(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles…)
Avoid driving, take public transit and allow extra time if you need to get in or out of Los Angeles International Airport during the 53-hour shutdown of the 405 Freeway next month. That's the advice from LAX, which has launched a 405 Freeway Alert Web page that outlines transit options for mid-July, when one of the busiest freeways in Southern California will close for bridge demolition as part of a larger project.
The airport is south of the closure area, but traffic is expected to be heavy on east-west freeways such as the 10 and 105, as well as on surface streets, the airport's website says.
Bob Hope Airport in Burbank also has transit suggestions.
Here's the 411:
The closure: On July 16 and 17, the northbound 405 will be closed for 10 miles from the 10 Freeway to the 101 Freeway, including the Sepulveda Pass; the southbound 405 will close for four miles between the 101 Freeway and the Getty Center Drive exit.
Drivers can expect lane closures to begin as early as 7 p.m. Friday night (July 15), and reopening of ramps and connectors to go as late as 6 a.m. Monday (July 18). Check out these detour maps of the area.
LAX transit options: Here's what LAX officials recommend for getting to and from the airport:
Metro Rail: The Red and Purple lines and the Orange Line busway will be free of charge to ride July 16 and 17. But the Green Line, which stops closest to the airport at the Aviation/LAX station, will not be free. Metro Rail tickets cost $6 for a day pass or $1.50 for each segment of the rail system. You can pick up a free shuttle bus to the airport from the station.
Metrolink: Weekend passes, good for the entire system, will go on sale July 1 for $10. Usually Metrolink service is limited on weekends, but during the shutdown trains will be added for passengers coming from the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.
LAX FlyAway: This express bus can take you to the airport from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles ($7 each way), Westwood ($5), Van Nuys (($7) and Irvine ($25). But of course, you may be caught in the same road traffic as everyone else, so allow plenty of time. (Note: Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners recommended ending the Westwood service, so check for updates.)
Shuttles and taxis: The special LAX Web page also encourages travelers to take shared-ride vans (shuttles) or taxis to avoid driving. Again, you may get caught in traffic.
Amtrak: From outlying areas, you can hop the Pacific Surfliner train from Santa Barbara, San Diego and other towns to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and then take the LAX FlyAway bus to the airport.
Hotels: The special LAX web page provides a list of hotels near the airport that may have park-stay-sleep-fly packages that include a free shuttle ride to the airport.
Burbank transit options:
Shuttles, Metro Rail and Metrolink: For those flying in or out of Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, consider the free shuttles from the Downtown Burbank Metrolink station and Metro Rail's North Hollywood Red Line Station. Of course, Metrolink trains also go right to the airport too.
Alternative routes: In terms of driving, Bob Hope airport spokesman Victor Gill said in an e-mail: "Take the opportunity to learn of the 'workaround' routes, whether it's the Hollywood or Golden State freeway, the canyon roads like Coldwater Canyon, Laurel Canyon, Beverly Glen."
Gill said the airport will continue to post 405 Freeway closure information on its Facebook page.