Heading into Los Angeles this weekend? Get ready for some serious gridlock.
The busiest stretch of freeway in the nation, a portion of the 405 Freeway at the Orange-Los Angeles county border, will close this weekend for 20 hours. The 405 Freeway closure will direct an estimated 350,000 drivers down side streets in Seal Beach, Westminster, Los Alamitos, Long Beach and Garden Grove.
Orange County Transportation Authority officials are working to raise awareness of the 20-hour weekend closure of a segment of the San Diego (405) Freeway.
The freeway will be closed in both directions from 9 p.m. Aug. 17 through 5 p.m. Aug. 18, from the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway to Valley View Street in Westminster.
The closure is being planned so workers can raze the bridge linking the southbound 405 Freeway to eastbound Garden Grove (22) Freeway. Orange County Transportation Authority officials are calling it the "Bridge Bash" project.
"We know this 'Bridge Bash' has the potential to disrupt traffic for the hundreds of thousands of people who use the (freeway) on a typical summer weekend and we are encouraging drivers to avoid the freeway in this area," OCTA Chairman Greg Winterbottom said. "For the safety of our construction workers and the traveling public, this work requires a full freeway closure and we ask motorists to plan ahead and find other routes to their destinations."
That part of the freeway on the border of Orange and Los Angeles counties averages about 370,000 vehicles per day, making it one of the busiest in the country, according to OCTA. Weekend traffic averages about 350,000 vehicles.
OCTA and Caltrans officials are handing out 67,000 fliers to residents in the area, and at airports, ports and entertainment and sports venues. The agencies are also advertising the closure in various media and using social media with the hash tag "bridgebash."
During the closure, other maintenance will be done that would have required extensive shutdowns.
The work is part of the $277 million West County Connectors project, which was started in 2010 and will connect carpool lanes on the 405, 605 and 22 Freeway. The project also includes a second carpool lane for the 405 Freeway between the 22 and 605.
The project is expected to be finished late next year or early 2015.
During the closure, northbound San Diego (405) Freeway motorists were advised to take the following detours:
-- exit Beach Boulevard and turn right; take the westbound 22 on-ramp to reconnect with northbound 405;
-- exit Westminster Avenue (east) and turn left, turn right on Bolsa Chica Road and take the westbound 22 on-ramp to reconnect with the northbound 405; or
-- exit Valley View Street and turn left on Garden Grove Boulevard, turn right on Valley View Street and take the westbound 22 on-ramp to reconnect with northbound 405.
Southbound 405 Freeway motorists have the following detours:
-- exit Studebaker Road and turn right, turn left on East Second Street/Westminster Avenue, continue on Westminster Avenue to access southbound 405;
-- Merge onto northbound 605, exit Katella Avenue and turn right, turn right on Valley View Street to access southbound 405.
Southbound motorists on the 605 should use the following detour:
-- exit Willow Street and turn right, turn left on Studebaker Road, turn left on east Second Street/Westminster Avenue, continue on Westminster Avenue to access southbound 405.
Motorists on Seventh Street and eastbound 22 should merge on northbound 605, exit Katella Avenue and turn right, turn right on Valley View Street to access southbound 405.
- City News Service