ABC7 Traffic Center

Caltrans goes high-tech for Carmageddon

Monday, July 11, 2011

With "Carmageddon" just days away, Caltrans is planning on monitoring and managing traffic, including with the use of high-tech tools in real time from the department's traffic management center in Eagle Rock.

Drivers are being asked to stay home next weekend to avoid creating traffic gridlock during the shutdown of the 405 Freeway from the 10 to the 101 freeways, but also throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

"A major closure of something like route 405 is very important not just on the Westside, but throughout Los Angeles, to get people to stay home," said Doug Falling, the executive director of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The 53-hour closure begins at 7 p.m. Friday and ends at 6 a.m. Monday.

See a live cam shot of the Mulholland Bridge construction site.

"We have cameras that we'll be able to actually see what's going on out in the road," said Mike Miles, director of Caltrans District 7. Miles said they also have sensors embedded in the road to give speeds and volume.

From the traffic management center, which resembles a NASA control room, Caltrans will be able to use all the electronic freeway traffic signs and more than 400 cameras.

"We're going to be able to make on-the-fly decisions, how to route traffic," he said, adding that traffic management teams will be out in the field during the closure.

The 405 shutdown is part of a $1 billion project that will add carpool lanes and 18 miles of sound walls. To do that, three bridges have to come down.

"We are expecting a lot of traffic, but we're hoping that we can manage it," Miles said.

When the project is completed two years from now, Los Angeles will have the largest high-occupancy vehicle system in the world: 48 miles stretching from San Fernando to Orange County.

Beat Carmageddon with ABC7

The 405 shuts down the weekend of July 16-17, and ABC7 Eyewitness News is your home for the latest traffic news and information. Follow @abc7 and @BeatCarmageddon on Twitter, and use the hash tag #abc7traffic.

ABC7 has also partnered with Waze to help navigate the traffic. Download the Waze app, which provides free turn-by-turn GPS navigation based on the live conditions of the road. Join the community of drivers in Southern California today and beat Carmageddon.

Check out the latest Carmageddon coverage from abc7.com

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Tags:
carmageddon, I-405 closure, construction, road closure, medical emergency, lapd, los angeles city fire department, abc7 traffic center, rob hayes
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