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Lanes Reopen on Southbound 5 Freeway After Fire Causes Damage to Roadway

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All lanes reopened on the southbound 5 Freeway in the Commerce area on Wednesday after being closed for about 36 hours by a fire that caused damage to the roadway, according to Caltrans.

All north and southbound lanes were closed around midnight Monday when a homeless encampment caught fire near Slauson Avenue, Caltrans tweeted.

The blaze was extinguished, but photos of the scene showed the freeway was badly charred.

Lauren Wonder of Caltrans confirmed Wednesday that the roadway was in fact damaged but did not provide further details.

Debris was cleaned from the northbound side, allowing for it to be reopened Tuesday, but officials continued to work into Wednesday to make the southbound side ready for motorists.

Only the southbound slow lane was reopened Tuesday.

About 1 p.m. Wednesday, Caltrans announced that all southbound lanes had reopened.

The lanes were not reopened in time for the morning commute, and Caltrans had said the agency hoped to have some lanes open after noon.

KTLA’s Ginger Chan suggested three alternative routes:

  • Exit the southbound 5 Freeway at South Atlantic Boulevard, head southeast to Telegraph Road, turn left and onto Paramount Boulevard where drivers could re-enter the 5
  • Take the southbound 710 Freeway to the eastbound 91 Freeway and back onto the 5 Freeway
  • Take the eastbound 60 Freeway to the southbound 605 Freeway and back onto the southbound 5