Governor Gavin Newsom declared on Thursday that the fire-damaged 10 Freeway would reopen, "Tuesday at the latest," during a news conference at the downtown Los Angeles fire site. This is much earlier than initially anticipated.
Over 100 columns along the freeway stretch suffered damage, with nine or ten severely affected. To support the overpass during repairs, construction crews have erected wooden structures to shore up the overpass as work proceeds underneath.
Newsom was optimistic, stating, “by Tuesday next week, trucks, passenger vehicles in both directions will be moving again,” Newsom said. “We’ve doubled the crews, we’ve doubled down on our efforts here.”
The governor disclosed that 250 contractors, including 30 carpenters enlisted on the most recent day, are working to repair the bridge. “Things continue to move favorably in our direction,” Newsom continued. “The bridge structure itself seems to be in better shape than we anticipated.”
Mayor Karen Bass acknowledged Los Angeles residents who switched to public transit and avoided surface street congestion during the week-long freeway closure, calling it, “...a good day in Los Angeles,”
The fire, suspected to be a case of arson, originated beneath the 10 Freeway at a property leased from the California Department of Transportation. No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.
Although the fire's exact cause remains undisclosed, Governor Newsom stated, "there was malicious intent." The repair project's cost is also still being assessed. Sources familiar with the investigation revealed that pallets and sanitizer stored under the overpass, accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributed to the fire's intensity.
The fire, reported early Saturday, damaged the freeway overpass, destroyed vehicles, including a firetruck, and prompted the Los Angeles Fire Department to inspect other underpasses in the city. Mayor Bass emphasized the city's commitment to ensuring safety under its freeways, especially in leased spaces. “L.A. city wants to make sure our house is in order,” she said. “We have a number of leases under the freeway as well. So we are looking at those to make sure that what we’re doing is appropriate as well.”
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