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More 405 Freeway Widening Project Woes

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West Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11) Just when commuters thought the end was near for the Sepulveda Pass 405-Freeway Widening Project, LA's Metro Transit Authority hits you with some expected bad news. The 405 widening project will be met with more delays before completion.

If you like driving in the 405 construction zone you'll love this: The 405 widening project will take one more year to complete. Yep, it was supposed to be finished just about now, but nope, ain't gonna happen!

I've been reporting for some time that the project, for a variety of reasons, has been behind schedule mostly by about 4 months. But, underground utility work along Sepulveda done by others than the primary contractor created major delays according to Metro and project contract Kiewit.

The project is also $100 million dollars over budget.

Kiewit says it's a complex project and they'll do everything they can to minimize any future delays, but right now they are a year behind.

For drivers who don't like all of the construction this is bad news. And, for those who live in the Sepulveda Pass, it's a nightmare! I know. I'm on their email cc list. They send emails all the time to each other about what a miserable thing the 405 construction project is to them.

They're upset over all of the middle of the night construction noise; the lights put up to help workers; Equipment the cracks the concrete breaking up their sleep. Some say they've suffered mental anguish.

And, while there have been many neighborhood meetings with Metro and Kiewit officials, neighbors still aren't happy campers. Metro, in a statement, says they've tried to help mitigate some of these problems. And, while they know the process is intrusive, they have and continue to apologize.

If there is good news it is that Metro is not going to wait till the middle of 2014 to have some kind of ribbon cutting ceremony for the new 10 mile stretch of car pool lane at the heart of this project.

Marc Littman with Metro tells me they will open in as parts are ready starting with the southern stretch from the 10 freeway to just north of Wilshire, and a couple of northbound miles of that next month. Finally, another couple of miles in June.

At least, that's the schedule right now and, as we know, schedules are subject to change!


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