In this article, you will get all information regarding 210 Freeway closure: 5-mile backup and an hour delay slam commuters

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

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

Most affected were motorists and truckers from eastern L.A. County and the Inland Empire, driving the preferred route heading  into Irwindale, Duarte, Arcadia, Monrovia, Pasadena and the San Fernando Valley.

Viewed from the Irwindale Ave. overpass looking east, traffic is backed up from Azusa Ave. 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 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 through 5 a.m. Tuesday, July 26. The 1.3-mile section of the freeway is shut down for 126 straight hours to allow work crews to rebuild the westbound-lanes portion of the San Gabriel River Bridge. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
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 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 through 5 a.m. Tuesday, July 26. The 1.3-mile section of the freeway is shut down for 126 straight hours to allow work crews to rebuild the westbound-lanes portion of the San Gabriel River Bridge. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Traffic was nearly stopped from the 1.3-mile closure in Irwindale to the 57 Freeway, according to some reports. By 9 a.m. Caltrans reported heavier than usual traffic backed up at least 5 miles to Grand Avenue in Glendora, said Eric Menjivar, Caltrans spokesperson.

“This is pretty much what we expected,” Menjivar said Thursday morning. “We anticipated an hour delay.”

Caltrans diverted vehicles from the westbound 210 lanes at the closure onto the northern half of the eastbound 210, where six lanes were split: three for westbound traffic and three for eastbound traffic. Because of the shifting and lane reduction, delays also hit the eastbound 210 Freeway lanes through Monrovia and Duarte.

The major bridge repair work also shut down the connector from the northbound 605 to the eastbound 210, jamming traffic for a mile up to the northern terminus.

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

Backups on Huntington Drive extended into Azusa where it becomes Foothill Boulevard. Many cars and trucks continued westbound on Huntington, the city of Duarte’s main street, or turned westbound from 605/Mt. Olive, further crowding Huntington Drive. Most drove around the freeway closure and then got back on in 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 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 through 5 a.m. Tuesday, July 26. The 1.3-mile section of the freeway is shut down for 126 straight hours to allow work crews to rebuild the westbound-lanes 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 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 through 5 a.m. Tuesday, July 26. The 1.3-mile section of the freeway is shut down for 126 straight hours to allow work crews to rebuild the westbound-lanes portion of the San Gabriel River Bridge. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The onslaught of big-rig trucks onto Huntington Drive, where Duarte recently built condos and townhomes in a mix with commercial centers, angered Duarte City Councilman Sam Kang.

“This is seriously affecting my city. Huntington is becoming the 210,” Kang said Thursday afternoon. “I have all these eighteen-wheelers going through on Huntington Drive. They are getting off at Mt. Olive and going on Huntington. They are roughing up our roads.”

Kang wanted Caltrans to divert the 605 traffic at Lower Azusa Road, then onto Irwindale Avenue, thereby avoiding Mt. 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 closure by taking backroads. He said normally the 210 Freeway westbound in mornings takes 45 minutes to go a few miles, so he was prepared to get creative.

“I drive them from La Puente,” he explained while stopping for fuel at a service station on Huntington Drive and Mt. Olive Drive. “I always take alternate routes to the 210.”

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

A continuous string of cars drove by, having exited the freeway and cut down Los Lomas Road to Royal Oaks to avoid Huntington Drive congestion.

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

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

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

Likewise, Inland Empire commuters should take the 10 or 60 freeways westbound 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 data from sigalert.com.

The traffic snarls most likely will not get better until the westbound lanes open at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

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

That means he’s predicting no delay in the re-opening. And Caltrans is aiming for an earlier re-opening time, he said.

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

 

210 Freeway closure: 5-mile backup and an hour delay slam commuters

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