60 Freeway tanker fire: Detours in place around demolished Paramount Bridge

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Caltrans crews plan to shut down most of the lanes on the eastbound 60 Freeway past Wilcox at 9 p.m. Thursday night. They have more demolition work to do on the fire-damaged Paramount Bridge.

Even after the lanes reopen in the morning, driving near the bridge is a — but relief is on the way.

When that gasoline tanker truck caught fire on the 60 Freeway last week, commuters in the San Gabriel Valley were faced with “Instant Carmageddon.”

The Paramount Bridge had to come down, but traffic engineers had no time to figure out surface street detours.

With no bridge, anyone north of the 60 can’t get south to the Shops at Montebello Mall or the movie theaters. If you’re south of the 60, you can’t get north to Resurrection Cemetery, one of the biggest Catholic cemeteries in Los Angeles County.

But now Caltrans, L.A. County Public Works and several cities have worked up detours to get you from here to there. There’s a map at the Caltrans District 7 website.

Crews are putting up traffic signs to direct drivers. They'll also re-stripe some lanes to help move traffic faster.

Basically, anyone that gets off the 60 Freeway at Paramount Boulevard will head east to San Gabriel Boulevard. The detour means a drive that took used to take only seconds now takes 10 minutes or so. It’ll be that way until the new Paramount Bridge is finished next summer.

Montebello Bus Lines had to tweak the routes for Lines 20 and 70. Both traveled over the Paramount Bridge, but no more. The City of Montebello website has details.

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