Newsom: Damaged I-10 Freeway Now Expected to Reopen Tuesday

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Newsom: Damaged I-10 Freeway Now Expected to Reopen Tuesday

An aerial view of the empty Interstate-10 freeway, also called the Santa Monica Freeway, in both directions, in Los Angeles on Nov. 13, 2023. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

11/17/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

The fire-damaged Los Angeles I-10 freeway will reopen Tuesday, weeks earlier than expected, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Nov. 16.
Testing of the 100 damaged columns and roadway showed the structure would not have to be demolished and was in better shape than expected. Initially, officials said it would take three to five weeks to reopen the freeway.
However, that timeline was moved up after further investigation this week and the quick removal of burned debris, according to Mr. Newsom’s office.
“While repairs are expected to remain ongoing for months, [Caltrans] has determined all five lanes of traffic in both directions can safely reopen to passenger and commercial truck vehicles by next week,” Mr. Newsom’s office said in a press release Wednesday.
Crews were working around the clock to inspect and repair the stretch of roadway damaged in an early-morning fire Nov. 11.
The freeway remained closed in both directions Friday between Alameda Street and the 110 Freeway.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who stressed unity during the crisis, celebrated the announcement.
“The 10 freeway is expected to be up and running by Tuesday, just in time for Thanksgiving,” Ms. Bass posted on X, formerly Twitter, Wednesday. “When we come together as a city, we can do anything we set out to do.”
City departments will continue to respond to traffic concerns during ongoing reconstruction, she added in the governor’s press release.
The public should expect some temporary closures on some weekends and overnight, along with intermittent lane closures as crews continue to repair the freeway, the governor’s office said.
Mr. Newsom is also directing the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) to review leased sites under freeways, such as the one in the 1700 block of East 14th Street leased by Calabasas-based paving company Apex Development Inc. that caught fire, torching wood pallets, vehicles, and other debris stored under the roadway.
Fire damage is viewed beneath the closed I-10 elevated freeway following a large pallet fire, in Los Angeles, on Nov. 13, 2023. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Fire damage is viewed beneath the closed I-10 elevated freeway following a large pallet fire, in Los Angeles, on Nov. 13, 2023. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

According to the governor’s office, the state sued Apex Development two months before the fire after the company allegedly failed to pay its rent and was subletting the property without authorization. A hearing is set for early 2024 in the lawsuit.
The state fire marshal determined the fire was caused by arson, and an investigation into who set the fire is ongoing.
Some 300,000 vehicles use the I-10 freeway to travel in and out of Los Angeles every day, according to officials. Caltrans workers are taking advantage of the closure to conduct wide-ranging maintenance, including sweeping, repairing bridge railings and broken concrete, painting over graffiti, cleaning drains, removing litter, weeds, and overgrown vegetation, and other projects.
Mr. Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles County Nov. 11 to support the state’s response to the fire. The proclamation helps the clean-up and repair effort and allows Caltrans to request federal assistance.
Firefighters look at damage caused by a powerful fire that resulted in a temporary closure of the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles on Nov. 13, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Firefighters look at damage caused by a powerful fire that resulted in a temporary closure of the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles on Nov. 13, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

Author

Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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