AP News

Interstate 405 in LA reopened ahead of schedule


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Construction work on Los Angeles' busiest freeway was finished ahead of schedule and transportation officials reopened all northbound lanes of Interstate 405 through the Sepulveda Pass early Sunday.

It wasn't quite the "Carmageddon" of traffic jams, but the closure of three of five lanes on a 2.4 mile stretch between the Montana Avenue and Getty Center exits caused traffic to back up for miles Saturday in West Los Angeles.

All lanes were reopened just after midnight, some 29 hours ahead of schedule, according to Dave Sotero, spokesman for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The lanes were supposed to close through 5 a.m. Monday.

Contractor Kiewit Infrastructures West had workers on double shifts, making a third round of closures unnecessary, Sotero said.

Earlier 405 closures between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday resulted in slowed traffic and backups that also jammed Westside surface streets.

The freeway was shut so crews could move the center median, repave and restripe a 2.4-mile stretch of the 405. The improvements are part of a 10-mile widening and carpool project.

The $1 billion project has required two temporary weekend closures of the busy Interstate 405 — one last year and another in 2011 — that became known as Carmageddon I and II.

Most of the 10 miles of widened freeway will be open to traffic by mid-summer, but the final segment won't be open until mid-2014, Metro officials said last month.

Problems removing hillsides and the discovery of hidden utility lines and runoff pipes have caused delays on construction near Sunset Boulevard, officials said.


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