July 15, 2011 6:08am PT by Lindsay Powers
Carmageddon 'Hype and Horror Are Worthy of Hollywood,' Says CBS News Correspondent
Officials suspect traffic won't be a total nightmare in Los Angeles this weekend when the 405 closes down to replace the 50-year-old Mulholland Bridge -- which has been dubbed "Carmageddon."
"It's going to be fine; people had a lot of warning," Lisa Schweitzer, a professor of urban planning at the University of Southern California, tells CBS News.
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She and other experts compare the traffic to the 1984 Summer Olympics, the Los Angeles Lakers championship parades or Michael Jackson's memorial service in 2009.
"For the 1984 Olympics, by repeating how complex and difficult it's going to be, some people chose not to travel, to take public transit or go away for vacation," said Martin Wachs of the Rand Corp. think tank.
With the urging of Los Angeles city officials, plenty of celebs have taken to Twitter to warn their followers about the gridlock.
Wrote Tom Hanks: "This weekend LA! Avoid Carmageddon." The Voice's Adam Levine posted, "I think I want to throw a tailgate party... Meet me at the 405."
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Joked CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker, "The hype and horror are worthy of Hollywood."
The closure is part of a $1 billion construction project to ease traffic. The highway will be closed for one weekend next year to complete it.