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Wilshire, 405 Freeway Ramps Reopen Early

Just in time for Labor Day, Metro announces an early end to the first leg of "Ramp Jam."

The westbound Wilshire Boulevard onramp to the northbound 405 Freeway and the northbound 405's offramp to westbound Wilshire will reopen Friday—three weeks earlier than planned, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The ramps were closed June 22 in the first phase of a yearlong effort to demolish and rebuild all eight ramps at the interchange, a project dubbed dubbed "Ramp Jam" and "Rampture." The ramps were originally scheduled to reopen Sept. 22.

The northbound I-405 offramp to westbound Wilshire opened at 6:30 a.m. The westbound Wilshire on-ramp to northbound 405 opened at 11:15 a.m., Metro spokesman Dave Sotero said.

The early opening comes just in time for Labor Day, when about 2.35 million Southland residents are expected to hit the roads for holiday travel.

Contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West will receive an extra $250,000 as part of its built-in contract incentives to finish the job early, said Sotero. Kiewit benefited from the work being scheduled after UCLA's academic quarter ended in June, when fewer cars were on the road, Metro said.

The closures are part of the larger project that will widen and add a carpool lane to the 405 Freeway. The ramps have been a safety hazard for many years. Third District County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has referred to them as "accident magnets," and widening the freeway provided a chance to fix the problems, officials have said.

In a statement issued Friday, Yaroslavsky called the early opening "good news for Westside motorists."

"The completion of these Rampture construction projects three weeks ahead of schedule is a remarkable accomplishment and another step toward creating a more liveable and navigable Los Angeles, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Member Antonio Villaraigosa said.

All eight freeway ramps will be torn down and rebuilt as part of the $1 billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project that includes the addition of a 10-mile carpool lane between the I-10 and U.S. 101.

The six other Wilshire ramps will be closed consecutively, some two at a time, between 14 and 90 days over the next year.

The next ramp closures are not expected to start until November, and will likely be 14-day closures, which may not be performed simultaneously, Metro said.

The closure schedule for the next ramps will be announced at a later date. 

— City News Service contributed to this report.

Jim Gerstley September 01, 2012 at 05:49 AM
It will be interesting to see how much of a difference this makes to Santa Monica traffic, because the I-405 itself is a logjam at certain times of day. One of the big reasons for the severe traffic tie-ups morning and evening is that there are so few corridors under the I-405. Any consideration to putting in parking lots east of the I-405 and having bus service into Santa Monica to reduce the traffic congestion caused by the I-405? Jim Gerstley

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