'60 Swarm': Eastbound 60 Freeway to Close Again Tonight, Through Weekend

Half of the Pomona (60) Freeway between Riverside and Ontario will be shut down again Friday night and remain closed until Monday morning to facilitate resurfacing projects, and a Caltrans spokeswoman warned that this weekend's closure may be "more challenging" for drivers because at least one detour route will be jammed with people flocking to a two-day show in Fontana.

"It's going to be tight on Interstate 10 and probably Interstate 15," District 8 spokeswoman Terri Kasinga told City News Service. "We're asking people to plan ahead because it's going to be more challenging going toward Fontana, and going through that area is going to take longer." 

The "Hard Summer Music Festival" will be held both Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Fontana Speedway. Kasinga said the festival is expected to draw 80,000 attendees.

"Look at traffic conditions," she said. "Motorists might want to consider I-210 or the 91 freeway as alternates." 

Beginning at 10 tonight, crews will close the entire eastbound 60 between Interstate 15 in Ontario and the 60/91/215 interchange in Riverside, roughly 13 miles. The closure is not scheduled to end until 5 a.m. Monday.

Crews stopped almost 24 hours early last weekend, reopening the eastbound 60 before noon Sunday, but Kasinga said motorists should not expect a repeat this weekend.

"They were doing a lot of preliminary stuff, and there were some mechanical breakdowns," she told CNS. "This weekend, they will be covering a wider area, so if there are no equipment failures, they'll probably work straight through Sunday night." 

Kasinga said the first weekend shutdown did not elicit any irate complaints.

According to Caltrans, the weekend closures on the eastbound 60 will continue, over the same 55-hour periods, until Sept. 23. However, work will be suspended during Labor Day weekend.

Kasinga said the rehabilitation work will move twice as fast because of the partial closures, which are part of what Caltrans has dubbed the "60 Swarm," referring to multiple projects occurring over the next two years along the 60 freeway. The "Swarm compilation" covers a 20-mile stretch, from Chino to downtown Riverside, Kasinga said.

Officials acknowledged that the weekend disruptions will be hard on travelers and businesses that depend on the traffic, but weekday work commuters will be spared delays in return.

The first overnight closure of the westbound 60 is scheduled Sept. 27 and will also begin at 10 p.m., then end at 5 a.m. Sept. 30. Officials said the westbound closures will continue over the ensuing seven weekends, ending Nov. 18. Work will be suspended for Veterans Day weekend, though.

Entrance and exit ramps to the closed sections of the 60 will be inaccessible to traffic. Crews will use the closures to remove and replace entire slabs of pavement, according to Caltrans.

In addition to the shutdowns, intermittent and extended lane closures are planned in the construction zone, between Euclid Avenue in Ontario and the 60/91/215, officials said, adding that portions of the Interstate 15/Route 60 interchange in Ontario will also be periodically closed during the Swarm.

Single lane closures began last week in several locations and will wrap up in November 2021, when the pavement replacement project is slated to conclude, according to Caltrans.

Rancho Cucamonga-based McLoughlin Engineering Co. is overseeing the $134 million project.

The other part of the 60 Swarm is comprised of bridge replacements, managed by Riverside-based Sema Construction Inc.

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 Tuesday night.

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.

The $23 million bridge replacement projects are slated to end in the fall of 2021.

More information is available at www.60Swarm.com, or via the 60 Swarm hotline: 833-607-9276.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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