The latest construction project on the 405 freeway, dubbed “Ramp Jam” by the local news media, is set to begin on Friday, according to authorities from the Los Angeles transit authorities.
Beginning on Friday evening, commuters who regularly use the Wilshire Boulevard ramps that join the freeway may have to find alternative routes. Demolition crews are scheduled to begin to take down the first two of a total of eight ramps that day.
The first ramp to be destroyed will be the northbound Wilshire exit, followed by the westbound Wilshire on-ramp.
The officials overseeing this project have been quoted as saying that this part of the process should be in progress for about three months. The next step will not begin until September 22, but all of the ramps will be closed during the interim.
Although the construction is aimed at reducing the amount of traffic congestion in the area surrounding Westwood, officials say to expect traffic to worsen before it gets better.
At least 10,000 commuters will be affected by the changes and will be forced to look for other routes to gain access to the 405 freeway.
All of this speculation and discussion regarding the removal of these eight ramps has prompted locals and media outlets to call the project “Ramp Jam,” “Rampture” and “Octojam.”
This new construction is part of the $1 billion grant gifted to Southern California authorities as part of a freeway-widening project along the 405. It is from this same grant that Los Angeles-area residents experienced the 405 shutdown known as “Carmageddon” last July.
Ultimately, the project is expected to add a new carpool lane on the Santa Monica (10) Freeway and Ventura (101) Freeway that will stretch for 10 miles. Experts say this will be finished next year.
Although the ramps will close at 10 p.m. on Friday night, crews will start working on re-striping and lane reconfiguration on Thursday night.
While the demolition crews are destroying the Wilshire Boulevard exits, they will have to close part of Sepulveda Boulevard from Wilshire Boulevard to Montana Avenue.
Wilshire Boulevard will also be closed from Veteran Avenue to Federal Avenue, say officials.
The closures on Sepulveda and Wilshire will occur from 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday; from 10 p.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday; from 10 p.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday; and from 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday.
The Department of Transportation of the City of Los Angeles will try to ease some of the traffic congestion by stationing experienced traffic officers at several intersections to direct cars.
They also plan to install electronic road signs as much as a mile before the construction to alert drivers to possible detours.
No information about the other six ramp closures has yet been released.
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