One of the busiest freeway stretches in the United States will be shutting down again for 53 hours on September 29th, 2012. The second phase of the $1-billion upgrade will temporarily shut down the 405 from the 10 to the 101 freeways.
Many predicted that when the freeway was first closed for roadwork last summer that it would be accompanied by mayhem and horror. However, most motorists took extra caution leaving Los Angeles with some of the lightest traffic in ages. Many businesses closed for the day, allowing their employees to stay home and anticipating few visitors. Construction crews were able to complete the first phase 17 hours early, without any complications or problems. The freeway reopened and some motorists got to the 405 unlike every before: without traffic.
Now that the second phase of construction is to begin, many officials fear that motorists will not take warnings as heavily as before. The first “Carmageddon” was largely successful due to the cooperation and, well, fear of being stuck in what could have been the worst traffic recorded. If motorists don’t heed the warning as they did the first time around, Los Angeles may actually experience Carmageddon how the media first suggested.
To make matters worse, construction crews have stated that the second phase is more difficult and is therefore less likely to finish as early as the first time. While no problems are anticipated, a hold-up could have serious consequences for travelers even after the closure dates. Travelers hoping for any early reopening will likely be disappointed, further fueling concerns by Los Angeles officials that motorists will be less inclined to stay off the roads for the second phase.
While the closed stretch of freeway will only affect the 405 freeway from the 10 to the 101, it will impact almost 250,000 motorists. Those who insist on making their daily trek will be tempted to travel on local streets and alternative freeways that are unable to handle the high traffic flow the 405 supports. Increased traffic congestion in these areas will not only lead to multiple hour delays, but also increase your chances of being involved in an auto accident. Stay home for the weekend and make sure to get all your driving out of the way before the weekend sets in.