August 13th, 2012 by Admin
The Interstate 405 or I-405 is one of the busiest interstates in the United States. It runs north-south along southern California is a bypass of the I-5 interstate. It is, in fact, the northern section of the San Diego Freeway and is one of the most congested freeways in the US. The interstate is used extensively by commuters and freight truckers alike. In 2008, a research conducted on the I-405 showed that the annual average daily traffic of this freeway reached 374,000, making it the busiest in the nation. Commuters on this freeway are quite familiar with the Carmegeddon 405 freeway concept. The ‘Carmageddon’ or ‘Carpocalypse’ are names parodying Armageddon and Apocalypse or the ‘end of the World’. These names were given to the event that took place in July 2011, when a section of the 405 was closed for one weekend. The term was used by local radio DJs and TV newsreaders to ensure that motorists were aware of the freeway-closure as well as its likely impact. This shutting down of the overburdened Interstate was expected to choke and congest traffic several miles on either side. In actuality, the result was not as bad as expected; however, traffic was sparse and vehicles that used the highway reached their destinations quicker than normal.
The 405 freeway is known for its numerous points of interest which include three major airports, as well as recreational and commercial spots. It also passes major educational Institutes like University of California at Irvine and cultural centers like Getty and Skirball centers. The San Diego Freeway is also known for its rich and interesting history. The route was used by Spanish Explorer Gaspar de Portola, who travelled this road on horseback in 1769. Additionally, the famous O.J Simpson-police chase also took place on this highway, and ended at the equally renowned Sunset Boulevard, hours later.
While the actual construction of the highway began in 1955 and was completed in 1961, the final section in Orange County was only opened to public in 1969. Several future Sepulveda Pass Improvement Projects (amounting to nearly $1 billion) have been planned for making changes to its entrances, exits and underpasses.
In fact, the 53 hour shutdown or Carmegeddon 405 freeway on July 15, 2011 was the first attempt to demolish the Mulholland Drive Bridge which, while chaotic, was certainly an attempt to improve future commute. Officials also made use of the event to encourage commuters to discover public transport and local shopping.
Recently, a second Carmageddon 2012 has also been announced: this would mean another 10 mile closure of the freeway, very likely to occur on Sept.29-30 2012. The closure will be utilized to demolish the other half of Mulholland Drive Bridge. Motorists have been advised by Metro officials to plan ahead in order to avoid traffic congestion.
Officials are also warning motor that the 2012 Carmegeddon 405 freeway would not be as carefree as the last one. On a lighter note, there is also a computer game of the same name (the Carmageddon or Carpocalypse) which features vehicular combat on the backdrop of a heavy metal soundtrack by Iron Maiden.
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