405 bridge work causes a stink

July 24, 2014 

The Mulholland Bridge was demolished and rebuilt as part of the 405 Freeway improvements project.

The bridge that brought you Carmageddon is back in the spotlight this weekend—in a decidedly less dramatic role.

The Mulholland Bridge over the 405 Freeway will be closing on Friday and Saturday nights so that workers can seal the surface with a substance called methacrylate. The work is needed to coat “very small cracks” that have developed on the bridge surface. Methacrylate is a common though sometimes odiferous treatment for concrete decks.

“These aren’t structural defect cracks,” said Mike Barbour, who is Metro’s lead on the $1-billion-plus 405 Project, which is now virtually complete and is in its final “punch list” stage. Rather, he said, they are the kind of tiny cracks that can emerge when “the surface dried out too soon.”

The bridge will be closing from 10 p.m. Friday till 8 a.m. Saturday, with the pattern repeating on Saturday night through Sunday morning.

Beyond the detours, there’s this side effect:  “An unpleasant odor may arise from this treatment,” according to a construction notice advisory sent out this week.

Few residents are likely to be troubled by the smell, however, Barbour said.

“There’s nobody really close by,” he said. “I seriously doubt that it’ll affect anyone.”

The Mulholland Bridge sparked a global media sensation in two Carmageddons during which it was demolished and completely rebuilt. The bridge work came as part of an ambitious effort to improve numerous elements of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass while adding a 10-mile northbound carpool lane. The new lane opened in May.

Posted 7/24/14

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