A freeway project east of Los Angeles that required closures for more than a dozen weeks has come to an end.
The westbound 60 Freeway between Riverside and Ontario was shut down Saturday and Sunday for the final time this year as part of a resurfacing project that got underway more than three months ago.
For the seventh weekend since September, a closure on the westbound 60 got underway Friday night between the 60/91/215 interchange in Riverside and Interstate 15 in Ontario. The closure was lifted by early Monday.
The 55-hour shutdown replicated what occurred over eight weekends on the eastbound side. Those closures started on July 26 and concluded Sept. 23.
"This whole diversion has gone really well, a lot better than expected," Caltrans District 8 spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said. "It could have been much worse. But people did a great job finding alternate routes."
The westbound closures began the weekend of Sept. 28-29. The consecutive weekend-long shutdowns were suspended for Veterans Day weekend to accommodate Labor Day holiday weekend travel on the eastbound side.
The agency's objective at the outset of the project was to have all the freeway closures finished before the holidays.
Top news of the day
Kasinga said additional closures may be necessary in 2020, but those would be intermittent, and no specific dates have even been discussed.
Officials said the rehabilitation work, which entails replacing slabs of degraded pavement, has moved twice as fast because of the closures, dubbed the "60 Swarm" in reference to multiple projects occurring over the next two years along the 60 freeway. Altogether, the swarm covers a 20-mile stretch, from Chino to downtown Riverside.
In addition to the shutdowns, periodic extended lane closures are occurring in the construction zone between Euclid Avenue in Ontario and the 60/91/215. Part of the Interstate 15/Route 60 interchange in Ontario has been reconfigured for the swarm.
Single lane closures began 16 weeks ago in several locations and will conclude in November 2021, when the $134 million pavement replacement project is supposed to be finished, according to Caltrans.
The other part of the 60 Swarm is comprised of bridge replacements, costing $23 million. According to Caltrans, the Benson Avenue, Monte Vista Avenue and Pipeline Avenue overcrossings in Chino are all due to be razed and replaced with new spans. Alternating east- and westbound lane closures for the bridge work started 15 weeks ago.
Most of the overnight closures are occurring between Ramona Avenue and Reservoir Street in Chino.
Officials said the current bridges were constructed with dimensions that make them prone to being bumped by oversized truck loads. Over the years, the repeated minor hits have had a cumulative impact, requiring the two-lane bridges to be replaced.