Photo Credit: Jo Kwon, KFI News

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles transportation officials have warned drivers to stay off the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass to accommodate road crews putting the finishing touches on a $1 billion-plus carpool lane this weekend.

``The thing that will help a person, any of you, to avoid congestion and being in traffic backup, is simply what you've done in the past and that is to stay away,'' said Dan Bower, the California Highway Patrol's southern division chief.

All northbound lanes will be closed overnight Feb. 14-18 between Getty Center Drive and Ventura Boulevard to accommodate road crews paving and restriping that section of the freeway.

The closures will start about 7 p.m. Friday and continue until about 6 a.m. Tuesday. Three northbound lanes will be closed during the day, leaving two lanes open. All five northbound lanes will close overnight.

Sepulveda Boulevard, which runs parallel to the freeway, can handle only a fraction of freeway traffic, and traffic engineers urged motorists to use alternative north-south roads or the 101 or I-5 freeways.

The project has been dubbed Jamzilla, following earlier closings known as Carmageddon and Carmageddon II.

In March during a freeway closing similar to one this weekend, Caltrans estimated delays at 90-120 minutes.

``It's all the more good reason to keep repeating to please stay away from the construction zone during this 80-hour closure,'' said K.N. Murthy, Metro's executive director of the carpool lane project.

Los Angeles airport officials warned that northbound travelers leaving Los Angeles International Airport could run into traffic.

Advice, updates and details on the freeway closure are available at,

Motorists can also access a Jamzilla hotline during Presidents Day weekend by calling 5-1-1 and saying "Jamzilla" or by visiting