Los Angeles

Holiday Travelers Crying Over Thousands of Gallons of Spilled Milk on 5 Freeway in Burbank

The crash left a milky sheen on the road in a construction zone Wednesday morning, when holiday travelers and weekday commuters hit the road

Holiday traffic backed up early Wednesday on several Southern California freeways, including a stretch of the 5 Freeway in Burbank where an overturned tanker carrying milk blocked lanes for hours.

The crash, reported around 5:30 a.m., was in an already congested construction zone on the southbound side of the freeway. The tanker was carrying about 6,200 gallons of milk, which spilled across freeway lanes. 

Lanes near Burbank Boulevard remained closed until mid-day, allowing crews to tow the tanker. The Burbank Police Department issued a traffic advisory, saying drivers should expect "significant delays" and use the 170 and 210 freeways to get around the tie-up.

No serious injuries were reported. The tanker displaced a row of concrete barriers on the side of the freeway.

This year's Thanksgiving holiday is expected to be one of the busiest in a decade, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. An estimated 3.87 million Southern Californians are expected to travel during the holiday weekend -- a 3.6 percent increase from last year and the highest figure since 2007. And, the vast majority of those travelers will be in cars.

The worst traffic was expected Tuesday between 3:15 p.m. and 6 p.m., when holiday travelers and weekday commuters are on the road at the same time, according to AAA and INRIX. Travel times were expected to more than double during that period, making it the worst time to travel to Los Angeles International Airport.

A dive into data from traffic app Waze suggests users avoid these traffic tie-ups times. 

  • Tuesday, Nov. 21 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 22 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 23 between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 24 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 25 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 26 between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 27 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Where are all those travelers headed? San Francisco remains the most popular Thanksgiving destination for Southern Californians, followed by San Diego, Anaheim, the Grand Canyon and Santa Barbara, according to AAA.

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