The contractor that will be demolishing the Mulholland Bridge and closing 10 miles of the heavily traveled I-405 Freeway July 15-18 faces substantial penalties if the freeway is not reopened by 6 a.m. Monday.
Metro’s Mike Barbour, the director of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, told Patch that there are financial disincentives in place to make sure the closure of the I-405 freeway is finished on time.
The contractor, Kiewit Pacific Co., will be charged approximately $6,000 for every 10 minutes of delay of opening each side of the I-405, Barbour told Patch. That’s $72,000 an hour in penalties for delays in opening the entire freeway, ramps and connectors by 6 a.m. Monday for the morning commute.
Kiewit will be demolishing and replacing the Mulholland Bridge as part of Metro’s nearly $1-billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. The project, funded by local, state and federal money, will add a carpool lane on the northbound freeway between the Santa Monica (I-10) and Ventura (101) freeways, along with upgrading freeway ramps and sound walls.
“By mid-Saturday we’ll know how things are going pretty accurately,” Barbour said. “There are two or three milestones that are pretty critical. … At each major milestone of the demolition, we’ll make major decisions and figure out if we go forward [with the demolition] or stabilize it and open the freeway.”
According to California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) policy, transportation officials are required to notify the public of any closures at least 72 hours in advance, with the exception of emergencies.
“The 72-hour notification has already been done for the project, but [if the closure needs to be extended] that would be an emergency issue,” Barbour said. “I think Caltrans and LADOT and CHP and LAPD have all now taken over that whole process.”
Officials are asking the public to avoid the area if they do not have a critical need to be in or near the vicinity of the closure. Metro is also offering during the closure to help people get around the anticipated traffic build-up.
Barbour said that if the closure needs to be extended, Metro and Caltrans will alert the public through Twitter, radio and the media.
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