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‘Century Crunch': Street Closure Does Little to Disrupt Traffic Near LAX

A bridge demolition project was proceeding slightly ahead of schedule Saturday evening near Los Angeles International Airport, officials said, and few traffic delays were reported as a 57-hour street closure known as the “Century Crunch” continued.

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A railroad bridge near Los Angeles International Airport is scheduled to be demolished during a planned closure dubbed the “Century Crunch.” (Credit: KTLA)

The shutdown of West Century Boulevard at Aviation Boulevard (map) began at 9 p.m. Friday and was scheduled to end at 6 a.m. Monday. During that time, a railroad bridge will be demolished and later replaced by a light-rail station, according to a news release.

“It’s been good,” project manager Charles Beauvoir said Saturday afternoon. “There were concerns with noise in the hotels. [We have] not had any issues as far as that’s concerned. And we’ve mitigated the dust.”

Green Line light-rail trains and five Metro bus lines (102, 111, 117, 232 and 120) serve LAX. Travelers can take the Green Line to the Aviation/LAX station, go downstairs and board the free LAX “G” shuttle, which stops at all terminals. More information is available at metro.net.

The LAX FlyAway bus and other municipal lines also provide regular service to the airport. The FlyAway travels between the airport and five destinations: Van Nuys, Santa Monica, Westwood, the Metro Expo La Brea station and Union Station in downtown L.A. Details are at lawa.org/flyaway.

Municipal lines that serve LAX include Beach Cities Transit, the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and the Culver City Bus. Each line has schedules and information on its website.

More than 92,000 motorists travel through the Century and Aviation intersection daily, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

“If you’re coming through this area at night, we have 40 traffic officers and engineers at 21 key intersections,” said Bruce Gillman, spokesman for the L.A. Department of Transportation. “We’d like everyone to be aware of that, because visibility is lowered, [and] to be especially carefully when you’re entering an intersection, and follow the advice and the directions of those uniformed traffic officers.”

Authorities urged those headed for the airport to check real-time traffic conditions by calling 511 or visiting go511.com.

The following detours were also suggested:

  • Coming from the south: Drive north on the 405 freeway, head west on the 105 Freeway, exit at Sepulveda Boulevard and go north to LAX.
  • Coming from the east on the 405 Freeway: Exit north on Sepulveda to LAX.
  • Coming from the north: Drive south on the 405 Freeway and exit at either Howard Hughes Parkway or La Tijera Boulevard. At Sepulveda Boulevard, head south to LAX.

“It appears that people are actually using more public transportation, which is really good, not only for this weekend but for the future,” LAX spokeswoman Mary Grady said Saturday. “The fact that we’re seeing traffic continue to move, not seeing major traffic jams, not seeing passengers miss their flights — that’s all good news.”

The demolition of the bridge and construction of the new station are part of the $2-billion Crenshaw/LAX Transit project, an 8.5-mile light-rail line that will connect the Green Line with the Expo Line. The Crenshaw/LAX Line is expected to open in 2019, officials said.

More information on the project and Century Crunch is available at metro.net/Crenshaw, or by calling the project hotline at 213-922-2736 or Metro customer relations 323-GO-METRO.

“Because we planned ahead, ‘Carmageddon’ never happened on the 405,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a video statement released last week, referring to a similar closure in the Sepulveda Pass in 2011. “So let’s plan ahead again. Avoid the area if you do not need to be there. And if you must, allow for extra travel time and use public transit.”

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