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Contractor Faces Huge Financial Penalties if 405 Freeway Isn't Reopened on Time

Kiewit Pacific Co. will be charged approximately $6,000 for every 10 minutes it exceeds the deadline for reopening the freeway after the July 15-18 closure.

The contractor that will be demolishing the Mulholland Bridge and closing 10 miles of the heavily traveled I-405 Freeway July 15-18 faces substantial penalties if the freeway is not reopened by 6 a.m. Monday.

Metro’s Mike Barbour, the director of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, told Encino Patch that there are financial disincentives in place to make sure the closure of the I-405 freeway is finished on time.

The contractor, Kiewit Pacific Co., will be charged approximately $6,000 for every 10 minutes of delay of opening each side of the I-405, Barbour told Encino Patch. That’s $72,000 an hour in penalties for delays in opening the entire freeway, ramps and connectors by 6 a.m. Monday for the morning commute.

Kiewit will be demolishing and replacing the Mulholland Bridge as part of Metro’s nearly $1-billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. The project, funded by local, state and federal money, will add a carpool lane on the northbound freeway between the Santa Monica (I-10) and Ventura (101) freeways, along with upgrading freeway ramps and sound walls.

“By mid-Saturday we’ll know how things are going pretty accurately,” Barbour said. “There are two or three milestones that are pretty critical. … At each major milestone of the demolition, we’ll make major decisions and figure out if we go forward [with the demolition] or stabilize it and open the freeway.”

According to California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) policy, transportation officials are required to notify the public of any closures at least 72 hours in advance, with the exception of emergencies.

“The 72-hour notification has already been done for the project, but [if the closure needs to be extended] that would be an emergency issue,” Barbour said. “I think Caltrans and LADOT and CHP and LAPD have all now taken over that whole process.”

Officials are asking the public to avoid the area if they do not have a critical need to be in or near the vicinity of the closure. Metro is also offering during the closure to help people get around the anticipated traffic build-up.

Barbour said that if the closure needs to be extended, Metro and Caltrans will alert the public through Twitter, radio and the media.

Continue checking Patch.com for news updates, interviews and more 'Carmageddon' coverage.

Martin Smith June 29, 2011 at 08:56 PM
Last I checked the calculation for the disincentive, it amounted to $36,000 per hour, not $72,000. 1 hour = 60 minutes 60 minutes divided by 10 minutes = 6 $6,000 times 6 = $36,000 per hour disincentive I wonder if the same sort of math was used for the CA fiscal budget?
Lauren Rosenblum June 29, 2011 at 09:07 PM
According to Barbour, it's $6,000 per 10 mins for each side of the freeway. There are two sides of the freeway, so double the figure you calculated and you'll get $72,000 an hour.
David Holland June 29, 2011 at 09:17 PM
WOW...those are some fees.
Ian Panter June 29, 2011 at 09:29 PM
I'll stay home until I'm told the coast is clear. The freeway is going to open at 5AM but all the on ramps and off ramps don't have to be open until 6AM. There's still going to be a backup of morning commuters...there are plenty who start their commute around 6AM and are going to get caught behind the orange cone picker uppers.
Melanie Griffin June 29, 2011 at 10:20 PM
Good! They should be charged an arm and a leg for any added inconvenience they cause!
Qmira Queness June 30, 2011 at 09:04 AM
Ok, so you b*tch about there being too much traffic and then you b*tch when they try to improve the issue but can't do it fast enough.
Sean Hartranft July 04, 2011 at 08:21 PM
U know what!!! I work on this project as a carpenter who is actually building the things that are gonna make your life easier in the long run!! Stop b*tching about a project that you voted on to be performed. Get over it...I'm tired of hearing you honk and cuss at me on the side of the road as I try to make a living for my family and ultimately make your life easier!!
Scott Killeen July 05, 2011 at 05:53 AM
Everyone in AMERICA has the right to get another job if they don't like the one they have... Get the construction done and lets move on with our lives!
david smith July 14, 2011 at 07:30 PM
I dont know how they can start working on one freeway like the 101 north/south, and start on another freeway. They should get one done before starting another
Gloria Lambo July 18, 2011 at 10:47 PM
They are doing only one side at a time so it is 36,000 per hour and not 72,000 an hour.
Lauren Rosenblum July 19, 2011 at 12:26 AM
Gloria: The entire freeway (both sides) was shut down, even though they were only working on one side of the bridge.

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