By Dave Sotero, January 14, 2014
Northbound traffic on the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass will be greatly curtailed President’s Day weekend. Avoid the area if you can.
Los Angeles transportation officials are alerting I-405 and regional freeway motorists of an unprecedented 80-hour northbound I-405 freeway lane closure operation in the Sepulveda Pass this Presidents’ Day weekend, February 14 to 18, 2014.
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), in conjunction with California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), and a host of law enforcement and emergency response agencies throughout L.A. County are giving the public advance notice that if they do not have a critical need to travel northbound through West Los Angeles and the Sepulveda Pass during the Presidents’ Day three-day weekend, they should eliminate unnecessary auto trips, avoid the area and/or divert to other freeways to avoid major traffic delays.
Traffic conditions on local streets and freeways within the region of Los Angeles County and beyond could become severe, with significant, hours-long delays if motorists do not cooperate with authorities and limit northbound freeway trips.
Motorists who must travel during this weekend are advised to prepare their itineraries in advance, monitor real-time traffic conditions prior to beginning their trips and follow alternate routes that are provided. Motorists will be continually informed of the closure in advance by Caltrans-operated freeway message signs.
The I-405 contractor will be paving a major segment of the future northbound I-405 High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in the Sepulveda Pass. The work is considered key to meeting the project’s scheduled completion date of 2014.
Work over the Presidents’ Day weekend will eliminate the need for several consecutive 55-hour freeway closures from the project schedule. This closure operation will save significant time and minimize future closure impacts to the community and traveling public.
The closure operation consists of a partial day-time lane reduction and a full night-time directional freeway closure on the northbound I-405 between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Boulevard. The closure area is approximately 5.6 miles long, or nearly two-thirds of the entire I-405 project area.
During daytime hours, two northbound lanes will remain open while the remaining three lanes will be closed. During night-time hours, all five northbound freeway lanes in this area will be closed.
The southbound I-405 will remain fully open during the day, but some southbound lanes may be closed during night-time only paving operations.
Work is scheduled to begin Friday night, February 14 starting at 11 p.m. and will last until Tuesday, February 18 at 6 a.m.
Ramps within the project area will begin to close as early as 7 p.m. Traffic officers provided by LADOT will help guide motorists at each I-405 northbound on-ramp.
Full northbound night-time freeway closure times are as follows:
- Friday night, February 14 – 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.
- Saturday night, February 15 - 2 a.m. to 7 a.m.
- Sunday night, February 16 – 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
- Monday night, February 17 – 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Sepulveda Boulevard also will be fully open with two lanes in each direction during the paving operation. However, Sepulveda Boulevard will not have the capacity to accommodate all diverted northbound freeway traffic, and could become severely congested. Freeway motorists should instead divert to other freeway routes.
I-10 connectors to the northbound I-405 also will be closed. Motorists detouring from the closed I-10 connectors should use freeway detour routes rather than local streets.
The connector detour routes will be as follows:
- For eastbound I-10 to northbound I-405 – use northbound I-110, northbound US 101, to northbound I-405.
- For westbound I-10 to northbound I-405 – use northbound I-5, westbound SR 134, northbound US 101, to northbound I-405.
The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements project has now concluded most major freeway widening work between the I-10 and U.S. 101. The contractor is now building the future northbound HOV lane that will connect West Los Angeles with the San Fernando Valley.
The project will officially complete the last remaining gap in the entire I-405 lane network.
Additional project benefits include improved freeway safety through standardized lane and shoulder widths, greater ramp capacities at key locations, new sound and retaining walls, widened overpasses, widened and seismically updated bridges.
The project is a joint effort between Metro and Caltrans, and is being constructed by Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.