"Carmageddon" to shut down Los Angeles roads this weekend

By John Walton, July 15 2011

If you're planning to fly to or from Los Angeles, or even transiting through LAX airport this weekend, bring some double-strength Panadol and super-sized serving of patience.

A ten mile stretch of America's busiest highway, Interstate 405, is being closed for over 48 hours for reconstruction work, resulting in a chaos which locals have tagged "carmageddon".

The mayor of LA is giving out heavy warnings: "on July 16 and 17, it will be an absolute nightmare", he said. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is even more blunt: "Stay the hell away is the best advice we can give. Don't go anywhere near the west side of LA."

While the actual closure will run from Friday between I-10 (the Santa Monica Freeway) and Ventura Boulevard, that's only a few miles up the 405 from Los Angeles' LAX airport.

So if you're travelling between LA and the airport this weekend, take local advice on how to get there -- and how much time to leave. There's no airport train or other non-road access to LAX.

US airline JetBlue is planning to fly two special roundtrip flights over the 29 mile stretch between Burbank's Bob Hope Airport and Long Beach for the princely sum of US$4. That's not a typo: the ticket costs about as much as a large coffee at Starbucks!

But regardless, expect airport delays at LAX: if staff can't drive into work, and passengers are late for their flights, the already creaking airport infrastructure is likely to buckle under the strain.

So even if you're just connecting through the airport to other US destinations, your flight may be disrupted. Now's the time to check over our advice on how to prepare if your flight is likely to be delayed.

In this case, and if you can change your flights at short notice, consider connecting through another airport if possible -- Dallas/Fort Worth on Qantas or San Francisco on United, perhaps.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

14 Jul 2011

Total posts 1

According to Jet Blue, those $4 specials are to LGB, not LAX?

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 665

Indeed! Apologies for the typo.

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