The I-10 Freeway will reopen in three to five weeks after a nearly 8-acre fire underneath the interstate caused severe damage, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom.
The freeway south of downtown Los Angeles is one of the busiest highways in the U.S., with about 300,000 vehicles traveling it daily. It was closed November 11 after pallets, trailers and vehicles caught fire in storage yards underneath the highway.
The fire damaged up to 100 support pillars beneath the bridge, Newsom reports.
“After testing samples and assessing damage from the site, state transportation officials currently believe the damage can be repaired without demolishing and rebuilding the 450-foot span of the 10 Freeway, which could have taken upwards of 6 months,” Newsom reports.
“Union crews are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to finish removing the extensive debris and shore up the pillars. These efforts are aimed at making the necessary repairs to safely reopen the freeway to moving traffic as soon as possible.”
He added that “critical materials for the repairs are already on site.”
Newsom has also announced that the fire has been deemed suspicious by Cal Fire, which is conducting an arson investigation. The state filed to eject the lessee of the storage yard site, Apex Development Inc. “months ago,” Newsom said, “…for failing to pay rent and violating the lease agreement by subletting the property without state and federal approval.”
A court date on that matter is scheduled for February.
By the end of the week, the public can start watching the progress on the I-10 Freeway’s repairs by live stream at Fixthe10.ca.gov.
“Thanks to the fast work of our first responders, workers and engineers, we now expect to be able to reopen the 10 Freeway to traffic in three to five weeks,” Newsom said. “California will continue working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get the job done and get Los Angeles moving again.”
For more coverage of the I-10 Freeway fire and closing and to watch an LAFD video of the blaze, click here.