LOS ANGELES -- Remember "Carmageddon"? Get ready for the sequel.
Southern California drivers were urged Thursday to stay off the roads when a 10-mile section of busy Interstate 405 is closed this fall.
Crews will finish tearing down a bridge in the Sepulveda Pass, which links West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley and carries nearly 250,000 cars a day on weekends.
The 53-hour weekend closure begins on Sept. 29.
When the freeway was shut down in July 2011 for the first half of the demolition, authorities worried the result might be a traffic jam of such monumental proportions that it would gridlock the entire city.
They nicknamed the potential disaster Carmageddon.
However, motorists heeded a massive public information campaign and stayed off the roads. Traffic that weekend was lighter than usual and no serious problems occurred.
Transit officials are flooding the airwaves with similar advance warnings this time and urging motorists not to be complacent.
Make it a "car-light or car-free weekend with family and friends," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.
"I have every confidence they'll rise to the occasion again," said Zev Yaroslavsky, a Los Angeles County supervisor and board member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "Let's make this another Carmageddon-Schmarmageddon experience for us all."
Last year's work was finished early, but officials said that is unlikely this time because more demolition work needs to be done.
The bridge demolition is part of a $1 billion renovation effort that includes a new carpool lane. Another part of the project involves demolishing eight freeway ramps.
In June, crews shut down two ramps, with the rest closing in phases in coming months.
While some predicted traffic ramp jams, no major problems have been reported.
Wilshire ramps that will be closed on the 405 freeway.
This photo of the Wilshire Bl/I-405 ramps looks southwest. You'll notice the Los Angeles National Cemetery sits at the lower right. Beginning June 22, two of the ramps will be demolished, the beginning of 90 days of reconstruction. The photo was taken June 10. Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.
Rendering of Completed Wilshire Loops
Widening the I-405 requires rebuilding three overpasses: Sunset Bl., Skirball Center Dr., and Mulholland Dr. The upgraded Sunset Bl. Bridge would feature: • Higher capacity on- and-off ramps • Seismic upgrades • Four-foot-wide road shoulders in each direction • Five-foot-wide sidewalks in each direction • Thirteen-foot-wide center median
Rendering of Completed Mulholland Dr Bridge
Aerial photo of Mulholland Bridge shows work on south side of bridge. Photo was taken looking northeast. Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.
Looking southeast, this photo shows the work on the north side of Sunset Bridge, anticipated to be completed in September 2012. The girders placed during the week of April 30 are clearly visible, as is the false work for the new northbound on-ramp from eastbound Sunset. This photo was taken June 10. Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.