Come on Los Angeles – Carmageddon Really?

This weekend in Los Angeles the 405 Freeway will be shutdown for repairs.  In case you’ve been under a rock, you know that the world ends for the city when this happens.  I know LA is nuts, and I know they have traffic, but shit really is it this bad.  Yes, the 405 is a major artery, but it is freaking Saturday.  Don’t go that way.  Go to a different grocery store or Wal-Mart, or Target.  Skip the Dodger game this weekend.  Holy Crap take the 101 if you have to.  This is why people in the rest of the country think everybody in California is Cocoa Puffs.

I live in Dallas and pretty much everyone of our major highways are torn to shreds and somehow we still survive.  Highways close and we just make alternate plans.  What if, shudder…..  What if it rains also?  The world truly would come to an end.  Hey, LA…Buck up and shut up.  Just sayin…

Los Angeles (CNN) — The closure of a mountain highway pass in the heart of the nation’s second-largest city — an event anticipated to be so calamitous to car-loving Southern California that it’s been dubbed “Carmageddon” — hit the area Friday night.

Crews began closing ramps late Friday on Interstate 405, where it passes over the Santa Monica Mountains, California Department of Transportation officials said.

At about 10 p.m. Pacific, crews began closing lanes, and by midnight, the 405 was expected to be eerily vacant — a “carpocalypse,” some say. It is expected to remain that way for about 53 hours.

Rendered desolate will be a 10-mile stretch of all five northbound lanes and a four-mile stretch of all five southbound lanes, officials said.

The 405 is usually one of the busiest freeways in the country, carrying about 500,000 cars a day through the Sepulveda Pass, a critical artery connecting Southern Californians to destinations up the coast. The 405 achieved notoriety on national television as the corridor that former NFL player O.J. Simpson used as he was being slowly chased by police in 1994.

L.A. faces “carmageddon”

The highway also cuts through the west side of Los Angeles, an area that includes the high-status communities of Bel Air, Brentwood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said officials carried out “an unprecedented” public awareness campaign urging motorists to stay off the road or use public transportation.

“It doesn’t have to be ‘Carmageddon.’ That’s why we have done so much outreach to the public,” the mayor said Friday.

The weekend construction project should be completed by 5 a.m. Monday, to accommodate the morning rush hour, officials said.

The $1.2 billion construction project calls for replacing a portion of a bridge at Mulholland Drive, a mountain summit road that is featured in many Hollywood films, authorities said. A year from now, crews will have to shut down the 405 again to replace a final portion of the Mulholland Drive bridge, officials said.

The project also calls for adding a car-pool lane in each direction, creating “the largest HOV system in the world” at 48.6 miles in length between the San Fernando Valley and Orange County, said Mike Miles, the California Department of Transportation’s director for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

The two-year project will replace two more bridges, also to accommodate the widening of the 405, and will improve about two dozen on-off ramps and add 18 miles of sound-deadening walls for nearby residents, Miles said.

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