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Well, That Was Fast: 'Carmageddon' Over, Freeway to Reopen Early

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Crews completed demolition of a bridge over the 405 freeway in Los Angeles far ahead of schedule, reopening the 10-mile stretch 16 hours earlier than expected. (Media credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles mayor says a 10-mile stretch of one of the nation's busiest freeways will reopen beginning at about 11:30 a.m. because bridge work on the roadway was completed 16 hours ahead of schedule.

There have been no major problems since Interstate 405 was shut down at midnight Friday, despite warnings of the "Carmageddon" of traffic jams.

At a Sunday morning news conference, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised contractors for working so quickly and thanked city residents for heeding calls to stay off the roads.

Crews finished demolition work on the bridge at about 7 a.m., toppling two massive pillars.

The California Department of Transportation said earlier Sunday the 405 could be fully reopened as early as 3 p.m. Sunday.

The freeway previously was scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, with on-ramps and connectors all open an hour later.

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