UK & World News

  • 26 July 2014, 8:58

Los Angeles Drivers Face Carmageddon Sequel

After "Carmageddon" and "Jamzilla", motorists in Los Angeles are bracing for perhaps their worst weekend of road chaos ever.

Residents of a city famous for its attachment to cars and the daily gridlock that results have been warned that the "Century Crunch" could "could screw everything up" for drivers.

Road closures around one of the main entrances to Los Angeles International Airport are in place across the weekend while an old railroad bridge is demolished.

The closure at Century and Aviation Boulevard - a junction which sees 90,000 motorists every day - is likely to affect more than 200,000 passengers who are due to pass through LAX on 1,700 flights.

Officials have spent weeks trying to warn airport users of the impending traffic chaos and are urging people to allow extra time for their journey or use public transport.

The city's mayor Eric Garcetti released a video message urging people to plan ahead.

City supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said: "We know summer is peak travel season and not a great time to disrupt airport traffic and we're sorry about that.

"But the demolition work is necessary now."

The work is part of plans to build a new Metro station for a light rail line connecting the airport, the second busiest in the US, to residential areas of the city.

Closures to the city's iconic Interstate 405 in 2011 and earlier this year prompted warnings of 'Carmageddon' and 'Jamzilla', which largely failed to materialise as drivers stayed at home.

In 2011, the city even drafted in Erik Estrada, the actor who played Ponch in the 1970s highway cop show CHiPs, to warn motorists of the impending chaos.

This weekend, the city's 511 web and mobile phone traffic information service will offer a special feature to guide motorists around the chaos.

A new mobile command centre will also be deployed for the first time.

Kim Upton, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, told reporters that the work is limited but that "it's enough to screw everything up".

Work on demolishing the bridge is due to be completed in time for the Monday morning rush hour but lane closures will remain in place in the area for many months.