A key Los Angeles freeway closed for construction work was set to reopen about 16 hours ahead of schedule yesterday, bringing an early end to a much-hyped “Carmageddon” traffic crisis that never materialized, officials said.

“Mission accomplished,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa proclaimed at a late-morning news conference, saying the early reopening would save about $400,000 in salary and other costs associated with the project.

L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, widely credited with popularizing the phrase “Carmageddon,” said a public campaign urging motorists to stay off the roads in the region surrounding the closure also was a resounding success.

“Two-thirds of the people who normally drive the freeways of this area were not on the freeways ... and everybody can live to talk about it,” he said.