Beyond Jamzilla: New bridges, HOV lanes, critter crossings
The three-day partial closure of the 405 Freeway ended early Tuesday, putting Jamzilla into the annals of named traffic disruptions alongside Rampture and Carmageddons I and II.
The California Highway Patrol's Southern Division announced via Twitter the 405 had reopened.
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Jamzilla was the final extended closure of the northbound lanes on the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. Only one more two-day shutdown is needed on the southbound lanes at a date that's as yet undecided. Nor has Metro, the agency managing the construction, come up with a cutesy name for the expected 55-hour closure.
When the $1.14 billion project is finally finished this summer, LA drivers will have 10 new miles of northbound carpool lane on the 405. Metro says motorists using the new 405 northbound carpool lane will trim about 10 minutes off their daily commutes, said Metro spokesman Dave Sotero.
The southbound lanes have had a carpool lane for more than a decade.
A more subtle improvement will be straightening the freeway lanes that now vary between 11 and 12 feet wide.
"Motorists will not have that weaving effect of the lane widths changing as they go through this area, it will be standardized all the way through," Sotero said.
The freeway shoulders will also be wider, which will help disabled vehicles get out of traffic sooner and get tow trucks to them more quickly. New sound walls should reduce freeway noise at adjacent homes. The on and off ramps will carry more vehicles. Three new bridges span the freeways -- at Sunset, Skirball and Mulholland -- and meet higher seismic safety standards, Sotero said.
Even the bobcats, coyotes and other Santa Monica Mountains critters will have their own dirt-covered section of the Skirball Center Drive bridge.
"A part of the bridge will be cordoned off and grade-separated from vehicular traffic to enable wildlife to cross," Sotero said. Other passageways also help wildlife move from one side of the 405 to the other.
This story has been updated.