The Los Angeles area has now survived Carmageddon and Carmageddon II, which just took place this past weekend. And it also ended a few hours ahead of schedule:
The reopening of the busiest and most congested freeway in the U.S. came hours earlier than predicted. Crews working on dismantling the Mulholland Drive Bridge had a 5 a.m. Monday deadline, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a Sunday evening press conference that there would not be an early opening.
Starting around midnight Saturday when that stretch of the I-405 was fully shut down, crews had 53 hours to complete their work. Had they overshot their Monday morning deadline, a late penalty of about $360,000 would have been charged to them every hour…
The demolition is part of the $1-billion Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, which adds a 10-mile northbound carpool lane. On Sunday, crews also paved the freeway between the Skirball Center Drive and Mulholland Drive bridges…
As for the benefits of Carmageddon, officials said if this year is anything like the last, a lot of people will be breathing a little easier when the weekend is over. According to a study at the University of California, Los Angeles, the air quality in the area of the 405 closure improved more than 80 percent during the 2011 Carmageddon event.
If you live by the highway, you can also die by the highway (closures). See some photos of the work here.
Apparently, the site of an empty highway in Los Angeles is a strange one:
Like Villaraigosa, some drivers couldn’t resist comparing the scenario to a movie.”It’s like that movie `Vanilla Sky,’ … where Times Square is empty,” Sterling Gates told KABC-TV. “It’s kind of like that. We’re known for our traffic, and it’s just nothing.”…
The rare sight of a carless freeway attracted many onlookers, including seven people who were cited for sneaking onto the roadway, the California Highway Patrol said.
Last year, three people slipped onto the freeway at the crack of dawn and snapped photos of themselves enjoying a gourmet meal on an eerily empty freeway.
It is a post-apocalyptic scene…for two days.
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