• Carmageddon: Nation’s Busiest Freeway Reopens Ahead of Schedule


    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – San Diego (405) Freeway traffic again wound its way through the Sepulveda Pass today, with the nation’s busiest freeway having been reopened ahead of schedule after being shuttered much of the weekend so crews could remove a bridge span as part of a project designed to add a carpool lane.

    It was feared that the closure would spark horrendous traffic jams elsewhere, but thousands of area residents stayed out of their cars, as officialdom had asked, and “Carmageddon II” never became the nightmare that transit officials had feared. In fact, in the words of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the weekend was a  ”resounding success.”

    The two-day closure of a 10-mile stretch of the 405 between the Santa Monica (10) Freeway and the Ventura (101) Freeway enabled crews to remove a span of the 80-foot-high Mulholland Drive Bridge as part of a 4-year, $1 billion project to add a northbound carpool lane. Crews also took advantage of the closure to carry out other upgrades, including paving lanes and filling potholes.

    Kiewit, the contractor, could have been fined up to $6,000 per lane for every 10 minutes the work went beyond this morning’s 5 a.m. deadline. In fact, the process of reopening the freeway began at 8 p.m. Sunday.

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