With considerably less fanfare than the fears over “Carmageddon” in 2011, southbound lanes of the chronically congested 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles will be shut down late Saturday for construction on the Sepulveda Pass.
The work is a prelude to a larger, 5½-mile closure that is planned for the Presidents Day weekend. Next month’s projected 80-hour closure has been dubbed “Jamzilla” by transportation officials.
Both projects are part of the $1 billion Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, which is intended to ease traffic on one of the nation’s busiest freeways and bring its infrastructure up to new seismic standards. Among its features are the new Mulholland Drive Bridge and a 10-mile carpool lane on the northbound side of the freeway.
Caltrans officials said Saturday that lane closures will begin at 11 p.m. on the southbound 405 between the 101 Freeway and Getty Center Drive. All lanes will be blocked by 2 a.m. Sunday, and the freeway is expected to reopen at 7 a.m. Northbound lanes will remain open during the work.
Motorists are encouraged to use Sepulveda Boulevard as an alternative route, but officials say they expect heavy traffic on surface streets in the area.
The Jamzilla closures will take place Feb. 14-18, mostly over the three-day Presidents Day weekend. Caltrans officials say some northbound lanes will be closed during the day, but all northbound lanes will be blocked for a 5½-mile stretch to accommodate paving of the carpool lane.