101 Freeway Fully Reopens After Man on Freeway Sign Is Detained Near Downtown L.A.

Traffic was backed up for miles on both sides of the 101 Freeway after authorities shut down all but one lane near downtown L.A. because of a person on a freeway sign Thursday afternoon.

The freeway fully reopened around 6 p.m., nearly four hours after the closure went into effect near the Mission Road overpass in the Boyle Heights area around 2:15 p.m.

Though lanes reopened, motorists were still warned to expect congestion.

A man who was "standing precariously on / near a sign above freeway lanes" was taken into protective care by California Highway Patrol around 5:30 p.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department stated. Around 6:15 p.m., aerial video showed CHP still struggling with the man along an off-ramp shoulder, though his arms were eventually restrained behind his back in handcuffs.

The man would be medically assessed and taken to a hospital if necessary, officials said.

He was believed to be having a "behavioral emergency" and possibly "contemplating self harm," according to fire officials.

It was not immediately clear why he climbed up onto the sign.

Sky5 aerial video showed the underwear-clad man clinging to the signage above the roadway around 3:30 p.m. Several firefighters were standing on a ladder as they worked to try and coax him down. Personnel from multiple agencies could be seen standing on near the roadway.

Two large inflatable cushions were placed beneath onto freeway lanes the sign.

All lanes were closed for nearly three hours amid the ongoing situation. One southbound lane was reopened just before 5 p.m., and the northbound freeway reopened at about 6 p.m.

The incident left traffic snarled on both sides of the freeway during the afternoon rush hour.

KTLA's Erika Martin contributed to this report.

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