Why will an off-ramp on the 405 freeway disappear?

A couple news stations are reporting on the permanent closure of the Montana off-ramp in West Los Angeles as part of I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project widening work. Metro’s social media officer, Ned Racine, penned a clever “obituary” for the ramp in February of 2012 on Metro’s I-405 web page.
We’re adding it here on the Source for your reading enjoyment.

Why Will an Off-Ramp Disappear?

A Westside landmark will vanish when the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project finishes its work. Although not as prominent as the Wilshire ramps nor Sunset Bridge, this Westside resident will be hard to miss, in part because it is approximately 550 feet long and weighs 718 tons (1,435,000 pounds).

A Los Angeles resident since 1956, the northbound I-405 off-ramp to Montana Bl/Sepulveda Bl, will be consumed by the freeway’s widening along Sepulveda Bl. The widening occurs from Montana to Moraga and from Getty Center Dr to the northbound Getty Center Dr off-ramp.

For those who drive Sepulveda Bl, a major benefit from the off-ramp removal will be a simplified Montana Bl/Sepulveda Bl intersection. This translates to faster and safer traffic flow through the intersection, in part because there will be one less traffic signal cycle to slow drivers.
For the off-ramp’s neighbors, they should experience less east-bound traffic through the streets adjoining the two-lane Montana Av off-ramp, according to Caltrans traffic studies. Caltrans’ decision would also reduce noise near Montana Av.

By sacrificing the Montana Av off-ramp, Caltrans can widen the freeway without having to remove homes and other properties near Montana Av.

The project team expects UCLA traffic that used the Montana Av off-ramp to choose the expanded Sunset Bl Bridge and streamlined northbound off-ramps to Wilshire Bl.



The I-405 project team expects that removing the Montana Av off-ramp, grading the area, widening the adjoining freeway, and restriping Sepulveda Bl will require approximately five months of continuous work.

As seen in the illustration below, the simplified Sepulveda/Montana intersection will carry traffic in four, rather than five directions. The darkened freeway lanes will be added by the I-405 project. The new Montana Bl/Sepulveda Bl intersection will have the same width and number of lanes.


Although closing the ramp was publicized even before the Final Environmental Report was published in January 2008, some residents and travelers will likely be surprised when the off-ramp and 500 feet of retaining and sound walls are removed and replaced with a continuous sound wall.

After all, how often do California travelers witness the disappearance of entire off-ramp.

Ned Racine

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