities to turn Carmageddon into ‘Carmaheaven’ free of apocalyptic traffic congestion,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in an LA Times report. “It was truly one of L.A.’s finest moments.... Do not become complacent.”

As with the previous I-405 closure, Sepulveda Boulevard is intended as an alternate route for local resident access only. Sepulveda Boulevard does not have the capacity to accommodate both local and diverted freeway traffic. Motorists should instead use alternate regional freeway routes to completely bypass the area. These include the 5, 15, 23, 55, 57, 101, 118, 126, 210, 605 and 710 freeways.

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