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Fire-Damaged Section of LA’s I-10 Set to Open Weeks Ahead of Schedule

Fire-Damaged Section of LA’s I-10 Set to Open Weeks Ahead of Schedule

Bridge should be in good enough shape to reopen Nov. 21st.

I recently reported that California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Saturday after a massive fire erupted at a storage yard, shutting down Interstate 10, one of the busiest freeways in downtown Los Angeles.

Arson is suspected as the cause of the blaze, which severely damaged a bridge. The intensity of the fire was enhanced when the pallets of flammable hand sanitizer that were being stored there ignited. The bridge was also the site of a large homeless encampment. Initially, the best case estimates would be that the bridge would be reopened within 3-5 weeks.

However, residents of Los Angeles caught a couple of lucky breaks. The bridge did not need to be demolished.

“This is not a demo operation. This is a repair operation,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday. …

“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,” the governor told reporters Tuesday near the mile-long site of the interstate closure between Alameda Street and the East Los Angeles Interchange.

The major L.A. traffic corridor, which carries hundreds of thousands of vehicles everyday, will reopen sooner than expected after engineers analyzed core samples taken from the freeway.

It looks like the bridge will reopen November 21st.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that the fire-damaged 10 Freeway would reopen sooner than expected — Tuesday “at the latest.”

“Five lanes in both directions,” Newsom said at a news conference Thursday evening at the site of the fire in downtown Los Angeles.

More than 100 columns along the swath of the freeway were damaged — nine or 10 of them severely, officials said. Construction crews have erected wooden structures to shore up the overpass while the repair work gets underway.

“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.”

Of course, tax dollars from citizens living in the rest of the nation are being used to fix a problem caused by California’s failure to deal with the homelessness issue, which may have been a contributing factor to this incident.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced the immediate availability of $3 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for use by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to offset costs of emergency repair work on a section of Interstate 10 near downtown Los Angeles damaged by a fire that took place under the interstate and resulted in a closure in both directions.

…Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt joined state and local officials at the site earlier this week and reiterated the U.S. Department of Transportation’s commitment to provide federal assistance and support to help Caltrans make repairs expeditiously.

“We know the I-10 corridor is a critical connection for both people and goods traveling in and around Los Angeles,” Bhatt said. “The quick release funding we’re providing Caltrans is the first of many steps we are taking to help California get this key route open as soon as possible for the workers, residents and businesses that rely on this route every day.”

There have been no further updates related to the arson investigation. But Californians have thoughts.


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UnCivilServant | November 19, 2023 at 5:15 pm

Something tells me that it is only a matter of time before the slapdash work collapses under its own weight.

    alaskabob in reply to UnCivilServant. | November 19, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    Analysis versus political assumption… until they start repairing it it’s all a guess. Did they file an environmental impact statement or assessment of racism by its continued existence? Is it time to make LA a 15 minute city?

    Prediction… longer, and costlier.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to alaskabob. | November 19, 2023 at 7:29 pm

      We all needle California a lot. But, there was extensive earthquake damage on that stretch a few earthquakes ago, and CalTrans tried a different approach.

      They brought potential contractors in, got a good time estimate, then said. “get it done before due, get a reward. Be late, and pay a chunk in liquidated damages”. This was completely different from the way they awarded the contracts for damages done in the Bay Area quake (one of them). The I-10 re-opened 13 months before deadline, with good workmanship and no problems. The Bay Area project was like all the others in the past: years over-due.

MajorWood | November 19, 2023 at 5:15 pm

A few 2×4 ought to do it. Hmmmm, will this be the Next Champlain Towers South or Davenport, Iowa? I loves me some good structure collapses at inopportune times. It’s almost like I don’t trust .gov types who assure me that everything is fine. Almost.

henrybowman | November 19, 2023 at 5:46 pm

“pallets of flammable hand sanitizer that were being stored there ignited”
The very invention 2023 needed: Walensky Cocktails!

rhhardin | November 19, 2023 at 5:47 pm

The fire that melts lead tempers steel, the saying goes.

Close The Fed | November 19, 2023 at 6:07 pm

He wants to looks as good as DeSantis, who repaired the hurricane-damaged bridge so quickly.

From the pictures I have seen the only way to repair it is to demo it and then rebuild it from the foundations up. I wonder if they have been in communication with GDOT.

The Great 2023 I-10 Hobo BBQ.

Fire crews heard propane tanks exploding. No, it wasn’t the bloody hand sanitizer. It was hobo make-shift kitchen tanks cooking off.

Of course inspectors and contractors over estimated time needed to repair the arson damaged overpass, otherwise they take all the blame due Chimpy McHairgel and his inept bureaucracy.

Everything is temporarily shored up and will do until the next November.

There was a second “suspicious” fire under another freeway overpass just days after, and near the 10 fire.

Doesn’t sound real. Let the lawsuits begin.

Seems to go in stages:
Worst Disaster Ever! See The Fire!
Horrible Disaster Will Divert Traffic For A Year.
Close Examination Shows Homeless One Cause.
(magic hand waving occurs)
Simple Problem To Fix Involving Lots Of Concrete and Cash <- We are here
Year Anniversary of Fire Makes News…briefly
X Years After Fire, Patch Collapsing. Entire Highway Shut Down. Trump to Blame.

MajorWood | November 20, 2023 at 11:30 am

Those who cant do, teach.
Those who can’t teach, teach gym
Those who can’t teach gym, inspect buildings.

Apologies to Woody Allen.

Why would one of the largest economies in the World as Gov Hair Gel keeps telling us need a bailout of $3 Million?

SoCal is my home area as I was born in the late 50s. It changed so much since then. I met my wife who was from the Silicon Valley at UCLA in the mid 70s. When I grew up many of the freeways did not exist.

I worked my way through college in the area that had the fire that affected I10 Santa Monica Fwy from Skid Row down to Watts for the Phone Company. The area is heavily filled with storage and trash plus the area is rundown. Me and my wife left California with our sons in 96 due to business for the East Coast. We have been back as we still have family in various parts of the state.

Los Angeles has expanded too much. I did not believe that it would take 3-5 weeks to fix that part of the freeway as once they have a major issue they will throw all permit requirements and inspections out the door and just do what is needed. They did that when they had the last massive earthquake in Los Angeles that took down many of the freeways.

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