Friday, October 28 , 2016, 6:43 am | Overcast 64º


Local News

Fallout from West L.A.‘s Carmageddon Expected to Reach Santa Barbara

405 Freeway's two-day closure promises to snarl traffic throughout the region, with big impacts for those trying to get to and from LAX

Southern California drivers are gearing up for this weekend’s so-called “Carmageddon,” during which a 10-mile stretch of the congested 405 Freeway will be shut down in both directions in the heart of West Los Angeles.

Beginning around 10 p.m. Friday and continuing until 5 a.m. Monday, the freeway will be closed between Highway 101 in the San Fernando Valley and Interstate 10 on the Westside so crews can demolish part of the Mulholland Drive Bridge. The work is 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.

Workers will be destroying half of the bridge on Sepulveda Pass and replacing it with a wider span that can accommodate a major carpool lane. Another freeway closure will be necessary to complete the project at a later date.

Authorities are advising motorists to avoid, if possible, streets in neighborhoods in the vicinity of the closed portion of the 405. They are also recommending that people use alternate freeways, such as the 5, 10, 15, 23, 101 and 710.

The 405, also known as the San Diego Freeway, has long been notorious for its heavy traffic snarls. The artery serves as the main connection between the 101 and the 10, and it is one of the primary routes to busy Los Angeles International Airport as well as a gateway to the San Fernando Valley.

Officials say nearly 300,000 cars a day pass through the Sepulveda Pass segment of the 405, and as many as 500,000 drivers use it on any given summer weekend.

Travelers trying to get to San Diego from Santa Barbara or Ventura, or vice versa, are being encouraged to use Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner as an alternative.

The Santa Barbara Car Free Project offers a 20 percent discount on Amtrak all year for passengers traveling to or from any station in Santa Barbara County.

However, the Thruway RT 1c Amtrak bus that usually provides service from Bakersfield to Torrance will be affected, according to Sybil Evans of Amtrak. Stops at Torrance, Westchester, El Segundo and Westwood will be suspended during the closure.

Local transportation services in Santa Barbara are already preparing to avoid the expected heavy traffic as motorists swarm alternate roadways. Santa Barbara’s Limousine Link has advised its customers not to travel unless they absolutely must. Instead of the typical two hours it takes to drive clients to LAX, Limousine Link is telling customers they should expect the drive to take up to six hours as a result of extended traffic delays.

Although FedEx mainly ships packages by air, a Santa Barbara store employee said the 53-hour closure may give the company’s ground routes some trouble.

Santa Barbara Airbus CEO Eric Onnen says his company plans to continuously monitor Metrolink’s traffic information this weekend so its buses can change routes when necessary. Santa Barbara Airbus makes eight trips to Los Angeles and eight more trips back to Santa Barbara each day. Since traffic will be nearly impossible to avoid, Onnen says the company is encouraging riders to allow extra travel time to get to their destinations.

Santa Barbara and Goleta post offices do not expect the closure to affect mail deliveries in any way, as the cities’ mail is delivered from Santa Clarita, about 35 miles north of Los Angeles and reachable via Highway 126 through Ventura County.

The freeway closure has also forced the Getty Center to close for the weekend, since its location about midway along the route will be largely inaccessible.

Noozhawk intern Sarah Webb can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

(Metro Los Angeles video)

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >