Fire Damage Not as Severe as Feared, Mayor Urges Use of Public Transportation
By Dolores Quintana
Governor Gavin Newsom declared today that the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles is set to partially reopen to traffic within three to five weeks. This vital route, accommodating 300,000 vehicles daily, was shut down in both directions over the weekend following a fire that inflicted substantial damage to approximately 100 support pillars.
After scrutinizing samples and evaluating the site’s damage, state transportation officials currently assert that the necessary repairs can be undertaken without resorting to the demolition and reconstruction of the 450-foot span of the 10 Freeway. Such a reconstruction could have extended the closure period to over six months. Union crews are laboring 24 hours a day to swiftly clear the extensive debris and fortify the damaged pillars. Their efforts are focused on expediting the essential repairs for the prompt reopening of the freeway to traffic.
Additionally, on-site environmental monitoring has been implemented to reinforce drainage systems, ensuring all precautions are taken to contain runoff during impending storms. An earlier assessment revealed the absence of highly toxic chemicals in the aftermath of the fire. Critical materials for the repairs are already available on-site, and no supply challenges are anticipated at this time.
Governor Newsom also disclosed that, by the week’s end, the state will provide a livestream of the construction work for the public to witness the progress firsthand. Californians can access real-time project updates, alternate routes, and public transit options at Fixthe10.ca.gov.
“Thanks to the swift efforts of our first responders, workers, and engineers, we anticipate reopening the 10 Freeway to traffic within three to five weeks. California remains committed to working 24/7 to complete the task and restore movement in Los Angeles,” stated Governor Newsom.
The Office of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass delivered a morning traffic update today regarding the 10 Freeway closure. Deputy Mayor of Infrastructure Randall Winston, along with Laura Rubio-Cornejo, General Manager of the Department of Transportation, Jennifer Vides, Chief Customer Experience Officer for L.A. Metro, and Michael Comeaux, CalTrans Public Information Officer, provided the update. The 6:00 a.m. PT traffic updates will continue throughout the week and will be live-streamed on Mayor Karen Bass’ Facebook page. For the most up-to-date information visit emergency.lacity.gov/updates or check the live-stream press conference for each day.
Mayor Karen Bass encouraged Angelenos to use public transportation to navigate traffic and I-10 closures. In response, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation announced free fares on ALL Commuter Express routes, effective immediately. Mayor Bass emphasized the urgent, continuous efforts of crews working day and night to expedite the reopening of the I-10 Freeway.
The Mayor also announced Monday morning that following conversations with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the Federal Highway Administrator will travel to Los Angeles to assess the impacted area. The Mayor will continue to be in contact with the White House and the Governor’s Office to ensure that there are no barriers to rebuilding.
“In times of crisis, Los Angeles does not cower; we lead,” Mayor Bass declared.