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5 Freeway closure: 2 northbound lanes reopen

July 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles drivers were dealing with heavy delays with lane closures after a massive truck fire at the 5 and 2 freeways.

Two northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at the location were opened at 4:50 p.m. Monday, Caltrans said. The on-ramp of the southbound 2 Freeway to the southbound 5 Freeway was also reopened.

All northbound lanes and two southbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at the 2 Freeway had been closed.

Caltrans said the northbound SR-2/northbound I-5 connector tunnel will be closed indefinitely.

The closures made a mess of Monday morning traffic.

The closures were the result of a fiery tanker crash that happened Saturday. A tanker truck carrying fuel was making its way to the northbound 5 Freeway from the northbound 2 Freeway when it flipped over on its side at the underpass. Caltrans says the fire compromised the structural integrity of the underpass, causing the freeways to be shut down.

Caltrans was working feverishly on the repairs and hopes to have the freeways back to normal sometime Tuesday.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, 8,500 gallons of gas spilled, with most of it burning up in the fire.The rest of the fuel spilled into a storm drain and then flowed into a side channel along the Los Angeles River.

LAFD says they are waiting to hear from county, state and federal officials on how big or small a mess the accident caused.

An estimated 300,000 motorists travel the stretch of the 5 Freeway daily. Many drivers are relying on surface street detours in the meantime. Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge called the traffic officers that are out in force a necessity.

"Once there's closures, then there's backups. But this is a team of top city traffic officers who are directing the traffic, allowing it to flow, making it move, making it a little bearable," he said.

Commuters are advised to take public transportation if possible. People driving southbound on the 2 Freeway can exit left at Fletcher Drive, go right at Riverside Drive and enter the southbound 5 Freeway. Drivers looking to avoid the area completely can take the 101 or 134 freeways.


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