Skip to main content

A Hollywood ending: 'Carmageddon II' traffic nightmare fails to materialize in LA

By the CNN Wire Staff
October 1, 2012 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
Workers demolish the south side of Mulholland overpass on the 405 freeway during last year's
Workers demolish the south side of Mulholland overpass on the 405 freeway during last year's "Carmageddon."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Authorities cite three people who try to enter the freeway
  • The feared traffic tie-ups do not materialize
  • A 10-mile section of Interstate 405 was closed for the weekend
  • A portion of a bridge came down as workers were demolishing another part of it

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Southern California motorists honked their horns cheerfully as authorities reopened 10 miles of the nation's busiest highway ahead of schedule late Sunday night.

The latest phase in a massive project that led to the weekend closure of a large swath of Interstate 405 ended hours ahead of the Monday morning commute.

Southern California officials had dubbed the project "Carmageddon II." But the nightmare traffic tie-ups that prompted the fittingly Hollywood-worthy name did not materialize as motorists either stayed home or chose alternate routes.

California Highway Patrol said it cited three people who tried to enter the closed section of the freeway early Sunday. But overall, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared the project a "resounding success."

"Our hope and expectation was that it would be Carmaheaven 2," Villaraigosa said, noting that a weekend-long highway shutdown last year had proceeded without a hitch, despite dire forecasts. "That hope and expectation came to be realized."

'Carmageddon,' the sequel: So far, Los Angeles drivers staying home

The 405, as it's locally called, connects suburban San Fernando Valley with Los Angeles International Airport. It also stretches into the well-to-do neighborhoods of west Los Angeles, such as Bel Air and Brentwood.

The massive transportation project's main aim is to install what Villaraigosa said would be the "longest ... carpool lane in the nation" on the oft-packed highway.

The project did see an unscripted moment Saturday, when a section of the famed 50-year-old Mulholland Drive Bridge -- a fixture in the Los Angeles freeway-scape -- narrowly missed workers demolishing another part of it.

iReport: Photos capture bridge collapse

Crews had planned to take down part of the bridge to make room for a wider roadway. The bridge will be reconstructed.

"On an operation of this size, of this magnitude, pieces come down of all different sizes and shapes," Dan Kulka of Kiewit Construction told CNN affiliate KABC. "We did not anticipate this, although it's not unusual for a big piece to come down like that."

Self-driving cars now legal in California

Governor signs law to make California home to nation's first truly high-speed rail

CNN's Michael Martinez and Kyung Lah contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
February 8, 2013 -- Updated 0718 GMT (1518 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT