Caltrans says the reason for the closure is to repair two bridge hinges on the San Gabriel River Bridge.
IRWINDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A five-day closure of the eastbound 210 Freeway in the Irwindale area was underway Thursday to make way for the second phase of a construction project that was expected to snarl traffic.
On Wednesday night, the eastbound lanes were closed between the 605 Freeway and Irwindale Avenue. The closure will last through 5 a.m. Aug. 23. Last month, there were five days of lane restrictions while crews worked on the westbound lanes.
During the closure, all eastbound traffic will be diverted onto the westbound freeway, which will be reconfigured to allow three lanes of traffic in each direction.
"It will be on the San Gabriel River Bridge in Irwindale, so if your commute is through the San Gabriel Valley on the I-210, we strongly suggest to use I-10 or State Route 60," said Eric Menjivar, a Caltrans public information officer.
Many commuters tried to get around the traffic by taking Foothill Boulevard, but that was also bumper-to-bumper Thursday morning.
"It's brutal. It's crazy," said one mom who was traveling from Pomona to Pasadena during the morning rush hour, wondering if there was a better way to go.
"I'll be thinking about that all day. I'll be trying to figure out a different route."
According to Caltrans, the reason for this closure is to repair two bridge hinges on the San Gabriel River Bridge.
"It's where the bridge provides flexibility in case of seismic activity or an earthquake," Menjivar said.
This is a result of a routine inspection on the more than 50-year-old bridge.
In July, Caltrans crews completed phase one of the bridge hinge repairs, impacting westbound lanes.
Crews will spend about 126 hours on this second phase heading eastbound.
To avoid traffic: plan ahead, take alternate routes, use public transportation or just stay home.
"If you can work from home and you have that opportunity, take advantage of it," Menjivar said. "Just avoid the area and avoid yourself a headache."
City News Service contributed to this report.