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Westside Residents Worry About 'Ramp Jam'

Representatives from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority release details about the impending street closure, set to start June 22.

Westside residents gathered Thursday night to hear details of the upcoming and voice concerns to Metropolitan Transportation Authority representatives.

With the 90-day closure, known as "," beginning in just under a month, Westside residents told Metro in a community meeting Thursday they are worried about the impacts on their neighborhoods.

Kasey Shuda, manager of construction relations at Metro, presented a PowerPoint on the project to about 40 residents at the Westwood Recreation Center. She answered questions for over an hour about construction noise, overnight closures, detours, and an expected increase in frustrated drivers cutting through residential neighborhoods.

"What you have to understand is, there are too many cars in LA for our roads," Shuda said. "That’s the bottom line issue here in Los Angeles, especially in West LA."

The Q&A session was mostly civil, but several residents said they are frustrated that their concerns and phone calls often go unanswered. Metro's hotline number for the 405 Project is 213-922-3665.

"We live there, every night the decibels are over 86," resident Doug Marshall said. "We go out there with videocameras, we tape them, we email them to you people, we call you people, we get no response. So you just need to understand: get earplugs or move."

Here are the major details of the project:

  • Beginning June 22, the westbound Wilshire Boulevard on-ramp to the northbound 405 and the northbound 405 off-ramp to westbound Wilshire Boulevard will be closed for 90 days.
  • For about three nights after June 22, overnight demolition will begin on the 405 overpass at Wilshire. It will probably be loud.
  • Traffic control officers will be in place at key intersections for the first week of the closure, and thereafter if needed.
  • At a later date, the southbound 405 off-ramp to eastbound Wilshire and the northbound 405 on-ramp from eastbound Wilshire will close for 90 days.
  • There will be other street closures in the vicinity, including on- and off-ramps at Santa Monica Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard and Getty Center Drive. The dates of those closures have not yet been announced.
  • Sepulveda Way, which drivers often use to access the northbound 405 from westbound Sunset, will be closed for safety reasons. There will be a temporary traffic light installed at Sepulveda that will allow drivers to make a left turn off Sunset to the northbound 405 on-ramp.

"The people who created this fine city years ago never dreamed that this amount of cars would be on their roads everyday," Shuda said. "There’s too many cars, and of course we’re impacting that as we make closures so we can fill and widen this area of the freeway. But there’s no magic cure, there’s nothing that’s going to alleviate the traffic, even after this project is gone, traffic will remain on the Westside."

Westwood-Century City Patch, Brentwood Patch, Santa Monica Patch and Pacific Palisades Patch will keep you posted on the closures with easy to read information.

Are you worried about Ramp Jam? How will it affect your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments below.

Gary Kavanagh May 25, 2012 at 08:43 PM
My own prediction is that when the billion+ dollars have been spent, the concrete all laid, and the bridges demolished and rebuilt, the time savings for commuters when compared to the time losses during construction impacts, will come out net zero or a negligible benefit compared to doing absolutely nothing. Investing in highway expansion at this point is a game of diminishing returns, a black whole into which of billions of our public dollars get sucked into a vortex with very little to show for it in the real world outcomes.
chet northside May 27, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Yes, we must build more choo-choos!

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