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405 Ramp in Valley to Reopen

November 22, 2005|Caitlin Liu | Times Staff Writer

To relieve bottlenecks along the 405 Freeway during the holiday season, officials say they will reopen the northbound Ventura Boulevard offramp on Wednesday morning -- almost a month ahead of schedule.

"That's just going to make life so much easier for motorists," said Judy Gish, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation. "Now we're going to open it before Thanksgiving instead of the end of the year."

Caltrans crews closed the offramp in July to build a sound wall and a retaining wall. The work was part of a $46-million project to improve safety and traffic flows at the interchange of the 405 and 101 freeways. The San Fernando Valley interchange, which straddles Encino and Sherman Oaks, carries about 573,000 vehicles a day and is among the busiest in the state, according to Caltrans.

After the offramp was closed, motorists were forced to either exit early or take the next offramp, which worsened congestion along the corridor.

"We're pleased that it's opening up ahead of schedule," said Gerald A. Silver, president of Homeowners of Encino. Despite the additional traffic created by the closure, the construction project was "well worth it," he said. The project includes extending the auxiliary lane on the northbound 405, closing the onramp loop from eastbound Ventura Boulevard and reconfiguring the Sepulveda Boulevard onramp.

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