It was a rough morning for commuters in the Irwindale area Thursday, the first full day of a five-day closure on the eastbound side of the Foothill (210) Freeway to accommodate upgrades to the San Gabriel River Bridge.
The eastbound freeway was closed at 10 p.m. Wednesday between the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway and Irwindale Avenue. The stretch will remain blocked through 5 a.m. Tuesday.
During the closure, all eastbound traffic is being diverted onto the westbound freeway, which has been reconfigured to allow three lanes of traffic in each direction.
A similar closure on the westbound side last month led to major traffic tie-ups in both directions, and the start of the eastbound closure Thursday had similar results, with vehicles jammed on the freeway and surrounding streets.
Caltrans officials are urging motorists to find alternate routes or rely on public transit to avoid delays.
The closure is part of a $30 million project to upgrade the San Gabriel River Bridge by installing improved bridge hinges and railings and strengthening bridge decks.
In addition to closing the eastbound side of the freeway, ramps from the 605 Freeway to the eastbound 210 will be closed, along with the westbound 210 Irwindale Avenue onramps, the westbound 210 connector to the southbound 605 and the eastbound 210 Mount Olive Drive onramps, according to Caltrans.