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Weekend 405 Freeway closure in O.C. could cause traffic headaches

August 16, 2013|By Paloma Esquivel
  • Map shows the lanes of the 405 Freeway, in red, that will be closed starting at 9 p.m. Saturday and recommended detours.
Map shows the lanes of the 405 Freeway, in red, that will be closed starting… (Sources: ESRI, OCTA. Graphic…)

Four miles of the southbound 405 Freeway in Orange County will be closed for 20 hours starting Saturday night as part of a $277-million project.

Dubbed the Bridge Bash by transportation authorities, the project will link carpool lanes from the 405, 22 and 605 freeways. A stretch of the northbound 405 will also be closed, though motorists who want to brave it will be able to zig and zag their way around that portion of the closure to get back on the freeway.

The closure, to allow workers to knock down a bridge linking the southbound 405 to the eastbound 22, is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Saturday and end at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Although officials have dubbed the Bridge Bash a full freeway closure, that isn't quite accurate. Motorists going northbound will have to exit at Valley View Street, but if they can find their way onto the westbound 22, which merges with the northbound 405, they can continue on their way.

Still, the potential for serious backups on nearby roads is high. On an average weekend day in the summer, more than 300,000 vehicles pass through the stretch of freeway between Valley View Street and the 605 Freeway that will be disrupted by the bridge demolition — about the same as travel through the portion of the Sepulveda Pass that was shut down during the so-called Carmageddon closures in the summers of 2011 and '12.

"Any time you close the 405 in both directions it has the potential to have serious impacts for drivers," said Orange County Transportation Authority spokesman Joel Zlotnik.


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