Commuters Will Face 'Jamzilla' on 405 Freeway This Weekend - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Commuters Will Face 'Jamzilla' on 405 Freeway This Weekend

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West Los Angeles, CA -

From Phil Shuman:

Will it ever get better ? 

Traffic is like a physical weight on your shoulders. It grinds on you , relentless. There is practically no escaping it. If you live in Southern California, it is a fact of life. If you can manage your life and your work to avoid the freeways, you're way ahead of the game. If you're like most of us, it's like oppressive.   The four year 1.1 billion dollar project that essentially adds one northbound carpool lane to an already congested freeway, might give us a bit of a break but it may be barely noticeable. Interestingly, all the mass transit plans have never really concentrated on the Sepulveda Pass.. Jamzilla ? Carmeggedon? Are you kidding me.  In other cities that would be a joke.  

We build carpool lanes because we can. Do you have someone you can commute with so one less car will be on the freeway ? I didn't think so . Neither do I . Yes Metro is ''studying'' a busway on the freeway, or the shoulder, or down the middle. Monorails could've worked a generation ago, no momentum for that now. A tunnel through the Sepulveda Pass is actually being discussed, researched.  That'll be a generation from now, if it happens, which it may or may not but it would be  a fortune on top of a fortune.  We can't even finance the Bullet Train.   My point is we're living with a daily nightmare that most of us make up for by enjoying the 80 degree sunshine 9 out of ten days a year.  It's worth it, but barely. 

 


 

After weeks of warnings, "Jamzilla'' will come to the Sepulveda Pass tonight, when an 80-hour paving operation on the San Diego (405) Freeway shuts down most or all of the northbound freeway at various times throughout the holiday weekend. Although not as dire as the full freeway shutdowns dubbed "Carmageddon'' and "Carmageddon II,'' transportation officials still urged motorists to avoid unnecessary trips in the Sepulveda Pass to prevent massive
traffic congestion.

Beginning at 7 p.m., ramps will begin closing in the affected area of the northbound 405 Freeway between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Boulevard. Lanes will start closing at 10 p.m., with the full freeway closing in the stretch from 1 to 6 a.m.

When the northbound freeway is not fully closed, only two lanes will be open. The entire northbound freeway will be shut down during overnight hours on the following schedule:

  • 1 to 6 a.m. Saturday;
  • 2 to 7 a.m. Sunday;
  • midnight to 5 a.m. Monday; and
  • midnight to 5 a.m. Tuesday.

The full freeway will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials with Metro, which is overseeing the $1 billion 405 Freeway construction project in the Sepulveda Pass, warned that if people don't avoid the area during the closures, local streets and other freeways could become severely congested.

The closures and lane restrictions will accommodate what Metro calls a complex paving operation in the 5.6-mile stretch, with the contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West, pouring single layers of pavement at a time. Metro officials compared the operation to baking layers of a wedding cake -- a far more delicate task than the bridge demolition that prompted the "Carmageddon'' full-freeway closures.

"Operationally speaking, demolishing a bridge is a much simpler operation than paving and striping freeway lanes that must return to public use as quickly as possible,'' said K.N. Murthy, executive director of transit project delivery at Metro. "It's the essential difference between destroying a structure and building a structure. Building something is much more difficult, and the paving methods we are using vary between each material type and have specific requirements that must be adhered to.''

In addition to the paving, crews will also shift the centerline of the freeway 20 feet to the west for about 1,000 feet, in the area where the 405 winds down into the San Fernando Valley.

Advice, updates and details on the freeway closure are available at http://www.lawa.org/405, or on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/I_405.

Motorists can also access a Jamzilla hotline by calling 5-1-1 and saying "Jamzilla'' or by visiting http://www.go511.com.

From Hal Eisner:

When you consider what is about to happen JAMZILLA has the potential to be a real trouble maker. First of all, this project is very different that the Carmageddon Twins and the Wilshire Ramp-jam.

The first CARMAGEDDON was the weekend of July 16-17, 2011. CARMAGEDDON-two was in September of 2012. Both were designed to knock down the Mulholland Bridge and rebuilt it. It needed to be wider to accommodate the new carpool lane being built on the Northbound side of the 405.

Now, that new carpool lane is ready for finishing. It needs to be excavated so cement can be poured over it. We're talking about 4 layers with various materials. Each layer takes time to pour and cure. When that's done the lane needs to be striped. JAMZILLA is the part of this 1.1 billion dollar project designed to do that. It will take 80 hours mixing a series of overnight closures and severe daytime lane restrictions.

Back in March there was a 55 hour closure of three northbound lanes just like we'll have the next 4 days. That work had no fancy name, but resulted in a huge misery factor for drivers. There were backups of as much as two hours. To avoid that this time METRO officials are asking drivers to stay away until from the 405 the next few days. Marc Littman with METRO says they need two-thirds of the cars and trucks that normally travel the 405 to vanish.

Why this weekend? METRO says they needed a long holiday to do the work. If they waited until Memorial Day they wouldn't complete the project by this August which is the completion target. 

Back to Jamzilla, the full northbound closure will be between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Blvd. That's a distance of just over 5-and-a-half-miles. Remember, during the day three lanes will be closed going northbound. There will be full freeway (NB) closures at night.

Here is the closure schedule:

 

Tomorrow night/Saturday morning    1AM TO 6AM

Saturday night/Sunday morning        2AM TO 7AM

Sunday night/Monday morning          MIDNITE TO 5AM

Monday night/Tuesday morning        MIDNITE TO 6AM

This could all be very challenging with the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club this weekend. That's a major tournament that lasts through Sunday. Sunset is the way to get to the country club. And, with as many as 50,000 expected to attend there could be some traffic issues.

Given that, I asked Marc Littman "why not wait?" He said, to be able to complete the project by summer, it needs to be done this weekend. it was either this upcoming 80-hour closure or four 55-hour weekend closures. "People would have been pulling out their hair if we had done that" says Littman.

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