Planned Barham ramp closure not Universally popular

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Will permanently shutting the southbound Barham Boulevard onramp to the 101 Freeway to make way for muggles actually improve traffic in the Cahuenga Pass?

That’s what NBC/Universal says – but Studio City and Hollywood residents aren’t buying it.

Opposition from neighbors is building to Caltrans’ plan to eliminate the Barham onramp to accommodate a $1.6 billion expansion of Universal Studios – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and all. Under plans approved by both the city and county of L.A., the onramp would be replaced by a new on-ramp on Universal Studios Boulevard – allowing people exiting the park to get right on the freeway.potter-2016

The theme park has agreed to spend $100 million for the roadwork. It calls the Barham closure “an unfortunate trade-off.” But Universal insists the change will help alleviate gridlock on nearby surface streets.

However, folks who rely on the Barham onramp on a daily basis say the expansion will bring in bigger crowds and worsen traffic. They’re outraged that Universal is being allowed to alter a state-funded freeway.

The closure could happen next year.