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Bridge demolition will close 101 Freeway for 40 hours in February

Bridge demolition will close 101 Freeway for 40 hours in February
The 101 Freeway will close for 40 hours in February so crews can demolish a portion of the6th StreetViaduct. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The 101 Freeway through downtown Los Angeles will be closed for two days at the beginning of February as construction crews demolish a portion of the 6th Street Viaduct, officials said Friday.

A chemical reaction inside the iconic 84-year-old bridge is causing it to slowly crumble, and crews have been working for months to begin the demolition process.

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A portion of the bridge passes over the 101 and cannot be removed with traffic zooming underneath, officials said.

The closure is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Feb. 5 and is expected to last about 40 hours.

The freeway will be closed from the interchange with the 10 Freeway, near Union Station, to the interchange with the 5 Freeway south of downtown. The onramp to the 101 from the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway will also be closed.

"We are encouraging drivers to plan ahead, expect delays and to follow detour signs to alternate freeways," Carrie Bowen, director of Caltrans District 7, said in a prepared statement.

Construction on a $449-million replacement for the 6th Street Viaduct is expected to last until 2019.

For more transportation news, follow @laura_nelson on Twitter.

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