When Caltrans announced yesterday that it will be closing sections of the 101 Freeway through Hollywood on the nights (or, more accurately, very early mornings) of Sunday, August 28 through Wednesday, August 31, to install “loop detectors” at several locations, both commuters and media reacted with alarm. But the reality might not be as bad as you imagine.
According to an FAQ on the Caltrans blog:
Q: So this is a full freeway closure, like a Carmageddon or RoseJam or a Hollywood Jam Session?
A: No. Not even close. (There are no emojis to express how this is SO not a major closure).
Only small sections of one direction of US 101 will be closed.
For instance, if the closure is on northbound US 101 at Western Avenue, only northbound US 101 will be closed up to the next ramp, Sunset Boulevard.
These closures have already occurred on US 101 and have not, nor is it expected that any total shut down of the highway will occur. 🙂
Q: So what days and times will the closures occur?
A: The full freeway closures will start at midnight or 1 a.m. and end at 5 a.m., from Sunday to Wednesday. The means that the closures will start during the morning of each day and end on the same morning (Sunday morning, Monday morning, Tuesday morning, and Wednesday morning). 🙂
To explain further, loop detectors are those circular wires you see embedded in street surfaces all over the city. According to Caltrans:
Loop detectors track travel time information and speeds that reflect real-time traffic conditions. The data collected from the wire loops can be translated in many ways. For instance, the count for how many vehicles pass over each loop at any given time determines traffic volume. The length of time that a vehicle remains on the loop indicates a possible incident, congestion or if traffic is flowing smoothly.
So next week’s construction isn’t major, and while it might be annoying for folks who travel during the wee hours, it shouldn’t lead to any major rush hour delays for the rest of us.