Repairs to an elevated Los Angeles freeway, shuttered due to an arson fire, are progressing ahead of schedule, with all lanes slated to reopen by the upcoming Tuesday, according to Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement on Thursday. Earlier projections suggested a restoration timeline of three to five weeks for the one-mile section of Interstate 10 near downtown, impacted by the fire that consumed around 100 support columns last Saturday.
Governor Newsom, speaking at an evening news conference, expressed optimism about the condition of the bridge structure, stating, “The bridge structure itself seems to be in better shape than we anticipated.” He assured the public that the freeway would be fully operational, with five lanes in both directions, no later than Tuesday of the following week. Over 250 workers were tirelessly engaged in the repair efforts around the clock.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass hailed the progress, remarking, “This is a good day in Los Angeles.”
The fire, fueled by various materials stored beneath the freeway in an industrial neighborhood, including pallets, cars, construction materials, and hand sanitizer, swiftly spread over 8 acres (3 hectares). Although no injuries were reported, 16 individuals from a nearby homeless encampment were relocated to shelters. The arson investigation remains ongoing, with no arrests made yet, and authorities are exploring the possibility of multiple individuals being involved.
The affected freeway section, an integral east-west route connecting the heart of the metropolis and linking with other major highways, sees an estimated daily traffic volume of 300,000 vehicles. City officials have been advising residents to avoid the area, explore alternative transportation methods such as buses and trains, or consider working from home.
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