Friday August 31, 2012
The ramp closures, popularly known as "Ramp Jam" or "Rampture," were originally scheduled for 90-day closures that officially began on June 22. They were originally scheduled to reopen September 22.
Kiewit benefited from built-in contract incentives to complete work early in efforts by Metro to reduce the duration of traffic impacts resulting from major construction activities. Work crews worked day and night to demolish and rebuild the ramps. Additionally, the project team scheduled the work after UCLA's quarter ended in June, resulting in lighter local traffic conditions that allowed construction crews to take all needed lane closures and accelerate their work.
"The completion of these Rampture construction projects three weeks ahead of schedule is a remarkable accomplishment and another step toward creating a more livable and navigable Los Angeles," Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Member Antonio Villaraigosa said. "Thanks to the swift work and collaboration of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Metro and the project contractor, Angelenos will be able to regain easy freeway access ahead of schedule and in time for the Labor Day weekend."
All eight freeway ramps must be torn down and rebuilt as part of the $1 billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project that is building a 10-mile carpool lane between the I-10 and U.S. 101. Once built, the reconstructed Wilshire Ramp interchange will produce some of the I-405 project's greatest local traffic improvements. By building new, seismically updated and higher capacity ramps, the project will reduce the vehicular conflicts between Wilshire Boulevard and the I-405. This should reduce backup at other north/south streets, and bring capacity to meet expected vehicle demands in 2031.
"This is good news for Westside motorists. I want to thank West Los Angeles residents, employees and visitors for adjusting their schedules and their travel routes over the summer," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, a member of Metro's Board of Directors who represents the area. "This helped manage what would have been an even greater traffic nightmare."
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. The closure schedule for the next ramps will be announced at a later date.
The Wilshire/405 interchange is where one of the nation's busiest boulevards meets the nation's busiest freeway. Tens of thousands of motorists utilize its freeway ramps on a daily basis.
Motorists are still advised to plan ahead, adjust their travel times, or share the ride for the remainder of the ramp reconstruction activity.
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