Wilshire ramp reconstruction work getting close, no ramp closure dates yet

Metro’s Construction Relations Department today sent a construction advisory e-mail to local constituents for the upcoming Wilshire Ramp reconstruction work that is part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project.  Reconstruction work will require extended closures of key on and off-ramps at Wilshire Boulevard and the 405 — a major Westside intersection.  It’s important to note that no exact dates for the first ramp closures have been selected yet, so this advisory essentially serves as a heads up and a summary of the planned work to improve traffic flows in the area:

 Wilshire Ramps Reconstruction
Upcoming Construction Advisory

This spring, to improve long-term traffic flow on Wilshire Bl and the I-405 freeway, the project’s contractor will begin reconstructing the ramps joining Wilshire Bl and the I-405. This rebuilding begins with the demolition of two ramps:

  •  Westbound—Wilshire Bl on-ramp to northbound I-405
  • Northbound—I-405 off-ramp to westbound Wilshire Bl

The contractor anticipates rebuilding these two ramps in 90 days. Subsequent ramps will be rebuilt in pairs. Reconstruction of all eight Wilshire ramps is expected to require more than one year.

These closures and the subsequent reconstruction of the other six Wilshire ramps are expected to create significant temporary impacts to Wilshire Bl and adjoining streets, such as Federal Av, Sepulveda Bl and Veteran Av. Sunset Bl and Santa Monica are recommended alternatives.

Once the date of the demolition of the two Wilshire ramps is known, Metro will notify the public.

By building the new ramps, we will reduce the conflict between Wilshire Bl and the I-405 as it crosses Wilshire Bl. In turn, this should reduce backup at other north/south streets, such as Westwood Bl and Veteran Bl.

Our studies also show that Wilshire Bl would interfere less with on- and off-traffic from the I-405, one of the nation’s major arteries. There would be benefits even for drivers who do not access the I-405 from Wilshire. The new, longer ramps would store more vehicles, slowing Wilshire Bl traffic less.

Besides reducing backup on the I-405 and Wilshire Bl, the new ramps will reduce a dangerous weave situation happening at two of these regionally important intersections:

  •  Westbound—Wilshire Bl on-ramp to the southbound I-405
  • Southbound—I-405 off-ramp to eastbound Wilshire Bl

At both these locations, a mass of drivers struggle to reach a through-freeway lane or change lanes to reach the off-ramp exit. These maneuvers must occur within a short distance. The same challenge awaits drivers as they shift from the northbound I-405 off-ramp to westbound Wilshire Bl. The northbound on-ramp from eastbound Wilshire Bl features the same chaos: the on-ramp traffic tries to merge on while off-ramp traffic merges off.