‘Jamzilla’ Occuring on Northbound 405 This Weekend

405 Lane Closures

As snowstorms clog freeways all around the rest of the US, it seems that transportation officials in Southern California fear Angelenos are missing out on the traffic jam fun. Enter: “Jamzilla,” the 80-hour shutdown planned for the northbound lanes of the 405 Freeway this weekend, from late Friday through Tuesday morning.

The lane closures will go into effect at 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, and the freeway will open up again at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, Feb. 18. This will allow transport workers to pave and paint the highway where a carpool lane will be added through the Sepulveda Pass.

Not all lanes will be closing during the day, although at night, all northbound lanes, as well as one or two southbound lanes, will be closed. On Friday night, the full closure will not occur until 1 a.m.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) created the nickname “Jamzilla” for this shutdown, which will catch drivers coming home from Valentine’s Day dinners and carry them through the long President’s Day weekend.

The term harkens back to “Carmageddon,” the moniker given to the full-freeway closures of 2011 and 2012.

“We wanted to come up with a term that would be like Carmageddon in its ability to influence the public,” Dave Sotero, a spokesman for the LACMTA, told the LA Times.

The project aims to complete the final 10 miles of a carpool lane, in the hopes that some traffic congestion in that portion of the freeway can be eased.

During the closures, authorities suggest avoiding the area altogether, as congestion will spread to normal detours and other area roads.

“Sepulveda will be at full capacity during the entire 80-hour operation,” Sotero told the LA Times. “At night, when we do a full closure, it is the designated alternative. During the day, it could easily become congested and should be avoided. It cannot accommodate diverted freeway traffic. Motorists should divert to other freeways rather than take a chance on Sepulveda.”

Drivers planning to travel through the area around the Sepulveda Pass are being urged to research possible routes before leaving home this weekend. Traffic conditions can be monitored via Twitter, Facebook, local news reports and Metro’s website.