Rampture: The traffic congestion that’s expected to ensue after the closing of Wilshire Boulevard on- and offramps to (the) northbound I-405 on Los Angeles’s Westside. Rampture is a humorous blend of ramp and rapture; in certain Christian belief systems (the) rapture represents the “carrying away” of believers after Jesus’ return to Earth.
Some background: Over the coming year, all eight Wilshire ramps will be replaced as part of the $1 billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project. Last year, work on the project required the temporary shutdown of 11 miles of freeway, an event that gave rise to another religiously themed coinage, Carmageddon. (The work went smoothly, and the predicted apocalypse failed to materialize.)
This year’s ramp closings are a much bigger deal, according to most sources. Here’s the lede from a May 11 post, “The Rampture on the 405 is Real and It Starts June 22,” on Curbed LA:
The Westside and Valley are just about to prove how far they'll go for a carpool lane on the northbound 405. LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's blog announced today that the Rampture ramp closures will commence June 22, and they will continue to inflict pain on the Wilshire Boulevard access to the 405 over the next year.
Yaroslavsky does not use “Rampture” in his discussions of the closures. (His being Jewish may or may not be a reason.) He prefers the more secular, rock-’n’-roll-tinged “Ramp Jam.”
UCLA Today, a generally even-toned publication that covers faculty and staff news, did use “Rampture” in the headline of a May 18 story about the ramp demolition, which is taking place in the university’s neighborhood. The article quoted Bruce Taylor, a UCLA professor in urban planning and director of the Institute for Transportation Studies:
“It would be easier if we could just shut everything down,” Taylor said. “Instead, we have to do this while we’re still moving 300,000 vehicles through there a day. ... There are going to be incredible delays.”
Dave Karwaski, UCLA’s senior associate director of transportation, told UCLA Today: “It’s a good time to take a vacation.”
You can follow the progress of the Sepulveda Pass work via Los Angeles County’s dedicated Twitter feed, @I_405.