A segment of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles, spanning a mile, sustained significant damage in a weekend fire and will remain inaccessible indefinitely until necessary repairs are carried out.
This closure poses considerable traffic challenges for the region, as approximately 300,000 vehicles traverse this freeway corridor on a daily basis. Caltrans is set to conclude its investigation into the fire’s origin by 6 a.m. Monday, enabling structural engineers to conduct a thorough assessment of the damage to the freeway’s columns and bridge deck.
Governor Gavin Newsom, in collaboration with Mayor Karen Bass, conveyed this information during a joint news conference, emphasising the uncertainty of the repair duration until these assessments are completed.
“No reason to think this will be over in a couple of days,” Bass said, as reported by the LA Times.
Officials strongly advised commuters to stay at home, steer clear of the affected area, or utilise public transit during the ongoing freeway repairs.
Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency on Saturday night to expedite the cleanup and repair efforts on the freeway. He emphasised that the work on the roadway would persist continuously until its reopening. Mayor Bass, on Sunday, disclosed that she had engaged in discussions with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to explore any additional resources that might be required.
The fire, reported early Saturday morning just after midnight in the 1700 block of East 14th Street, originated in a pallet yard beneath the freeway. It quickly spread to a second pallet yard, causing damage to the freeway overpass and resulting in the destruction of several vehicles, including a firetruck, as per authorities.
The LA Times also reported that, on Saturday evening, Bass explained that she had “directed all city departments to immediately plan for how to address increased traffic due to this closure to best mitigate the impact on Angelenos. We will continue to urgently coordinate with our state partners to resolve this issue for not only the millions who use this freeway, but also for those who live and work in the surrounding areas.”
Fire officials in Los Angeles reported that the fire prompted a response from firefighters representing 26 companies, along with the assistance of one helicopter. Their prompt efforts successfully prevented the fire from extending into adjacent commercial buildings. Additionally, heavy equipment operators were deployed to manipulate debris, facilitating firefighters in addressing isolated pockets of fire.
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