Erik Estrada in the BatmobileEnlarge Photo
UPDATED: See clips below.
If you've lived or driven in Los Angeles, California, you probably understand the importance of Interstate 405. It's a huge route for both commuters and cargo, and it's regularly listed as one of the busiest, most congested stretches of highway in the country. And on July 15, it's closing for three straight days.
We call it Carmageddon.
(Actually, that's what the folks at TMZ are calling it, but it's got such a nice ring, we can't help ourselves.)
Carmageddon has been a long time coming -- it's a key piece of a $1 billion highway improvement puzzle being pieced together by the state of California. During the mayhem and frustration caused by the July closure, officials will demolish the south side of Mulholland Bridge, after which they'll spend 11 months rebuilding it.
Sound confusing? Don't worry: Erik Estrada is here to help. The actor best known for his role as "Ponch" on NBC's CHiPs (and subsequently as "Marco Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar Gabriel Garcia Marquez" on Cartoon Network's brilliant Sealab 2021) will soon film a PSA explaining the dos and don'ts associated with the closure. We'll try to post the clip when it's done, but for now, the biggest "don't" you need to know is "Don't go anywhere near the 405 from July 15 - 17. Maybe skip the 18th, too, just to be safe."
And in case you get smart and motor out of town for those three hellacious summer days, don't worry: there'll be another 405 closure down the road, when authorities demolish the north side of Mulholland Bridge. We've given it the working title "Carmageddon 2: Revenge of the Fallen: This Time, It's Electric Boogaloo (featuring Patty Smyth)", but we're open to suggestions.
UPDATED: The clip has been posted. We're sorry to say, it's not much to look at. Kind of dull, really, considering that LA is full of filmmakers who could've easily rendered this more entertaining and informative. But for what it's worth:
And now, in Spanish: