Mayor Declares 'Carmageddon,' 'Carmaheaven'

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For weeks, residents of Los Angeles have been bracing for a portion of Interstate 405, the most heavily traveled highway in America, to be shut down.
    
The highway is what many in the City of Angels call their lifeline.

"It's your road to everywhere - the airport, work, East side, West side," one resident said.

So when authorities told motorists a portion of that interstate would be closed for construction, everyone prepared for the worst.

"For us not to have access to the freeways, it's like the end of the world. It really is!" bride-to-be Dalia Franco said.

But the event that drivers had been dreading for weeks, dubbed "Carmageddon," turned out to be one of the best weekends ever for Los Angeles traffic.

Drivers stayed off the road Saturday, opting for alternate routes or just staying home.
    
The construction wound up being completed an entire day ahead of schedule, and the interstate reopened Sunday afternoon. 

"This weekend was more of a 'Carmaheaven' than a 'Carmageddon,'" Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement Sunday.
    
Jubilant drivers made their way onto the reopened interstate, honking their horns and waving from car windows, happy to have their lifeline back.
    
The I-405 will need to be closed again for more construction in about 11 months. Authorities said they hope motorists will cooperate as well as they did for this first "Carmageddon."

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