Bridge Crumbles in Carmageddon Redux, But Roadway's Open

Project phase II goes off almost without a hitch
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 1, 2012 1:00 AM CDT
Workers continue the demolition of the center span of the Mulholland Drive bridge along Interstate 405 in Los Angeles over the weekend.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

(Newser) – A surprise section of bridge gave way, narrowly missing construction workers during Los Angeles' "Son of Carmageddon," but the latest phase of a massive highway reconstruction project otherwise went off without a hitch—and without the predicted nightmare traffic jams. A 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 had to be closed over the weekend so part of the 50-year-old Mulholland Drive bridge could be taken down to make way for a wider road. While the crew was working on one section of the span, another section plummeted to the earth, reports CNN. But no one was injured, and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has already labeled the work a "resounding" success.

"Our hope and expectation was that it would be Carmaheaven 2," boasted Villaraigosa. The highway has already reopened today ahead of schedule, but it hasn't been easy street beating the rush-hour deadline as crews scrambled to squeeze into two days what should have taken weeks, filling potholes and paving three southbound lanes along Sepulveda Pass. "This was the mother of all public works projects," a Los Angeles County supervisor grumbled to the Los Angeles Times. The work is part of a $1 billion, four-year project to install what Villaraigosa calls the "longest carpool lane in the nation." (Read more Los Angeles stories.)

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