Problems are few at L.A.'s Carmageddon II

Los Angeles Times /

Published Sep 30, 2012 at 05:00AM

LOS ANGELES — The plot is identical to last summer’s Carmageddon: Can Los Angeles avoid a traffic apocalypse as officials shut down a 10-mile stretch of the country’s busiest freeway for the weekend?

But big-budget sequels rarely deliver on their hype, and by late Saturday, almost halfway through its run, Carmageddon II appeared to be no exception. Barring an unexpected twist, the redux will end like the original. City brass will declare victory and Southern Californians will crowd the freeways once again for their Monday morning commutes.

“Let me thank Angelenos for a job well done — so far,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a news conference Saturday afternoon. He encouraged them to leave their cars parked at home.

Not long after he spoke, the plan went briefly off-script when a section of the overpass being dismantled fell unexpectedly. After a quick assessment, officials issued a statement that the incident was “not a cause for concern” and should not cause a delay.

The closure of the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass this weekend is part of a $1 billion, four-year project that includes adding a northbound carpool lane.

Nearly all of the work has been done without having to shut down the roadway for more than a few hours at a time.