LOS ANGELES (CBS) — In what may go down as “a midsummer weekend’s nightmare,” one of the three freeways connecting the two halves of Los Angeles will be closed for an entire weekend — 53 hours — in mid-July, it was announced Saturday.

405 405 Closure Will Displace 500K Vehicles In A Midsummers Weekend Nightmare

(Getty Images)

The entire San Diego (405) Freeway will be shut down between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside beginning just after midnight on a Friday night-Saturday morning, the night starting July 15. It will not reopen until 5 a.m. the following Monday, July 18, officials said.

A half million cars, trucks and buses will have to be detoured or convinced not to traverse the mountains separating L.A. and “The Valley.” Builders plan a news conference on May 23 to kick off an advertising and P.R. campaign to get the word out, county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said on his web page.

“This is manageable as long as the public cooperates,” said Metro spokesman Marc Littman, quoted in Yaroslavsky’s release. “They’ve got a lot of summer plans and we don’t want them surprised.”

While some 405 lane closures will begin before midnight on the night of Friday, July 15, all lanes of the freeway will be closed just after midnight that Saturday morning, July 16. The closures will end at 5 a.m. Monday, July 18.

The 405 has already been blocked off for eight overnight hours at a time to allow other bridge work, with Caltrans diverting all southbound traffic onto the 101 in Sherman Oaks. Northbound ramps have been closed at the 10 interchange in West L.A.

During the looming weekend closure, half of the towering Mulholland Drive overpass at the top of the hill will be torn out. Mulholland traffic will use the other, remaining half of the overpass until a replacement structure is finished, and another weekend-long demolition closure is imposed next summer.

Metro is spending $1 billion on the 405 widening project between the Hollywood (101) and Santa Monica (405) freeways, an effort that will add a northbound carpool lanes and radically remodel the 50-year-old freeway’s bridges and ramps. The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project will also add a 10-mile HOV lane, remove and replace Skirball Center Dr., Sunset Blvd. and Mulholland Dr. bridges, realign 27 on and off ramps, widen 13 existing underpasses and structures and construct 18 miles of retaining and sound walls.

The closure will apparently be the biggest planned freeway closure in California since the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was closed for installation of a detour structure two years ago.

For more information on the project, visit Metro online. For a list of detours and maps, click here.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (25)
  1. fed up says:

    “This is manageable as long as the public cooperates,” What a bunch of bs. No wonder our economy is so f’d up. For the most part, I think that people that travel that stretch of road do it because they HAVE to (IE get to work and back) and arent out for a freaking joy ride. Jerk.

    1. Jim says:

      There are other ways of getting to LA besides the 405. If you plan in advance and allow plenty of time, it shouldn’t be a problem.

      1. chris says:

        What!….. wake up at 2am to be at work by 7am Jim???? A billion Dollars to do this?? to widen the fwy??? NICE! allow more folks to move into LA and place more cars on an already congested route!! This is NOT the answer! I thought California was having money problems!! where are they getting the 1 billion for this insane idea??? And if anyone is asking me to come up with a better idea? Sure! STOP building SO many apartments and Housing developments allowing LA to fill up with crowds! Answer pure and simple!

      2. Marie-Elena Manzur says:

        @ Jim – You do realize that planning in advance is not as simple as you make it sound. EVERY OTHER thoroughfare from the Valley to the Westside will be overburdened and backed up. People cannot simply shut down their lives because CalTrans needs to spend money. I know the project needs to be completed, but there has to be another way that will not shut the city down (or at least cause a 3 hour delay for anyone needing to make that trip). This effects millions of people. CalTrans and Metro need to come up with a better solution.

    2. Matthew says:

      Whatever dude – it’s over the weekend when most of those travelers aren’t working. Granted some folks are but hopefully the leisure drivers stay home and keep Sepulveda – Beverly Glen – Laurel Cyn open for the few commuters. This is GOOD for the economy. Don’t forget about all those people actually working on this project not to mention the benefits for the commuters of tomorrow when this market picks back up. You think traffic is bad now wait until 10% unemployment is 6%.

