On Thursday, June 23, 2011 Metro, in coordination with the Unified Command, hosted the Mulholland Bridge Demolition Community Meeting at the Skibrall Center. Excerpts from the meeting are posted below.
Why the Closure
Michael Barbour, I-405 project director, explains why adding a northbound high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane to the I-405 requires the demolition of the Mulholland Bridge across the Sepulveda Pass. Basically, the bridge's support columns have to be moved to allow for the new lane. Unlike the Sunset Bridge, the south side of Mulholland Bridge, because of its design, cannot be demolished over several nights.
Closing the I-405
Michael Barbour, I-405 project director, explains how the I-405 freeway near the Mulholland Bridge will be closed in sections. Ramp closures will begin at approximately 7pm on Friday, July 15. Freeway lanes will begin being closed at 9pm. The I-405 adjoining Mulholland Bridge will be fully closed at 12:01am on Saturday, July 16.
Public Safety is Our Goal
Kirk Albanese, deputy chief, Los Angeles Police Department, explains that the top priority of the Unified Command is that the population adjoining the I-405 will be safe on Monday morning July 18, when the I-405 freeway reopens. Albanese describes the division of the closure area into 13 parcels and explains the positioning of emergency service assets before the closure begins. Between 200 and 300 Los Angeles Police Department personnel will be devoted to the closure area that weekend.
We Rely On Traffic Engineers
Kirk Albanese, deputy chief, Los Angeles Police Department, explains the expertise the Unified Command team drew upon in creating the transportation and public safety response to the Mulholland Bridge demolition and I-405 freeway closure. He notes that the extensive Los Angeles Police Department and Fire Department air fleets will be committed to the closure area.
Signage Not Closures
In answer to a question from the audience, Aram Sahakian, City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation, noted that LADOT will have signs stating "No Through Traffic" and "No Cut Through Traffic" on adjoining local streets. Sahakian emphasized that adding checkpoints to restrict who uses local streets would create choke points and degrade traffic flow. The traffic management plan during the 53-hour closure is "extremely dynamic," Sahakian said. He added that 120 LADOT traffic control officers will be stationed in the Sepulveda Pass area that weekend.
In answer to an audience member, asking for routes to regionally significant destinations, John Yang, Caltrans, said that drivers should plan ahead and know the route they are going to take and alternate routes. Yang also recommended that drivers leave several hours earlier than they normally would and consult go.511.com. Yang added that the fluid traffic environment that weekend makes it difficult to offer useful detour advice.