10 Freeway closed in downtown L.A.: What you need to know to avoid the mess

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A crucial stretch of the 10 Freeway remained closed through downtown L.A. after a major fire damaged the highway early Saturday.

Officials said Sunday that there is no timetable for reopening the freeway but that more structural examinations will be completed by Monday morning.

Here is what we know:

Closures

  • 10 Freeway between East L.A. interchange and Alameda Street.
  • 10 Freeway westbound diverted at Alameda Street.
  • 5 Freeway north and south transition to 10 Freeway westbound.
  • 60 Freeway transition east and west to 10 Freeway westbound.
  • Alameda Street closed in area.

Source: Caltrans

Traffic effects

Officials are urging drivers to avoid the area.

“Angelenos planning to attend major sporting events in or around Downtown Los Angeles, please plan for delays and check for alternative routes. Traffic officers are on location to alleviate traffic impacts. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the impacted area. Please heed traffic officer instructions,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement.

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“I would encourage people to avoid this area between the East L.A. interchange and Alameda Street,” said Lauren Wonder, a Caltrans spokeswoman.

The big test will come Monday during the morning commute, if the freeway remains closed.

Alternatives

Metro provided details on some mass transit lines available during the closure:

  • Line 78 (Huntington)
  • Line 18 (6th Street)
  • Line 66 (Olympic)
  • Line 30 (Pico)
  • Line 33 (Venice)
  • E Line train
  • J Line bus

Here are alternative routes from the L.A. Department of Transportation:

  • Eastbound 10 Exit the freeway at Alameda Street and 16th Street. To detour back onto the freeway, head northbound on Alameda, eastbound on Olympic Boulevard, and re-enter the 10 East mid-block on the approach to Lemon Street. Alternatively, head northbound on Alameda, eastbound on 7th Street, and enter the 5 Freeway. All 10 eastbound freeway on-ramps between the 110 Freeway and Alameda are closed at this time.
  • Westbound 10: Re-enter the 10 Freeway westbound by traveling west on Washington Boulevard, north on Central Avenue, and west again on 16th Street.

Impacts

  • Officials said LADOT Commuter Express buses around downtown L.A. could see scheduling changes and rerouting due to the 10 closure.
  • Los Angeles Unified said schools in the general area will be open Monday but that closure will probably affect traffic issues, especially in Boyle Heights and south of downtown.
  • Officials are urging people who work in downtown to consider working from home if possible.

What’s next

The fire damaged the freeway’s pillars, but Caltrans is not sure how bad the damage is and how quickly repairs can be made.

“We see what we call ‘concrete spalling,’ which is chips of concrete that come off, but we won’t know the extent of the damage until the structural engineers can go in and see if the rebar was burned or not,” Wonder said. “This is still developing.”

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