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Tips on Weathering This Weekend's Traffic Storm

Being well prepared is crucial for people heading southbound during carmageddon, according to Agoura officials.

We’ve all seen the signs, read the articles and heard the radio announcements about this weekend’s so-called ‘carmageddon’—the closure of part of the 405 freeway, from midnight Friday night to 5 a.m. Monday morning, in order to demolish and reconstruct the Mulholland Dr. Bridge. 

Northbound on the 405, the 10-mile stretch between the I-10 and 101 freeways will be closed, while the four miles southbound between the 101 and Getty Center Drive Ramps will be closed. 

In order to have those areas completely absent of automobiles by midnight, ramps will begin shutting down at 7 p.m. on Friday night and the freeway lanes will start closing at 10 p.m. That will go until 5 a.m. Monday morning; everything should be up and running by 6 a.m.

Those are the fact; now here are the effects.

Although the area closed down is relatively small, the consequences may be significant based on the sheer number of drivers in Los Angeles and on the 405. All other nearby freeways, surface streets and not-so secret shortcuts will be clogged up as a result.

Thanks to the City of Agoura Hills, there are some helpful tips to avoid getting stuck from where you’re going.

Ramiro Adeva, the City Engineer of Agoura Hills, suggests that people research their routes ahead of time and stay on top of updates on the Metro web site.

“The last thing you want to do is be confused on the road, struggling to find out where you are going while driving in the inevitable congestion,” he said.

Adeva said that Metro will have a special prompt on their 5-1-1 program, according to Adeva,, so people can dial 511 for up-to-speed information on the traffic conditions from the 405 closure. Before getting in the car, people can go to SigAlert.com for up-to-date traffic flow. 

The city also recommends downloading these detour maps for reference.

Even though the closure does not start until 7 p.m., Adeva anticipates there will be heavy traffic beginning around noon on Friday, since commuters will want to leave early from work in order to steer clear of the rush hour traffic and closure. Working a half-day or working from home, if possible, are viable alternatives, said Adeva.

Adeva recommends that people stay away from the beach this weekend, since Pacific Coast Highway is one of the planned detour routes for people heading in the direction of Camarillo. 

“You can expect some of the traffic on PCH to bisect that particular detour by heading up and down either Kanan Road or Las Virgenes Road from PCH,” he said. “I would expect this to cause longer than normal delays on these two commonly used beach routes. If you do decide to go, expect to encounter delays and congestion.”

Ultimately, all local and city officials are recommending to “stay put,” and not to venture far from home. It’s the guaranteed way to avoid ‘carmageddon.”

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