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Highway 39 closure puts damper on Labor Day plans

September 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The California Highway Patrol shut down Highway 39 into the San Gabriel Mountains on Monday. Some people looking for a Labor Day wilderness experience were turned away.

The road was shut due to the amount of people heading up to the canyon. The road reopened just after 4 p.m., but not before people like Alex Quinones could find somewhere else to celebrate.

"This is the first time this has happened," he said. "I usually come out here with my parents, and it's always open."

The CHP said because so many people park along the roads, it becomes a problem if emergency vehicles need to get through.

"We're suggesting other alternate routes, maybe if they want to enjoy the mountain, they could either go over to Highway 2, Mount Baldy is still open, or even Lytle Creek," said California Highway Patrol Officer Brandon Curtiss.

It was certainly a busy day in the canyon. Just ask Myra Velasco of San Bernardino.

"Really crowded, we saw 10 cars every minute, it was crowded, I never thought it was going to be like this, we couldn't even find a place to stay," she said.

But for those who did make it up, whether for some off-roading or for a cool dip, it was well worth it.

"I was swimming and playing with the friends," said 7-year-old Aiden Martinez.


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