Next weekend a 10 mile piece of Interstate 405, which is often clogged with more than a half million cars on weekends, will be closed so California road crews can enact repairs. The roadway will be closed after rush hour Friday and is scheduled to re-open Monday morning at 5 a.m. This is a repeat of a two day construction job the state undertook last year in order to bring the highway up to standards and make it a better road for everyone. During that project hundreds of thousands of drivers chose alternate routes to work or avoided driving altogether just so they could help keep the highway clear.

State officials are hoping the positive situation repeats itself this year and have been bombarding the region with public service messages reminding drivers of the forthcoming closures. They are also reminding drivers that putting up with the work means having a much improved section of highway when the work is completed.

When all the work in the area is completed toward the end of next year, there will be a new, wider and seismically safer bridge crossing the freeway at the city’s scenic Mulholland Drive.

The 405 itself will also be wider, making room for a carpool lane through the Sepulveda Pass over the Santa Monica Mountains, where traffic notoriously clogs almost all the time….

California transportation officials say what they would like to see next weekend here is a rerun of last year’s two-day closure, when hundreds of thousands of motorists dodged doomsday predictions by staying away until the busy 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 reopened. It was one of the lightest freeway traffic weekends anyone in Los Angeles could remember.

If you live in California and can avoid using the 405 this coming weekend it might be the best move. Construction is going to happen on roads and bridges whether you like it or not. But you don’t have to punish yourself because of it. Stay home, read a book or find some other direction to travel. Come Monday morning, you’ll be glad you did.