L.A. city and county officials first warned us of the “Rampture” last August, saying they'd be shutting down the Wilshire ramps to and from the 405 freeway as early as fall 2011.
That obviously didn't happen, seeing as we're all still alive and not devouring each other in a fit of zombie-apocalypse road rage.
But we couldn't hide forever. Now, horrifyingly, the project is slated for summer 2012:
Beginning on July 22 and possibly lasting all the way until the end of September, Metro will demolish and reconstruct the on-ramp and off-ramp for the 405 North at Wilshire Boulevard.
And from there, according to the Metro website, reconstruction of the six remaining ramps at that clustered intersection “is expected to take more than one year.”
Just kill us now. Unlike Carmageddon last July 16 and 17, which shut down a 10-mile stretch of the 405 for a single weekend, these closures will last all through summer and beyond — creating a sweaty traffic hell unparalleled by any before it.
Even Metro admits that…
… these closures and the subsequent reconstruction of the other six Wilshire ramps are expected to create significant temporary impacts to Wilshire Bl and adjoining streets, such as Federal Av, Sepulveda Bl and Veteran Av.
Here is an overwhelming list of the freeway and surface-street closures, which all begin and end at different hours and are definitely trying to screw with our heads. First reader to make sense of this chaos, while we wait for Metro project spokesman Dave Sotero to call us back, gets an official LA Weekly shout-out. Go!
But anyway, since we've already been condemned to this bumper-to-bumper misery, might as well make up a fun name for our traffic event, right?
L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who coined “Carmageddon,” tried to get his coin on again this morning by naming the new closures “Ramp Jam” — but he might have a dud there. “Rampture” appears to be sticking to Twitter more readily. (As far as we know, the Curbed L.A. real-estate blog came up with that term last summer, back when Metro cried wolf and said they were about to start the project. If we're wrong — and it was you, in fact, who birthed the brilliant phrase — feel free to contact us via angry email. Not that you needed an invitation.)
Here's a peppy Metro video explaining the need for the Wilshire ramp makeovers. “This short-term inconvenience will be a long-term gain,” says a dorky county worker in a construction hat three sizes too big.
And yes, as any UCLA affiliate who's ever sat in Wilshire traffic for hours while those rickety one-lane ramps clog into oblivion can attest, the makeovers are a must. They're just going to be bloody intolerable in the meantime.
… and after.
Yaroslavsky will be participating in a live chat on Metro.net at noon today to answer all your burning Rampture/Ramp Jam questions. But if your question is just “Will it suck?” save your breath: Here are four reasons why it most definitely will.