The event that many feared would be the "Carmageddon" of epic traffic jams cruised calmly to a finish Sunday, with bridge work on the Los Angeles roadway completed nearly a full day ahead of schedule and officials reopening a 10-mile stretch of the busy freeway.
Drivers honked their horns and waved from car windows as traffic started moving in all 10 lanes of Interstate 405 just after noon for the first time since being shut down at midnight Friday. There were no major problems since the freeway was closed, despite warnings.
The mayor praised contractors for working so quickly and thanked city residents for heeding calls to stay off the roads. He also gave credit to news outlets for spreading word about the closure, which had been planned to last for 53 hours.
"We couldn't have done this without the cooperation of this city," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.
Crews finished demolition work on the bridge at about 7 a.m., toppling two massive pillars. About 4,000 tons of concrete rubble was expected to be removed over the course of the job.