Work crews hanging new banner on Century Boulevard Bridge informing those in the area of the upcoming Century Crunch closure. Photo: Jose Ubaldo/Metro
A cellphone- and Web-based traffic information service will offer a special feature this weekend to help steer motorists around a bridge-demolition project that will close a stretch of Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport, officials announced. Crews will be demolishing a defunct railroad bridge at Century and Aviation boulevards, clearing the site for a Crenshaw/LAX light rail line station. To accommodate the work, Century will be closed at the intersection with airport traffic re-routed between La Cienega and Airport boulevards – a detour that has been dubbed “Century Crunch,” due to the anticipated traffic headaches.
The Southern California 511 service, which offers traffic updates on users’ cell phones or over the Internet, will offer information specific to the closure. Motorists can call 511 on their cell phones and, after an automated greeting, say “Century Crunch.” The service will then provide information on detour routes and updates on the closure.
Callers can also say “traffic” to receive updated traffic information for roads leading to the airport. Real-time traffic maps and public-transit alternatives will also be available at the www.Go511.com website. Smartphone users can also download a Go511 app from the iTunes and Google Play stores. Century Crunch will begin at 9 p.m. Friday and continue until 6 a.m. Monday. Metro officials said an estimated 92,800 motorists travel through the Century/Aviation intersection on a daily basis.
Metro and airport officials have been advising residents to plan ahead if they must travel to the airport that weekend and allow extra travel time, or avoid traveling the Century route altogether. With Century Boulevard blocked, motorists heading toward LAX that weekend will be diverted north on La Cienega Boulevard, west on Manchester Avenue, then south on Airport Boulevard, back to Century. Motorists leaving LAX will take the same detour in reverse.
Lanes will also be reduced on Aviation Boulevard during the demolition. Metro officials also noted that once the bridge is demolished, Century Boulevard will remain reduced by one lane in each direction for the next 16 months, leaving three lanes each way. The 8.5-mile, $2.058 billion Crenshaw/LAX line will run from the Metro Expo line at Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards and connect with the Green line near the airport. The line has an anticipated opening date in 2019.