It’s not over yet
May 29, 2014
The big milestones are now in the rearview mirror. A much-anticipated carpool lane through the Sepulveda Pass is up and running, massive bridges have been reconstructed from the ground up and soaring new flyover ramps are open for business.
But make no mistake: after nearly five years of construction, the 405 Project is still a work in progress.
A glance at the project’s Twitter feed makes it clear that ramp closures and lane shutdowns are still a daily fact of life in the construction zone. Starting tonight, for the second time this week, the entire southbound freeway will be closed from Getty Center Drive to Wilshire Boulevard so workers can pave and stripe lanes on the roadway’s surface. (Nighttime closures are in effect in that stretch through Monday morning; details are here.)
The ongoing work is needed to accomplish a series of smaller but nevertheless important jobs that remain on the 405 “punch list,” even after last week’s grand opening of the 10-mile northbound carpool lane that’s at the heart of the project.
These tasks include landscaping, drainage and electrical work, completing a wall north of Getty Center Drive, putting up signs, painting lane markings, removing the temporary barriers known as k-rail, and paving sections of the freeway and affected surface streets—particularly a portion of Sepulveda Boulevard, which has had to be literally relocated eastward to accommodate the wider freeway.
“The contractor will be working out there for the remainder of the year,” said Metro spokesman Dave Sotero. “There will be lane and freeway closures intermittently.”
Still, he promises: “No more Jamzillas, Carmageddons, or anything like that. Most of the major work, if not all of the major work, is now open to the public.”
Meanwhile, data are not yet available on travel times and vehicle usage through the Sepulveda Pass since the carpool lane’s opening. Traffic sensors in the pavement won’t be working until electrical work is completed—and that’s another item on the project to-do list.