Dear Mr. Kriegel:
I am a Member of the Board of Directors of Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association representing the Association on matters concerning the 405 Freeway Expansion.
I attended the City Council meeting (with LAPD, LAFD, Caltrans, LADOT, LAMetro, and Keiwit), a private meeting with LAPD on Sherman Oaks and Bel Air, and the I-405 Community Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday evening. I don't know what Ms. Rosenbloom is referring to about the necessity of the contractor to meet certain "emergency" or "72-hour notice" requirements in order to keep the freeway closed on Monday, July 18th. I have never heard those terms discussed in any of the meetings. The only way the freeway would be closed on Monday is simply if the contractor does not finish demolishing the southern half of the bridge for some reason, e.g., schedule problems, some sort of failure, some unknown-unknown event, or whatever. Metro and the contractor (Keiwit) have done detailed planning, but something could go wrong (but, I think it is a low probability). LAPD and the incident command team have established a set of 12-hour phases, including a contingency phase on Monday (should the freeway still be closed). I believe your readers would also be interested to know that many people simply do not understand what is being done. I brought this up at the CAC meeting Wednesday night. I (and others) have been asked if the bridge is going to be blown up. It is not, and there will be nothing spectacular happening. I have been asked why the whole freeway has to closed if only one-half of the bridge is being demolished -- because people think the halves split down the center of the freeway. That can't happen because there are no center supports for the bridge. Instead, they are slicing the bridge lengthwise down the center, removing the southern half, and leaving two very important lanes of traffic on the remaining northern half. By the way, the bridge is being demolished by simply chopping the southern half up in small pieces and letting the pieces fall onto the six feet of sand/dirt that they will place under the bridge. The Metro Project Manager described the job as about the most boring thing you could watch.
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