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5-mile backup and an hour delay slam commuters – Daily Bulletin

Freeway closures and long delays greeted commuters Thursday on the westbound 210 Freeway and the northbound portion of the 605 Freeway in the eastern San Gabriel Valley during Caltrans’ first continuous, five-day closure.

Caltrans is repairing a 50-year-old concrete bridge that spans the San Gabriel River, requiring the closure of all westbound lanes between Irwindale Avenue and the 605 interchange. They will remain closed until early Tuesday morning.

Most affected were drivers and truckers from east LA County and the Inland Empire, driving the preferred route to Irwindale, Duarte, Arcadia, Monrovia, Pasadena and the San Fernando Valley.

Viewed from the Irwindale Avenue overpass looking east, traffic is backed up from Azusa Avenue. The 210 Freeway between Irwindale Avenue and the 605 interchange, where all westbound lanes were closed on Thursday, July 21, 2022, for five continuous days, from 11:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 to 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26 July. The 1.3-mile section of the highway has been closed for 126 straight hours to allow work crews to rebuild the westbound lane portion of the San Gabriel River Bridge. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Traffic was almost at a standstill from the 1.3 mile closure in Irwindale to Highway 57, according to some reports. As of 9 a.m. Caltrans reported heavier-than-usual traffic backed up at least 5 miles on Grand Avenue in Glendora, said Eric Menjivar, Caltrans spokesman.

“That’s pretty much it what we expected“, said Menjivar on Thursday morning. “We anticipated an hour delay.”

Caltrans diverted vehicles from the 210 westbound lanes to the closure on the north half of the 210 eastbound, where six lanes were separated: three for westbound traffic and three for eastbound traffic. Due to lane shifts and reductions, delays also hit the eastbound lanes of the 210 Freeway through Monrovia and Duarte.

Major bridge repair work also closed the connector from the 605 northbound to the 210 eastbound, blocking traffic for a mile to the north end.

Thousands of cars apparently ignored the closure signs and continued to the end, exiting onto Mount Olive Drive and turning left onto Huntington Drive (Route 66).

Reservations on Huntington Drive extended into Azusa where it becomes Foothill Boulevard. Many cars and trucks continued west into Huntington, Duarte’s main road town, or turned west from the 605/Mt. Olive, further filling Huntington Drive. Most drove around the highway closure and then returned to Duarte or Monrovia.

The 210 Freeway between Irwindale Avenue and the 605 interchange, where all westbound lanes were closed on Thursday, July 21, 2022, for five continuous days, from 11:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 to 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26 July. The 1.3-mile section of the highway has been closed for 126 straight hours to allow work crews to rebuild the westbound lane portion of the San Gabriel River Bridge. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
The 210 Freeway between Irwindale Avenue and the 605 interchange, where all westbound lanes were closed on Thursday, July 21, 2022, for five continuous days, from 11:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 to 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26 July. The 1.3-mile section of the highway has been closed for 126 straight hours to allow work crews to rebuild the westbound lane portion of the San Gabriel River Bridge. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The rampage of big trucks on Huntington Drive, where Duarte recently built apartments and townhouses in a mix with shopping centers, angered Duarte City Councilman Sam Kang.

“This is seriously affecting my city. Huntington is becoming the 210,” Kang said Thursday afternoon. “I’ve got all these eighteen wheels going down Huntington Drive. They are going down to Mount Olive and going to Huntington. They are destroying our roads.”

Kang wanted Caltrans to divert 605 traffic to Lower Azusa Road, then Irwindale Avenue, thus avoiding Mount Olive and Huntington Drive. His city is considering asking Caltrans to pay for road repairs.

“Caltrans should have planned this more thoroughly,” Kang said.

Raymond Gonzalez, who had a truck full of windows to deliver, said he avoided the shutdown by taking back roads. He said it usually takes the 210 westbound in the morning 45 minutes to cover a few miles, so he was prepared to get creative.

“I drive them out of La Puente,” he explained as he stopped for gas at a service station at Huntington Drive and Mount Olive Drive. “I always take the alternate route to the 210.”

On Royal Oaks Drive, a winding two-lane road through the leafy residential areas of Duarte, Monrovia and Bradbury, Lynn Macapangay was walking her dog, Brownie.

A steady stream of cars passed by, having exited the freeway and cut off Los Lomas Road to Royal Oaks to avoid blocking Huntington Drive.

“Yes, I noticed there are a lot more cars on this side street than usual. It’s all traffic coming from the Inland Empire,” she said.

Menjivar had some advice for drivers for the next five days: Take alternate highways.

For example, cars and trucks heading north on the 605 freeway from the Long Beach or Whittier areas should take the 60 or 10 freeways. In other words, avoid the 210 interchange.

Likewise, Inland Empire travelers should take the 10 or 60 freeways west and avoid the 210 freeway west of the 57 freeway. However, the 10 freeway was heavier than usual near West Covina on Thursday, according to sigalert .com.

Traffic snarls likely won’t improve until the westbound lanes reopen at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

The good news is that crews had already done the substantial demolition of the bridge by Thursday afternoon. “We are on schedule,” said Menjivar.

That means he doesn’t foresee any delays in reopening. And Caltrans is aiming for an earlier reopening time, he said.

“We are optimistic. We are working hard to meet our deadline,” he said.

5-mile backup and an hour delay slam commuters – Daily Bulletin Source link 5-mile backup and an hour delay slam commuters – Daily Bulletin

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