LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Drivers on the Westside were experiencing heavier than usual traffic congestion Wednesday evening as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued his visit to California.
Sheriff’s officials said motorists should expect a roughly 90-minute rush-hour delay along the Pacific Coast Highway as Netanyahu returned to Los Angeles Wednesday to attend a gala reception in Malibu.
Officials reported an approximately five-mile backup on the southbound PCH between Malibu Canyon and Topanga Canyon at approximately 5:30 p.m. during a security sweep.
SKY9 reported traffic was later backed up for a couple of miles on the westbound 10 Freeway, which had been completely shut down for the prime minister’s motorcade. Sections of the 405 had also been shut down until the motorcade passed through. Officials warned motorists to avoid PCH from the 10 Freeway toward Malibu until 11 p.m.
Netanyahu arrived in Southern California to meet with local business leaders Tuesday and attended the premiere of an Israel tourism film he’s featured in titled “Israel: The Royal Tour” at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.
He then traveled to Northern California to meet with Gov. Jerry Brown early Wednesday, when they formally signed an economic cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening economic ties between California and Israel. He was also scheduled to meet with officials from Silicon Valley tech firms including Apple, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Ebay during the visit.
Netanyahu was scheduled to conclude his trip to California Thursday.
Police encourage drivers to avoid the following areas during his stay:
— Santa Monica Boulevard between the 405 Freeway and Melrose from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from 4 to 11 p.m.;
— the 405 Freeway between Wilshire and the 105 Freeway, also from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from 4 to 11 p.m.;
— the Santa Monica (10) Freeway between the 405 and Pacific Coast Highway from 6:30 to 10:45 p.m.; and
— PCH between the 10 Freeway and Malibu Canyon Road from 6:30 to 11 p.m.
— Santa Monica Boulevard between the 405 Freeway and Melrose from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.;
— Pico Boulevard between Roxbury and Castello from 8:45 to 10 a.m.; and
— the 405 Freeway between Wilshire and the 105 Freeway from 12:15 and 12:45 p.m.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)