Caltrans officials plan new freeway lane closures in the Downey area that may last into the morning rush hour this week, as overnight work will leave just one lane open on sections of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway starting Wednesday southeast of Los Angeles.
And with continued total freeway closures further south, the 5 Freeway might be best to be entirely avoided at night between the Long Beach (710) Freeway near East Los Angeles and the Riverside (91) Freeway in Orange County all week.
The $1.7 million in new roadwork is in Downey and the City of Commerce, north of the 605, where 60-year-old concrete will be dug out in sections and replaced. Work will start Wednesday through Friday evenings at 9 p.m., with one lane open in either direction.
The work should wrap by 5 a.m. Thursdays, but on Fridays the work will last until 8 a.m., and on Saturdays, until 10 a.m., the state warns in its news statement.
And south of the 605, a major rebuilding of the 5 Freeway will continue to require complete overnight freeway closures next week. A series of four major projects is reconstructing and widening nearly all of the freeway between the 605 and Beach Boulevard.
South of the 605, the 5 will be totally closed to traffic heading toward Orange County starting at 11 p.m. Sunday night, and every night through Wednesday or Thursday. Traffic heading toward Los Angeles will have only one lane Sunday night, but will be closed completely Monday through Wednesday or Thursday nights, depending on the weather and how fast the work gets done.
The slab replacement was announced by Caltrans as the state agency is anxious to show that recently-approved, increased gas taxes are being put to work.
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The repaving project is possible due to Senate Bill 1, the controversial gas tax increase. Republican party activists hope voters will repeal the tax increase, but business interests have supported the tax as necessary to keep cargo moving.
New Caltrans Director Laurie Berman said the gas tax "is addressing the backlog of repairs needed across the state highway system to keep people and freight moving."
The gas tax will pay to replace 17,000 miles of pavement across the state and 563 lane miles in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, Caltrans officials said.
Caltrans will close the three right lanes of either the north- or southbound 5 Freeway starting at 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, until 5 a.m. the next days.
And on Fridays, the lane closures may be in effect from midnight until 8 a.m. Saturdays, the state warns the freeway may be one lane only until 9 a.m.