The closure of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles after a massive fire broke out over the weekend has created a nightmare for commuters and prompted concerns for businesses in the impacted areas.
Cars in bumper-to-bumper traffic inched their way around I-10 near Alameda Street near downtown Monday, with some drivers saying it was hard not to lose their cool.
“I had a moment of road rage,” commuter Rachel Perlman told KTLA’s Omar Lewis. “I mean, usually I can be mellow, but I was hoping I didn’t run out of gas before I got here.”
For nearby businesses, like Aurthur’s Garden restaurant on Hooper Avenue, it was rush hour without the rush of customers.
“It’s bad. It affects everything around,” Alma Lorenzo, owner of Aurthur’s Garden, said. “We don’t get as many clients traffic gets so bad.
The restaurant owner said she noticed a drastic drop in business since the fire started over the weekend and said that this isn’t even the first time flames have sparked up nearby.
“It’s been happening often enough,” Lorenzo said.
With the 10 Freeway closed from Alameda Street to the East L.A. connector, Caltrans posted this map of detour routes.
“Losing this stretch of the 10 Freeway will take time and money from people’s lives and businesses,” L.A. Mayor Karen Bass said.
While officials urge everyone to avoid the surrounding area, if possible. If you can’t avoid it, drivers are advised to take surface streets like Washington Boulevard to Central Avenue and then 16th Street going westbound. If you’re headed eastbound, officials advised commuters to 7th Street or Olympic Boulevard to Alameda.
Either way, Angelenos are being told to be patient because it’s unclear if the freeway can be repaired or needs to be replaced entirely.
Officials have urged residents to take public transit if they need to get to or through downtown to avoid the traffic nightmare. However, they also suggest planning for delays as Metro rail and bus lines are likely to be more crowded. More information on Metro routes can be found here.