Los Angeles’ Interstate 10 was recently partially closed due to a major fire that was likely caused by arson. California Governor’s Gavin Newsom stated this week that the closed portion will be repaired and reopened within the next three to five weeks.
A portion of Interstate 10 in Los Angeles has been shut down due to a massive fire last weekend. California Governor Gavin Newsom stated this week that the section will likely be repaired and reopened in the next three to five weeks.
Fire officials have stated that the fire was likely caused by arson, investigators are still working to determine who is responsible. The interstate typically sees more than 300,000 drivers every day, so the closing of this particular section is problematic for commuters.
Luckily, inspectors determined the section impacted by the fire would not need to be completely demolished and replaced, giving workers the chance to repair what’s already there. Newsom stated that the reopening process will be much quicker because of this.
“We’re going to do everything in our power to move that into the more immediate future and not extend this to that five-week period. Officials will continue working on repairs 24/7, until the freeway is open again.”
Newsom also stated that the freeway will likely be able to partially reopen while construction is still occurring. “Angelenos, it’s good news. The freeway will not have to come down, so it’s not a month. We’re talking about weeks,” stated Mayor Karen Bass.
Investigators “confidently determined arson was the cause of the fire, which was reported early Saturday at a storage yard and quickly spread under the interstate to a second facility,” State Fire Marshal Daniel Berlant said Monday.
“It’s unclear how many people were involved, anyone with video or information about the incident to contact authorities,” Berlant said,
“There’s no reason for this to be the disaster that it could be, if people are not informed, do not telecommute and do not take public transportation,” Bass said. Newsom also declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles County due to the closure.
“Losing this stretch of the 10 freeway will take time and money from people’s lives and businesses. For commuters, we’re still exploring ways to open up faster and more effective routes of communication.”
According to city fire chief Kristin Crowley, more than 160 firefighters responded to the fire to protect nearby commercial buildings that were at risk of also catching fire. They were able to extinguish the fire within hours, and no injuries were reported.
“Officials do not believe the highway will collapse,” John Yang, deputy district director for construction for the California Department of Transportation, said.
“The damaged stretch includes a large bridge that spans five lanes in each direction,” according to Yang. “About 100 columns beneath the bridge were impacted by fire and are being inspected,” according to transportation department director Tony Tavares.
“We have no concern for worker safety working underneath,” Yang said.
“The lease to the property where the fire started is held by Apex Development,” according to Newsom, who also has accused the development company of violating their lease.
“They stopped paying their rent, they’re out of compliance, and … they have been subleasing this site to at least five, maybe as many as six tenants without required state and federal authorization,” Newsom said.
Newsom said “there were no surprises over the materials that were found at the site”
“It was what we had assumed: simple pallets, wooden pallets, metal and other recycling material. No highly hazardous materials or contaminants were found on site. All this will be cleaned up by the end of the week.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.