How bad is it going to be? The media is referring to it as “Carmageddon.”
A 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 will be shut down for two days. The freeway is expected to reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, October 1.
“When all the work in the area is completed toward the end of next year, there will be a new, wider and seismically safer bridge crossing the freeway at the city’s scenic Mulholland Drive,” the Associated Press reported. “The 405 itself will also be wider, making room for a carpool lane through the Sepulveda Pass over the Santa Monica Mountains, where traffic notoriously clogs almost all the time.”
This isn’t the first time Carmageddon was predicted, last year, the same stretch of highway was shut down for two days. Some estimate that hundreds of thousands of motorists chose to stay closer to home and avoid the highways.
Many hope that motorists will do the same this time around, but many businesses are taking precautions.
The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, just off the interstate, will house 300 doctors, nurses and other staff members in hotels so they can make it to work.
Pregnant women, who have known complications and who are close to their due date, are being encouraged to check into the hospital.
“We wanted to get that image of what the stakes were by frankly alarming the public, getting the public’s attention, grabbing everybody by the lapels and saying, ‘This is a real project that is going to cause a real disaster if we aren’t prepared,” veteran Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said.
Last July, the stretch of highway reopened 17 hours ahead of schedule. Authorities are warning drivers that will not likely be the case this time around.