Brian Taylor, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the Lewis Center and a professor of Urban Planning, was featured prominently in a UCLA Today story on what has come to be known as "The Rampture" -- major reconstruction of on- and off-ramps at Wilshire Boulevard and the 405 Freeway.
Taylor offered a sober assessment of the work's likely impact on local traffic. “It would be easier if we could just shut everything down,” Taylor said. “Instead, we have to do this while we’re still moving 300,000 vehicles through there a day. ... There are going to be incredible delays.”
Starting June 22, the entrance ramp from westbound Wilshire to the northbound 405 and the exit ramp from northbound 405 to westbound Wilshire will close for 90 days. Crews will work around the clock to demolish and reconstruct the ramps in a configuration designed to reduce backups and encourage traffic flow. The ramp work is part of a $1 billion widening project covering 10 miles of the 405 freeway.
All of the freeway ramps are set to be rebuilt by mid-2013, and while planners promise long-term benefits from the construction, the short-term pain to commuters could be intense.
“It’s like removing a Band-Aid,” Taylor said. “You can do it fast or slow, but it’s going to hurt either way.”