It’s day two of Carmageddon II, the the weekend closure of the major artery that links West L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. Construction crews say demolition of the Mulholland Bridge over the 405 freeway is running on schedule, and they promise, ‘no matter what,’ that the freeway WILL open on time, by 5 AM Monday, just in time for the morning rush hour. Kiewit Construction has a strong incentive to make that deadline. They will be fined $6,000 per lane – per every ten minutes that the freeway remains closed past 5 AM.
The sound of heavy jack hammering could be heard from miles away on Sunday morning, as heavy equipment chunked away at the bridge. There was a minor glitch at around 4PM Saturday, when a giant piece of the east end of the bridge came down in one huge chunk. John Baird of KNX Radio was on the scene, he said the piece of concrete “was the size of three or four railroad cars” (see red circled area in photo). No one was hurt, but work was stopped for over an hour so structural engineers could assess the situation. Now, they say, that portion of the old bridge will be broken up from the ground rather than above.
A tricky part of the demolition will come on Sunday when crews knock down the tall, think pillars holding up the bridge. They weigh about a ton each, so it’s critical that they fall away from freeway lanes, toward the dirt hillsides, as not to damage the roadway.
Metro officials have been urging residents to ‘play and stay near home’ during the 53 hour 405 closure and, except for some crowded roads inWest L.A. and along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu-Santa Monica, traffic has been lighter than usual for a weekend in Los Angeles.
Watch live streaming video of Carmageddon work in progress on CBSLA.com. View real time traffic conditions with this L.A. freeway map.