Caltrans upgrades to disrupt Downey traffic from spring on

By Arnold Adler

Contributing Writer

DOWNEY Traffic in the city is expected to increase on weekends this spring and into early 2028 as the California Department of Transportation upgrades the San Gabriel (605) Freedway from Telegraph Road north to Interstate-10 (Santa Monica) Freeway in East Los Angeles. No specific dates were set.

Telegraph is Downey’s northern limit with Pico Rivera to the north.

Detours caused by the construction could also affect neighboring Pico Rivera and Santa Fe Springs and Whittier to the East.

City Council Jan. 23 approved, 5-0, an agreement with Caltrans to allow the state agency to detour traffic onto Downey roads. The work will occur on weekends over a 55-hour duration beginning Friday nights at 10 p.m. and will end with the freeway lanes reopening at 5 a.m. on the following Monday, said Public Works Director/City Engineer Mathew Baumgardener.

The work will be divided into a total of 42, 55-hour closures along the freeway to properly detour the freeway traffic.

 Downey street segments on which freeway traffic will be detoured  are:

 * Telegraph Road from Paramount Boulevard to the east city limit;

*  Paramount Boulevard from Telegraph south to the  I05 Freeway ramps south of Imperial Highway;

 • Lakewood Boulevard from Telegraph south to Florence Avenue; and

 • Florence Avenue from Lakewood Boulevard west to Studebaker Road.

 A total of 10 signalized intersections within the City will be affected by the detours, Baumgardner said.

He notes that Downey Police will be advised of the possible need for traffic enforcement  and to direct traffic,  if necessary on impacted City streets and intersections.

The existing pavement on the I-605 Freeway between the I-10 Freeway and just south of Telegraph Road has deteriorated to a state that requires resurfacing the pavement to bring it to an acceptable condition. plans to resurface the aforementioned portion of the freeway through an upcoming project scheduled to begin in spring 2024.

In addition, Caltrans intends to upgrade overhead and roadside signs, upgrade ADA facilities to  current standards, replace elected bridge approach slabs, rehabilitate landscape areas and enhance roadside safety through this project,  Baumgardner said.

During construction hours, the freeway will be partially closed for up to the 55 hours to allow the completion of the work, and a portion of the freeway traffic will, therefore, under the authority of California Streets and Highways Code Section 93, need to be detoured onto local streets within the adjacent cities and unincorporated county areas.