‘Bigger than Carmageddon’: 60 Freeway closures begin Monday

People living near 60 Freeway in Ontario breathe worst air in the Southland
Mark your calendars. The 60 Freeway will be closed for 15 weekends.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A major freeway artery will undergo repairs for 15 weekends over the next four months. Multiple freeway projects start Monday, affecting drivers who take State Route 60.

According to the California Department of Transportation, closures on the 60 Freeway from Ontario to Riverside will start July 22 and last through mid-November.

Excluding Labor Day weekend, eastbound lanes between Interstate 15 and the 60/91/215 junction in Riverside will be closed for eight weekends starting July 26, followed by westbound closures for the following seven weekends. Lanes will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday and on weekday nights from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.


“This is huge,” said Terri Kasinga, Caltrans’ chief of public and media affairs at District 8. “It’s going to be bigger than ‘Carmageddon’ or ‘Coronageddon’ because it’s 15 weekends.”

Carmageddon” shut down the 405 Freeway for a weekend in 2011 as workers expanded the highway, prompting residents to avoid what many feared would be a traffic nightmare by leaving town or staying planted at home. In 2016, the 91 Freeway was closed for a weekend of repairs, eliciting a “Coronageddon” response in Riverside and surrounding counties. Both closures lasted 55 hours — a fraction of what’s to come.

Three bridges in Chino will also be replaced over the next 18 months as part of the so-called 60 Swarm projects. Replacements will occur at Pipeline, Benson and Monte Vista avenues.

The projects are part of a $134-million project to replace deteriorating pavement and stripe lanes from Ontario to Riverside. It includes $16.9 million in funding from Senate Bill 1 and the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

“We’re asking people to avoid the area and use alternate freeways,” Kasinga said.

The remainder of work will be completed through summer 2021.