A major stretch of a Los Angeles freeway closed due to a fire is expected to reopen by Tuesday — well before officials initially estimated and before a full-blown holiday traffic outbreak.
The fire broke out in the early hours of November 11 and damaged more than 100 pillars supporting Highway 10. central artery The highway cuts across the city, forcing the closure of a nearly two-mile stretch that is used by about 300,000 vehicles every day.
Officials initially said reopening the region could take months — perhaps an eternity in a city that relies heavily on commutes and relies heavily on cars. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to help speed repairs.
Engineers tested structural samples and determined within days that the damaged section of Interstate 10 did not need to be completely rebuilt, shortening the repair time to just a few weeks.
On Thursday, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and Governor Newsom again shortened the timeline, announcing that all lanes would be open by Thanksgiving.
“This is what happens when we work urgently. This is what happens when we all work together,” Mayor Bass said in a statement. “I want to make sure there are no obstacles to complete the repair work and that when Hwy. It will be absolutely safe to get up when the highway opens.”
She added that city departments would continue to respond urgently to the impact of traffic closures during construction. The burned portion of the highway included access roads to several other highways, pushing traffic into side streets and affecting commerce in the area.
“I’m grateful for the crews working around the clock to safely repair Route 10 so we can restore traffic to Los Angeles in days, not weeks,” Governor Newsom said in a statement.
Authorities said the fire, which broke out in an industrial area downtown, was suspected to have been deliberately started in a paddock filled with wooden pallets.
The property is owned by the California Department of Transportation, but the so-called airspace under the freeway off-ramp is leased to Southern California construction company Apex Development Inc.
The affected portion is much busier than the stretch of Interstate 95 in Northeast Philadelphia Partially collapsed after fire in JuneAs was the case in Los Angeles, Philadelphia officials initially expected the highway closures to last several months but reopened them in less than two weeks.