Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Interstate 10 in Los Angeles will fully reopen on Monday, more than a week after a fire severely damaged a section of the freeway, officials announced on Sunday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said at a news conference that the interstate may be partially reopened as early as Sunday evening and would be “fully operational” on Monday.

He made the announcement on the freeway with Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles, Vice President Kamala Harris and other officials who provided updates on the repairs.

“This is a great day in our city and I think it is a wonderful example of how and why we got this job done,” Ms. Bass said, referring to the crews who “worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The freeway is a crucial artery for Los Angeles drivers for daily travel, she said.

“Everyone came together with the urgency knowing what it means to have a freeway where 300,000 Angelenos pass every single day and the disruption that that caused in our city,” she said.

The fire, which erupted in the early morning hours of Nov. 11, damaged more than 100 columns that bolster the freeway, which runs across the city. The fire forced the closure of a nearly two-mile segment.

The fire, which took place in a downtown industrial district, is suspected to have been intentionally started within an enclosure filled with wooden pallets, the authorities said.

Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, identified a “person of interest” connected to the fire and released two photos in a notification on social media.

State inspectors had visited the site at least six times since early 2020 and had identified fire and safety hazards at a leased storage space under the freeway before the fire, The Associated Press reported.

Officials had initially suggested that it could take months to reopen the area, which would have created a nightmare for a city heavily dependent on commuting and cars.

Ms. Bass and Mr. Newsom on Thursday shortened the timetable for repairs, announcing that all of the lanes would be open before Thanksgiving. On Sunday, they said that crews had been working around the clock to reopen the section of freeway ahead of schedule.

Senator Alex Padilla of California said that the repairs were estimated to cost $3 million, which would be covered by federal funds.

“We don’t have to wait until Thursday to give thanks, to give thanks,” Mr. Padilla said, “for the opening before the Thanksgiving holiday of the I-10.”

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