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60 Freeway opens on time for Monday commute

December 19, 2011 |  6:55 am

The westbound 60 Freeway opened on time for the Monday morning commute after crews overnight continued demolishing the Montebello overpass damaged by last week's massive tanker explosion
The westbound 60 Freeway opened on time for the Monday morning commute after crews overnight continued demolishing the Montebello overpass damaged by last week's massive tanker explosion.

Although the freeway was opened in both directions Saturday, Caltrans is still working on tearing down the damaged Paramount Boulevard overpass. Crews closed the freeway for that work at 11 p.m. Sunday, and it was reopened at 5 a.m. Monday.

Demolition is expected to continue Monday night into Tuesday morning, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., and again Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The work will close all westbound lanes of the freeway, also called the Pomona Freeway, between the 605 and 710 freeways in the San Gabriel Valley.

A tanker truck filled with thousands of gallons of gasoline exploded Wednesday afternoon, damaging the roadway and overpass and shutting down an east-west corridor that is one of the busiest in the nation.

Eastside and Inland Empire drivers likened the traffic chaos during the closure to what had been forecast for "Carmageddon," last summer's 405 Freeway closure.

The 60 Freeway is a vital commerce route for trucks moving freight between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to distribution centers and warehouses in the Inland Empire.

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--- Rong-Gong Lin II and Carol J. Williams

Photo: Workers on Friday demolish the 60 Freeway overpass above Paramount Boulevard after last week's tanker truck explosion. Credit: Christina House / For The Times

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