San Gabriel Valley braces for a 210 Freeway ‘Carmageddon’

2017 photo of a practically empty 210 freeway during the La Tuna fire.
2017 photo of a practically empty 210 Freeway during the La Tuna fire. Portions of the 210 Freeway between the 605 Freeway and Irwindale Avenue will be closed from July 20 to July 26 for the San Gabriel River Bridge Hinge Replacement Project.
(Raul Roa)

The California Department of Transportation is warning San Gabriel Valley residents to prepare for extensive closures on the westbound 210 Freeway in Irwindale starting Wednesday.

The 126-hour shutdown will affect the 210 between the 605 and Irwindale Avenue. The closures will begin at 11 p.m. Wednesday and are expected to last until 5 a.m. July 26, Caltrans spokesperson Eric Menjivar said.


During the shutdown, crews will divert traffic from the westbound 210 to the eastbound side, which will be temporarily divided into three lanes for each direction, Menjivar said.

Caltrans is encouraging motorists to take public transportation via the Metro Gold Line or the Metrolink San Bernardino Line to avoid delays. Motorists can also use the 10 or the 60 as alternate routes.

Given that major delays are also expected on local city streets, Caltrans is advising residents to avoid travel during the shutdown and work from home, if possible.

“Caltrans strongly encourages residents to plan ahead prior to leaving to their destination,” Menjivar said.

The shutdown is part of the San Gabriel River Bridge Hinge Replacement Project, in which hinges and older bridge railings will be replaced to bring the freeway “into compliance with current standards.” Storm drainage will also be replaced and the concrete median upgraded as part of the project.

Menjivar said crews will need to demolish two sections of the bridge for the work.


According to Caltrans, no bike trails in the area will be closed. The agency said it has measures in place to ensure that the eastside and westside San Gabriel River bike trails remain open.

The trails will be open during their normal operation hours — from sunrise to sunset — with the use of protective fencing and scaffolding. Caltrans will also offer a detour for cyclists who prefer not to use the bike trails underneath the scaffolding.

The work on the bridge overhang and railing will also be done overnight to ensure that it doesn’t conflict with day-to-day use of the trails under the bridge.

A second shutdown will take place Aug. 17 to 23 on the eastbound 210 between the 605 and Irwindale Avenue as a part of the bridge repair project, Menjivar said.

The closures schedule is subject to change depending on the weather, so residents are encouraged to monitor the Caltrans Quick Map for the most up-to-date traffic information.