    3. robert says:

      you, sir, are an idiot

      1. Gene Rodmy says:

        He’s not exactly an idiot, but he is wrong in a big picture sense. Suppose we freed up a billion dollars to have people copy the dictionary by hand onto lined paper: Yes, if we paid 25,000 workers $40,000 over a year we’d take a nick out of unemployment. The dictionary copy project is only a little more useless than adding a lane to 10 miles of freeway. But, the dictionary project does phk up traffic for 8 years.

  2. Really says:

    I agree, fed up. There is no “manageable” in this situation. There’s going to be a ton of gridlock around the city and not just the Valley. We have a bunch of idiots running these public works positions at the city and state levels. That goes for the politicians as well. Everything here in California is just a@# backwards.

  3. Adam X says:

    well, it is a weekend fed up… but point taken. He is a jerk. 😉

  4. Vee says:

    I agree with fed up. People who travel up and down the 405 freeway aren’t doing it for fun. I work 6 days a week. I live in SFV and work in West Los Angeles. If I’m not working, I stay local and stay away from using any freeway. I wonder if Sepulveda boulevard, that runs parallel the 405, will also be closed down?! This is going to be one very frustrating weekend when it happens….

  5. Matthew says:

    Good lord bunch of wusses – I drive every day from Stanton to Beverly Hills and am dealing with the HOV lane additions and connectors between the 22/405/605 including the closure of the 7th St bridge to Long Beach which isn’t expected to complete until 2014. Is it incovenient? Heck ya! Does it need to be done? Also heck ya!

  6. Talega says:

    Work on the 405 has been going on for the past five years. Try driving after midnight. Now it’s time for the daytimers to feel what it is like.

  7. Robert M says:

    Fed Up and others who have their knickers all in a knot over a request that the citizens of Los Angeles be aware and do what they can to minimize the burden of the coming disruption must be so generally angry about life that any inconvenience seems a mountain and any call to civic duty an offensive presumption. The bottom line is that long-term improvement of the 405 corridor requires this weekend of inconvenience and workaround. What’s the big deal? Sometimes I think some of my fellow Americans have forgotten that they live in the home of the brave, not the house of petulant whiners.

  8. duh says:

    Fed up is one of those who want their house re-piped but don’t want the plumbing company to have to ever turn off the water for any portion of the retro.

  9. DL says:

    To anyone who thinks this is unacceptable… two words… PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION… Going one year strong and reaping the savings on gas, vehicle maintenance and reduction of stress from driving on the freeways. And any nay sayers out there, take this in account… I ride Metrolink in from Lancaster and connect to metro bus/rail and get to where I need to go as fast as driving and being stuck in traffic for the same time period… and did I say I am saving money on gas right now?

    1. KG says:

      YES. Perhaps those who complain loudest are those most resistant to taking public transit? Which means they are the reason tax dollars are being spent on the 405 rather than on new rail lines that would address the core issue. Widening the freeways treats the symptoms, not the disease.

  10. Gene Rodmy says:

    “…widening project between the Hollywood (101) and Santa Monica (405) freeways…” Hire me to proofread your text. The Santa Monica is the (10).

  11. LAdude says:

    Californians want everything without having to pay for it.

  12. Happy Journey says:

    Robert M & DL have it correct!! Have you ever thought about moving closer to where you work so that none of this would even affect your life?? Heres an idea for all y’all…. it boils down to two very simple solutions. If you don’t like what is happening, suck it up & deal with it (for a whole weekend) or get the F*ck out!!! No one has got a gun to your head forcing you to live here! Start a trend & leave, grab all the other whiners and move somewhere else! That’ll solve a whole bunch of problems for the rest of us!!

  13. Get a Grip on Reality says:

    Does anyone really think that metro would just shut down a freeway for an entire weekend affecting 500k people just willy nilly if their was any possible way otherwise to do the Job. Chris says the solution is to stop you say that now but what would you say i wonder when this 52 year old bridge designed under codes no longer considered safe collapses with one of your loved ones on it. A weekend of inconvience to me is well worth it to protect the public from what is probably one of many crumbling bridges in our f’d up infrastructure. Remember the last major recession we got out of it by federal funding public works projects (i.e hoover dam) I-405 is also a federally funded project and their is precedents for public work projects batteling a recession.

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