The “Century Crunch” sounds more like late-night snack, but thankfully it did not give many Los Angeles motorists a bad case of indigestion.
Century and Aviation boulevards near the entrance of the Los Angeles International Airport were completely shutdown on Saturday, July 26, so crew could demolish a railroad bridge in preparation for a new commuter rail station. Transportation officials, which dubbed the anti-congestion crusade “Century Crunch,” warned drivers about possible long delays weeks in advance, and the communications effort apparently worked. Last year a similar PR approach was used for the closing of I-405. Called “Carmageddon,” Caltrans worked vigorously to get the word out, and massive traffic jams were averted.
“It appears that people are actually using more pubic transportation, which is really good, not only for this weekend but for the future,” LAX spokesperson Mary Grady said on Saturday, July 26. “That fact that we’re seeing traffic continue to move, not seeing major traffic jams, not seeing passengers miss their flights, that’s all good news.”
Century Boulevard was closed on Friday, July 25, at 9 p.m., and by 9 a.m. on Saturday the railroad bridge was down and debris was being removed. During the 16-month construction of the commuter line just one lane of Century will be closed. About one-third of the nearly 80,000 vehicles that enter LAX daily use Century Boulevard. During demolition work, traffic was rerouted 3 miles around the intersection.