Traffic congestion was less severe than normal Monday when five ramps on the Ventura Freeway were closed as part of a lengthy widening project, officials said.
“We expected a major traffic tie-up, but it went really smooth this morning,” California Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Santoro said. “It was stop-and-go traffic, but it moved quicker than expected. I think a lot of people took heed and scheduled more time for their commute. If they followed directions, they had an easy commute.”
Ramps closed include the westbound on-ramp at Topanga Canyon Boulevard, the westbound off-ramp at Parkway Calabasas, the westbound and eastbound off-ramps at Valley Circle Boulevard and the eastbound off-ramp at Fallbrook Avenue.
Caltrans opened two freeway bypass routes in Woodland Hills to help ease the flow of traffic to and from areas such as the Warner Center and Calabasas. Santoro said the routes worked well, though traffic moved slowly.
Caltrans engineers viewed the morning rush hour from a helicopter and pronounced traffic congestion less than normal, or at least not as severe as during a similar flyover Feb. 15, said spokesman Mark Rutherford.
“Things went really well,” Rutherford said. “Traffic was great. Mondays are usually the heaviest traffic days, but people adjusted.”
CHP officers were stationed at intersections near the closed ramps and directed traffic to appropriate routes, Santoro said.
“You had to direct traffic, or it would have been a mess,” he said.
The next step of the project calls for all six lanes of the freeway to be squeezed onto the eastbound side of the median so construction and repaving can begin in the closed lanes. When that will occur has not been determined, Rutherford said.