I-5's Rio Hondo bridge under construction this weekend — prepare for delays

Damage on the Rio Hondo bridge after a fire.
Damage on the Rio Hondo bridge after a fire.
Damage on the Rio Hondo bridge after a fire.
Workers with the bridge deck of the Rio Hondo bridge.
Damage on the Rio Hondo bridge after a fire.
The Rio Hondo bridge.

The Rio Hondo bridge on Interstate 5 in Downey will be under construction starting Saturday, bringing lane closures and delays. The anticipated $3 million repair project is to fix damage caused by a July fire. 

"We want to remind motorists, there are only going to be two lanes open during Saturday [on the southbound side of I-5]," Caltrans spokesperson Lauren Wonder told KPCC. The freeway will be completely closed at night in both directions.

Project location map. (Image: Caltrans)

The northbound side of the freeway will reopen by 5 a.m. Sunday, while the southbound will reopen at 9 a.m., according to Wonder. However, the work may be delayed a week if it rains, Wonder said. If it rains, work may have to be postponed since concrete can't mix with rain, Wonder said.

The bridge's girders, bolts, bearing pads and concrete were all damaged, according to Wonder.


Motorists will face up to a two-hour delay if they travel on the I-5 southbound, Wonder said. "If anybody needs to go on I-5, we just want them to plan ahead, because there could be some major traffic delays," Wonder said. 

Here's what you need to know about the closures:

(Image: Caltrans)

Alternate routes

Wonder suggested a few alternate freeways to take to beat delays and traffic. "People should plan ahead — take 710, take 605. They can take 210 across the top of the Valley and come down 605. They can take 60, 10. They can take 405," she said.

For those making a trip to the Citadel Outlets, Citadel Outlets Express is a good alternative to take to avoid congestion and is free from downtown Los Angeles, Wonder said.

This is the first of two weekends of scheduled closures. There will be a second stage of repairs later in October.