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'Jamzilla,' Day 2 Better than Day 1

New verbiage on the warning signs along the 10 helped drivers, and in general, traffic was lighter.

Twitter photo of Jamzilla, Day 1.
Twitter photo of Jamzilla, Day 1.

Jamzilla, Day Two unfolded with minimal delays on-schedule construction work, Metro officials said today. And a change in wording on electronic warning signs apparently eased traffic jams on the Santa Monica (10) Freeway.

Construction plans changed slightly at midafternoon, and workers began removing barriers to some on ramps to the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway. Ramps at Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevard were reopened and were to remain open all night, even when the northbound freeway is closed to traffic at Getty Center Drive at midnight.

Transition roads onto the northbound 405 from the Santa Monica (10) Freeway were to remain closed until early Tuesday morning, however.

“Even though tomorrow is a holiday, a lot of people have to work, and people should be prepared for extra traffic on the 405 -- more congestion than so far, warned Metro spokesman Paul Gonzales at midafternoon.

For the Monday morning rush hour, three northbound lanes out of six will be available as the 405 descends into the San Fernando Valley. One lane may be closed on the southbound 405 leaving the Valley, he warned.

The major task remaining for tonight is digging up the center median of the 405 near Ventura Boulevard. It is being shifted 20 feet west, and the entire northbound pavement will be dug up and replaced during the next two overnight closures.

Saturday saw a huge traffic jam on the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, where electronic signs advised that two lanes on the northbound 405 were open in Sepulveda Pass. While that was true, the signs failed to note that transition roads from the 10 to the 405 north were closed because of Jamzilla, and there was no direct connection from the 10 to the pass.

That apparently contributed to observed swerving and confusion on the 10 at the 405 all day Saturday. At one point, traffic on the westbound 10 was backed up from La Cienega Boulevard to the ramp blockades at the 405.

Today, the electronic signs on the 10 said ramps to the 405 north were closed. There was no congestion observed at the 10/405 interchange, although Sunday morning traffic was negligible in all directions.

Metro has announced that the 10's connectors to the northbound 405 would remain closed until the end of Jamzilla at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The California Highway Patrol recommended extending the connector road closures, citing driver safety and the impact to traffic on the 405, according to Metro.

At midnight tonight, all lanes of the northbound 405 will close and stay closed until 5 a.m. Monday. The same pattern is planned for Monday night and Tuesday morning.

In addition to the paving tonight, crews will also shift the center median 20 feet to the west for about 1,000 feet, in the area where the San Diego Freeway winds down into the San Fernando Valley. That section of pavement is badly cracked, and will become the roadbed for the new pavement.

Advice, updates and details on the freeway closure are available at http://www.lawa.org/405 and motorists can also access a Jamzilla hotline by calling 5-1-1 and saying ``Jamzilla'' or by visiting http://www.go511.com.

--City News Service

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