The mayor of Los Angeles is calling "Carmageddon II" a success.
Bridgework that forced the shutdown of 1 of the nation's busiest freeways has been completed and all lanes opened Sunday night, hours ahead of a planned reopening for the Monday morning commute.
A similar closure occurred on Interstate 405 last year to demolish portions of the Mulholland Drive bridge to allow construction of an additional freeway lane. Like last year, city residents heeded calls to stay off the road and the weekend traffic was light.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says his hope and expectations for a "Carmaheaven" came true. He thanked drivers for their cooperation and called them the real stars of the sequel.
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A 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 was shut throughout the weekend so that crews can demolish a portion of the Mulholland Drive bridge as part of a $1 billion-project to add a new carpool lane. Officials said demolition was nearly complete and that they expect to reopen the freeway as planned for Monday morning.
For the most part, drivers steered clear from the freeway.
For weeks Angelenos have been warned to avoid the area on LA's West Side. If they don't, officials warn, a citywide traffic jam could result. But beyond just scare tactics, city officials have been encouraging Southern Californians to get out and enjoy their own neighborhoods on foot, on bikes or via short drives on surface streets.
Contractors faced a penalty if the work wasn't done in 53 hours. The fine? $6,000 per lane of freeway, for every 10 minutes over the deadline. Demolition temporarily halted Saturday afternoon when a large chunk of the bridge unexpectedly came down, but the contractor said it won't delay the project.
The closed section of the freeway carries about 250,000 motorists each day on an average weekend. California Department of Transportation officials said that in order for Carmageddon II to be a success, at least two-thirds of those drivers need to stay off the road.
For latest updates visit the project web site at: www.metro.net/405
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