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Drivers preparing for Carmageddon

Friday, July 15, 2011

If it is at all possible, drivers are being asked to simply stay home. But if you must to drive into Los Angeles this weekend, you need to plan ahead, and you can bet that is what truck drivers are doing. One local company says that when it comes to traffic delays, their drivers are prepared to simply deal with it.

Even drivers in the Valley, are being warned to expect big delays on Los Angeles freeways this weekend. The closure of the 405 Freeway has drivers expecting major traffic headaches, especially those who drive for a living.

"To put it politely, there is going to be a big mess," said Gerald Wong. "As far as truckers go, they have to get to where they have to get to no matter what traffic is like."

Caltrans will begin closing on and off ramps on the 405 at 7 o'clock Friday evening. By midnight, the freeway will be completely off limits.

Dave Sotero, MTA Spokesperson said, "This will not be a Vegas style demolition where it's gone in 53 seconds, this is more like 53 hours."

In that time, crew wills tear down Mulholland Bridge, making it wider and longer. They'll also improve ramps and add a carpool lane along a 10-mile stretch of the freeway.

Jim Ganduglia said, "I lived in LA for 20 years and don't ever remember them completely shutting down the highway."

Fresno trucking company owner Ganduglia has three drivers currently traveling through the area. "We tell our drivers, this is what's going to happen, try to plan around it and see what happens."

Already at least one of his drivers has seen some congestion as motorist begin adjusting to the upcoming closure, but he says clients expecting deliveries, are understanding.

"They know what's going on," said Ganduglia. "They know there is going to be a problem because of this, so if they have to do stuff on the weekend, they will compensate for it."

For his part, trucker Gerald Wong is glad he's headed north to Oregon, and far from the 405.

Wong said, "Just as a matter of experience, I know what they are in for, and I'm glad I'm not in your "Carmageddon".

The 405 Freeway is expected to re-open by 5 o'clock Friday morning, with full access by 6:00 p.m. If it doesn't, contractors will be fined $12 thousand for every ten minutes that the freeway remains closed past deadline.

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