If all goes according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan, Los Angeles will avoid the dreaded “Carmageddon” this weekend when a major highway section is sealed off.
All of Southern California, it seems, is bracing for the shutdown of a 10-mile section of Interstate 405 so that one of its overpasses, the Mulholland Drive Bridge, can be partially demolished as part of a $1-billion project to upgrade the I-405 between Interstate 10 and U.S. 101.
The media-saturated region dubbed the weekend closure “Carmageddon” in reference to the end of Southern California driving as we know it. More than 300,000 vehicles traverse that section of I-405 every day. The MTA has issued the order: “Plan ahead, avoid the area or stay home.” One airline, JetBlue, is advertising flights from Burbank Airport to Long Beach Airport as a way to avoid the highway.
According to Dave Sotero, a senior spokesman for the MTA, two other overpasses in this section have been demolished with little fanfare – the Sunset Bridge in January 2010 and the Skirball Center Drive overpass 10 months later.