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Dublin: 18°C Monday 15 August 2022
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Carmageddon - LA braces itself for traffic chaos amid major roadworks

Interstate 405 is entirely closed off for the weekend as part of a €700m widening project – but where’s the traffic?

A construction worker blocks off an entry ramp to Interstate 405, one of California's busiest roadways, ahead of a major weekend closure.
A construction worker blocks off an entry ramp to Interstate 405, one of California's busiest roadways, ahead of a major weekend closure.
Image: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP

LOS ANGELES” long-awaited “Carmageddon” weekend has begun.

Authorities in the Los Angeles area closed a 10-mile stretch of one of the nation’s busiest freeways as crews began work on a massive 53-hour construction project.

All lanes of the Interstate 405 – the major bypass around Los Angeles – closed at midnight on Saturday (8am Irish time) and crews started removing the 50-year-old Mulholland Bridge as part of a $1bn (€707m) widening project.

Trucks began hauling dirt onto the highway late last night to form a 4-foot cushion on the roadbed, to catch falling debris and prevent damage to the freeway lanes.

Drivers appeared to have heeded warnings to stay off the roads and freeways to avoid major traffic delays. The area made it through the evening rush hour Friday with some of the lightest traffic in years.

“Carmaggedon? More like carma-heaven. No traffic in LA,” tweeted Chip Dorsh, who said he breezed through a canyon road to get from his job in Culver City to the San Fernando Valley.

“When I left work, it was like a no man’s land,” Dorsh later told The Associated Press.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he thinks traffic will move smoothly if motorists take officials’ advice and stay close to home throughout the weekend.

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“We can either say we survived Carmageddon or we survived the Carmageddon hype,” he said.

AP

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