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The 'Carmageddon' bridge

The ‘Carmageddon’ bridge

Feb. 8, 1961: A giant earth mover rumbles down the path of what will be the right-of-way of the San Diego Freeway. The Mulholland Drive Bridge is in the background.

Before the San Diego Freeway could be built through the Sepulveda Pass, Mulholland Drive had to be relocated. According to, a little over a mile of Mulholland Drive and a bridge were built. The cost was $1.8 million. The bridge opened in 1960.

Once built, Sepulveda Boulevard was relocated, and earth-moving equipment removed about 100,000 cubic yards of material, lowering the freeway roadbed under the bridge.

Flash forward 51 years: A 405 Freeway widening project means the Mulholland Drive Bridge will be demolished and rebuilt. To accomplish part of the work, an entire section of the freeway will be closed the weekend of July 16-17 — an event that has been dubbed “Carmageddon.”

April 2, 1961: An aerial view of the San Diego Freeway construction project shows the Mulholland Drive Bridge. Dirt is being dug from beneath the bridge and hauled to the San Fernando Valley for freeway fill. Credit: Bob Lindbeck / Los Angeles Times

June 6, 2011:  A view  of the Mulholland Drive Bridge along the I-405 (northbound) freeway. Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times

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  1. July 15, 2011, 10:16 am

    What a destruction of the landscape!

    By: krazy3@aol
  2. July 16, 2011, 8:36 am

    As a child, born and raised in WLA, I have very clear memories of this bridge being constructed. Why is no one covering the history of this bridge? It was constructed like no other, from the top down! And in those days the only way to view the construction was to pull over your car on Sepulveda and watch the tractors work. In high school, this was lovers lane or the end of the road rase between Steve McQueen in his Mini Copper and James Gardner (and a whole lot of others trying to take the top spot). This bridge has a lot of history and no one is talking about any of that – what a loss!


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