'Carmageddon' Commences
405 closes, construction begins
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2011 7:26 AM CDT
A construction worker installs a sign to close the ramp of Interstate 405 freeway at Santa Monica Boulevard on July 15, 2011 in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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(Newser) – It's too early yet to declare victory over Carmageddon, notes the LA Times, but Los Angeles' normally traffic-choked Interstate 405 closed at midnight without incident, converting into what the AP calls a "ghost road." "When I left work, it was like a no man's land," says one commuter who breezed through a "carmaheaven" evening rush hour in the hours before the shutdown.

"We can either say we survived Carmageddon or we survived the Carmageddon hype," says Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who tells the AP all will be fine if people listen to that hype and stay home. Carmageddon's first real test comes this afternoon, when weekend traffic normally peaks. If traffic disaster is averted, the LAPD is thanking some 30 celebrities who tweeted warnings to a combined 100 million followers, notes the Times. Click through the gallery for scenes from the 405.

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