By Mary O’KEEFE
California Department of Transportation District 7 will be monitoring L.A. County freeways from the Transportation Management Center for the 53-hour closure of the 405 Freeway. Caltrans will be in communication with other transportation and emergency response agencies in receiving up-to-date information on freeway conditions.
From late Friday to early Monday a section of the 405 Freeway will be closed allowing Caltrans to continue its work on the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. The 10 miles of northbound 405 Freeway between the 10 and 101 freeways, and the four miles of the southbound 405 Freeway between the 101 Freeway and the Getty Center Drive exit, will be closed.
“Carmageddon,” as many are calling the weekend closure, has been touted as an Angeleno’s worst nightmare.
In preparation for those who will stay locally and off the freeway, stores are planning 405 specials, according to Marc Littman, L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman. But for those who must travel the freeway businesses are using creative ways to have drivers try their product.
Neuro, a company known for its natural approach to energy and health drinks like NeuroSonic and NeuroTrim, will have “Carmageddon Relief Stations” set up at two locations on Saturday at the Chevron stations at 8101 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood and 4757 Laurel Canyon Blvd. in Valley Village. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. representatives will be handing out NeuroBliss that, according to the company, promotes “happiness and eliminates stress without affecting your energy levels.”
Stress is definitely what emergency responders are expecting for those driving the freeway this weekend.
“This is the busy tourist season,” Littman said. “[About] 60,000 people come in from LAX on [an average weekend].”
Those travelers, along with about a half a million drivers that usually travel the 405 Freeway, will have to find alternative routes. Officials estimate that will impact all Los Angeles-area freeways.
The best thing to do during these 53 hours, Littman advised, is to stay home and get to know neighborhood businesses. If traveling is required, drivers should check road conditions and give themselves plenty of time.
“Information can be found at www.metro.net/405 and KNX [1070 News Radio] will be embedded in the Caltrans command center,” Littman said.
At the Altadena Station of the California Highway Patrol, Officer Jose Barrios said that CHP will be deploying additional units over the weekend.
“We are just getting prepared,” Barrios said. “Hopefully it won’t be as bad as we all think.”