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UPDATE: Freeway Closures Canceled for Memorial Day weekend

Though freeway closures are becoming a regular part of local drivers' commutes, Memorial Day weekend will see no closures.

UPDATE: The folks overseeing the freeway construction project called West County Connectors is interested in hearing from drivers about how things are going, and you'll find their survey at story's end.

In honor of the Memorial Day Weekend, the Orange County Transportation Authority is giving the increasingly rare gift of wide-open freeways. While they can’t guarantee that there will be to no traffic for holiday travel, they can guarantee that the San Diego (405) Freeway, the San Gabriel Freeway (605) and the Garden Grove (22) Freeway won’t be closed down for the .

This week officials scrapped plans to close down the 405 and 605 connectors Friday and Saturday nights. Memorial Day weekend will see traffic flowing as usual, much to the relief of travelers who may already expect cars to move at a crawl.

From Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30, the 405 Freeway and Garden Grove (22) freeway will be open and without construction in order to accommodate the high volume of travelers out and about during the Memorial Day holiday. Closures will resume on Tuesday night, May 31.

These closures are a part of the three and a half year long, $277 million project aimed at improving carpool transitions, safety and bottleneck conditions on the 405, 605 and 22 freeway intersections. The Seventh St. exit from the northbound 405 is closed for a year, forcing commuters to exit on Westminster Boulevard or Seal Beach Boulevard to get to Long Beach from the southern direction.

Here's what's happening this week:

Construction crews will be placing more than 19 miles of temporary k-rail on the section of the freeway where the 405 and 22 overlap from Valley View Street to Seal Beach Boulevard. K-rail is the almost unbreakable white railing you see along the side of the freeway that is meant to protect people and automobiles when hit.

West Segment - Seal Beach Boulevard to I-605 (about 3 miles):

  • Some daytime work may be loud and disruptive. This includes reconstruction of the Bixby Channel, which may take several months to complete.
  • The demolition and reconstruction of the Montecito Channel adjacent to Martha Ann Dr. and Copa De Oro Dr. in Rossmoor will begin in mid-to-late May, and will also occur during daylight hours.
  • Some night work may be bright and loud. This will include vegetation removal throughout May along the 405/605 interchange adjacent to the community of Rossmoor. 
  • Nightly lane closures through May will continue intermittently between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on the 405 between Seal Beach Blvd. and the 605 exit, weather permitting.  These closures will allow for vegetation removal and saw cutting along the freeway shoulder.
  • Some disruptive activities that will occur this week at night include: transportation of dirt along the northbound 405, material removal for pavement along the northbound 605, building of a temporary embankment along the northbound 405/nortbound 605 connector and southbound 405/northbound 605 connector.

East Segment - Valley View Street to Seal Beach Boulevard (about 2 miles):

  • Construction crews will resume pile driving to reconstruct the east half of the Valley View Street bridge and the new carpool connectors that will link the 22 to the 405 freeways.  This work will take place between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (approximately), and may be loud and disruptive.
  • Starting Monday, May 23 and lasting through Thursday, May 26, the Bolsa Chica off-ramp via the southbound 405 will be closed daily from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. During this time, shoring (structures to prevent collapse) will be installed to support future construction.
  • Vegetation will be removed during the day between Seal Beach Boulevard and Valley View Street on the 405/22.

Open this WCC PDF to read the announcement.

The survey, which the OCTA is asking motorists to return, seeks feedback on how the project is going thus far.

Paige Austin contributed to this story.

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