Airport Travel During the 405 Closure

LAX officials and the Auto Club offer tips to make air travel less stressful during this weekend's freeway closure.

In preparation for on July 16 and 17, the Los Angeles World Airports, a city agency that operates Los Angeles International Airport, has listed tips on its website for travelers planning to fly out of town that weekend.

During the weekend closure, motorists traveling from the Hermosa Beach area to Los Angeles International Airport are expected to encounter significant traffic congestion, according to airport officials, as construction crews for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project plan to demolish the south half of the Mulholland Bridge in the Sepulveda Pass.

The project is to build a new, wider bridge and a carpool lane on the freeway that connects the San Fernando Valley with the northern part of Los Angeles County. The freeway serves many coastal communities, including Redondo Beach.

As traffic that would normally travel along the 405 will be diverted to other freeways or side streets (such as PCH/Sepulveda Boulevard, which connects the airport and Hermosa Beach), airport officials offer the following tips for locals who plan to commute the weekend of the closure:

Tips for departing air travelers

  • Leave your car at home or in a public garage and share a ride to the airport to help reduce the number of vehicles on roadways that weekend. 
  • Stay near LAX the night before your departure date, especially if you have an early-morning flight.
  • Still follow general travel guidelines, such as arriving at the airport two hours before your scheduled departure time for domestic flights (three hours for international flights,) and checking in within 24 hours of your departure time to obtain your boarding pass.

Tips for arriving air travelers

  • To reduce the number of motorists on the road, instead of having someone pick you up, taking shared-ride public transportation from the airport to your destination.
  • If you are renting a vehicle, ensure the car rental agency provides you with a map showing the location of the freeway closure, recommended diversion routes, and up-to-the-minute information on the status of traffic conditions.
  • If traveling with children, make sure the items you would normally bring on a car trip (such as snacks or toys) are within easy reach and not in the trunk of the vehicle so you don't have to stop while on the road.
  • If you are picking up your parked vehicle at the airport, ask the parking attendant for the status of traffic conditions or access up-to-the- minute information on freeway and roadway conditions before leaving the airport.

The American Automobile Association of Southern California also recommends people utilize public transportation, especially the Metro Rail lines. The Green Line "G" Shuttle Bus to LAX transports passengers between the airport and Metro Rail's Green Line for $1.50 each way.

Those traveling by rail to or from LAX can also use the LAX Flyaway Bus, which runs between Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and LAX. Tickets cost $7 each way.

The Flyaway Bus also travels between LAX and Irvine, Van Nuys and Westwood, but these routes may also experience significant delays because of traffic related to the 405 Freeway closure.

The 405 will begin to shut down July 15 around 7 p.m. on its northbound side between the 10 and 101 freeways. The southbound side will be closed between the 101 and the Getty Center Drive exit. The freeway will reopen July 18 in time for the morning rush-hour commute, according to project planners.

J.G. Moore July 12, 2011 at 09:35 PM
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