A news conference was held this morning at the Skirball Cultural Center about the upcoming full 405 freeway closure through the Sepulveda Pass from the evening of Friday, July 15, through the early morning of Monday, July 18, because of the partial demolition of the Mulholland Bridge.
Here are a few quick points made by elected and agency officials who spoke:
•Several elected officials used no uncertain terms to predict how bad traffic will be that weekend. “It will be an absolute nightmare,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who added that widening the 405 and adding a northbound carpool lane will improve the freeway for many future years. “There’s obvious long-term gain but there will be short-term pain.”
•County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (in the above photo), who has represented the area for 30-plus years, asked motorists to literally steer clear of the area. He added that there are no alternate routes in the immediate vicinity of the 405 that will work well — i.e. none of the obvious canyon roads linking the San Fernando Valley to the Westside. “I know every shortcut,” Yaroslavsky said. “Not one of them is going to work. They’re all going to be jammed.”
•All officials urged the public to plan ahead for the closure, cut discretionary car trips that weekend and/or stay home. Caltrans District 7 Director Michael Miles said that backups on other freeways could be felt far beyond the Valley and Westside.