A 10-mile section of I-405 in Los Angeles was reopened shortly before noon Sunday, several hours ahead of schedule.
The shutdown to demolish half of an overpass was supposed to take until early Monday morning, according to transportation officials. Traffic was expected to get back to normal by Sunday afternoon.
The general manager for one Los Angeles area carrier will know first-hand how the 10-mile shutdown of Interstate 405 will affect truckers this weekend.
On July 16, Liberty Linehaul West’s Greg Dubuque will leave five hours earlier than the company’s drivers normally would to deliver the northbound freight. Dubuque will join other motorists diverted from the freeway located on the city’s westside. “I wanted to give the drivers a break,” Dubuque explained.
The major north-south Interstate’s 53-hour closure definitely puts the hurt to the specialized transportation carrier for domestic and Canadian service. Ontario, Calif.-based Liberty Linehaul is the parent corporation of Dubuque’s company.
LLW worked with customers to arrange transport around the shutdown, which affects the Interstate between I-10 and U.S. 101. It was scheduled to start 7 p.m. Friday with ramp closures and end 6 a.m. Monday, July 18.
Some of the most affected truckers will be those who deadhead to the Salinas area to pick up produce. Also, Los Angeles/Long Beach port truckers currently are transporting goods for Christmas retail stores to distribution centers in Lebec, located north of Los Angeles off of I-5.
The California Trucking Association has been warning its members for more than two months to prepare for the event, said Michael Shaw, CTA external affairs executive director.
Local governmental officials have been sounding the alarm over the impending “Carmageddon,” for months, even asking celebrities such as actor/author William Shatner to tweet advisories such as the closure’s catchphrase.“Plan ahead, avoid the area or stay home.”
Drivers in the metropolitan area should use alternative routes, including 5, 15, 23, 55, 57, 101, 118, 126, 210, 605 and 710 freeways. Workers for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project will tear down half of the Mulholland Drive Bridge in the pass area and build a new, widened bridge and a major carpool lane.
The closure put Los Angeles into overdrive to help people cope with the event. Waze is offering its free community-based traffic and navigation app for smartphone, while those lacking the devices can follow @BeatCarmageddon on Twitter.
Sirius XM Radio will provide “Carmageddon Radio,” during the time period, with news and traffic reports.
On July 16, JetBlue Airways will offer flights at $4-$5 for the #OverThe405 between the Long Beach Airport and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and deep discounts for flights destined farther away.
The Metro is offering free bus and train trips through the area.
More shutdown information is available at http://www.metro.net/projects/I-405/ .