Much of Downtown was snarled more than usual with traffic Tuesday morning, as three key freeway offramps were shut down in anticipation of next week’s Democratic National Convention and a major road rerouting was set to begin later in the day.

The closures disrupted businesses, and at least one of the handful of Downtown-area commercial construction projects. The logjams also fueled fears of both Downtown workers and city officials that things will only get worse by the time the Democrats hold their party at Staples Center beginning Aug. 14.

Only the Metropolitan Transportation Authority–which operates the Red Line subway from the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood and the Wilshire District and the Blue Line light rail line from Long Beach–offers a welcoming nod to Downtown commuters and convention visitors alike.

“We think a lot of new customers and visitors will be using the Red and Blue lines during the convention” to avoid traffic tie-ups, MTA spokesman Tom Conner tells The MTA will have four Blue Line and two Red Line trains standing by, ready to be pressed into service if needed, he adds.

The 14-day closure of the Pico Boulevard offramp and 11th Street onramp on the northbound 110 Freeway began Monday. Also closed for 14 days is the Pico Boulevard offramp of the westbound 10 Freeway.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, all through traffic will be rerouted around the Staples Center–the convention venue–an area bounded by Olympic Boulevard on the north, Grand Avenue on the east, Union Avenue on the west and Venice Boulevard on the south, through Aug. 20. Authorities say traffic should be back to normal patterns by Monday, Aug. 21.

New detours, partial street closures and other traffic-related changes are expected to appear almost daily until the convention opens next Monday, traffic authorities say.

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