One of the busiest interchanges in Southern California will be shut down for a full 55 hours this weekend to allow for the construction of two arches.
AMY JOHNSON: Well, brace for gridlock this weekend near downtown LA. A stretch of the 101 will shut down for hours so crews can work on the new 6th Street Bridge.
Now, a two-and-a-half mile stretch of the highway will be closed from the 10 and 101 split just east of downtown LA. KCAL 9's Joy Benedict is there live with a closer look for us. Good morning, Joy.
JOY BENEDICT: Good morning, Amy. Yeah, it doesn't seem like it's a large portion of the freeway, but we know how this area is. And if you're just closing down a couple of miles of it, it's going to create quite a lot of gridlock and headache for drivers all around the area.
I mean, I need coffee and I'm not even on the road yet, so I can't even imagine how are feeling already. But nonetheless, we are live over here. Looking at that 6th Street Bridge, you can see they're starting to pump some of the concrete, and that is what they have the closure for the 101 because of.
They are pumping the concrete into these big two giant archways that extend over the 101 Freeway. But take a look at this video from last night right when the closure started. The closure began last night at 10:00 PM. It lasts all the way until Monday morning. It should reopen sometime before rush hour around 5:00 AM.
But this is quite a massive project. That's 55 hours of closure for a $588 million reconstruction of this bridge. Now the previous 6th Street viaduct was built back in 1932, connecting Boyle Heights to downtown.
Of course, it has been a landmark for this city for a long time, appearing in many fancy films like "Grease," "Terminator 2," "Judgment Day." But the bridge itself needed to be replaced because of seismic vulnerability and deterioration caused by a chemical reaction in that concrete. That was found about five years ago.
Each arch is 10 feet wide and spans about 300 feet. Each is going to take about 65 trucks of concrete just to create, but it should be just a beautiful archway into the city and another, I guess, a landmark for many people here. But nonetheless, for those driving around, it's kind of a hassle this weekend.
- They got to give us some alternate routes. It's going to be crazy, chaos.
DANIEL GUTIERREZ: With the whole COVID thing going on, a lot more people are going out. So traffic's starting to pick up, especially right now at the traffic hour and the weekend, too. And with the heat going on, people want to go to the beaches and all that, so now it can be even worse.
KATINA ORTIZ: It's going to be a big mess. I wasn't even aware about it. So I think the city needs to do a better job about notifying everyone.
JOY BENEDICT: All right, well, take a look at the full screen 'cause that gives you a clearer picture of exactly where the closures are that are lasting this weekend. As we said, it's not a long stretch of the 101, but it does go all the way from the 10 to the 60 Freeway. So there are several areas that are going to be affected not only those traveling the 101, but those trying to get on and off of on ramps in and around this area.
You're also going to see quite a lot of closures. So that's something you want to take into consideration before you head out and about today to get where you need to go. But as for the bridge itself, I think it's gonna look amazing. It'll be beautiful when it's done.
And of course, they built the park underneath it. So there's a lot of things going on in this area, some beautiful projects. But we should also say those last few hours of this bridge closure are not because of the concrete, but it's because they're going to go down below and they're going to do some maintenance work down there on the 101, which, of course, will make everyone's drive a little bit better. I'll send it back to you, Amy.
- All right. Joy, thanks so much.