July 17, 2011 by USA Post
405 Freeway, Demolition is done and construction equipment being cleaned in the Sepulveda Pass, with the gradual reopening of the San Diego (405) Freeway as possible to 11 am, Caltrans officials said Sunday. The offramps open first, then the main line and the onramps. “All that allows us to give the highway back to the car is a dream come true,” said Judy Gish of Caltrans. Some remains still needs cleaning, and final inspection of the work to be done, he said. “So things are kind of dynamic. The mayor of planning a press conference and, after that point, I think we have a better idea.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told a news conference set for 11 am near the slimmed-down bridge Mulholland Drive.
The highway should be completely reopened at 3 pm, if all goes as planned.
Ten miles of the busiest highways in the nation was to be closed for 53 hours – until 6 am on Monday – but the demolition was faster than expected. And never fear paralyzing the city materialized.
Motorists throughout heard the warnings of “Carmageddon.” Most Angelenos seemed to have some fun with it. A few cyclists and runners, could not resist the extension carless and were cited and escorted off the highway.
JetBlue offers flights or 4 between Burbank and Long Beach. Then a group of cyclists “ran” the passengers of JetBlue from Burbank to Long Beach – and won.
Public security authorities and hospitals, close to the highway stretch closed made the emergency measures. Paramedics had teams of two motorcycles in there. Metro offers free transportation.
But the canyon roads flowed without problems Saturday, as the Pacific Coast Highway and other roads is expected that traffic extra weekend. Even Sepulveda Boulevard, which parallels the stretch of highway closed, not blocked. During this time, the giant “hoe rams” – mighty hammer-like tools – the length of perforated steel and concrete, diamond saws and shovels helped reduce the bridge in half, leaving half of the road, infrastructure, and natural gas lines intact.
Apparently, the demolition concluded shortly after dawn today. About 4,000 tons of concrete rubble is expected to be eliminated in the course of work.
Live video showed sweepers cleaning the highway, with lanes cleared at 9 am
Traffic remained light Sunday morning cross the valley in Ventura (101) and East-West Highway in Santa Monica (10) Freeway. Little known to most motorists, the south side of the 405 was opened at Getty Center Drive and Sunset Boulevard at closing.
Kiewit, the same company that built the bridge in 1959, oversaw the demolition and is overseeing the largest project, which includes another highway closure next summer, when the other half of the bridge collapses and a new section is launched.
In the meantime, the bridge was only reduced by one lane in each direction.
Construction crews have had to replace overpasses with large stretches to accommodate a carpool lane, when completed in 2013, will run from Orange County San Fernando.
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