LA’s I-10 Closure Due to Intentional Fire, Claims Governor
Parts of Interstate 10 in Los Angeles have been indefinitely closed due to a massive fire that was set intentionally, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom. The fire has caused significant disruptions and delays, with over 300,000 people traveling through the freeway corridor daily. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, and while the structural integrity of the freeway appears stronger than initially assessed, there is no estimated timeline for its reopening.
Major LA Traffic Artery, Interstate 10, Closed Indefinitely Due to Massive Fire
California Gov. Gavin Newsom reported on Monday that a massive fire caused the indefinite closure of parts of Interstate 10, a key traffic artery in Los Angeles. The blaze, he said, was set with “malice intent”.
The investigation is ongoing, with no suspects or leads currently identified. Mayor Karen Bass described the closure as a crisis for a city already notorious for its traffic woes and advised travelers to plan alternative routes while the interstate remains shut in both directions near the busy downtown area of Alameda Street.
A citywide alert warned residents to expect significant traffic, adding stress to the morning commute. The closure affects more than 300,000 daily commuters, about the population of Pittsburgh, according to State Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin.
The city is working to assess and repair the damage caused by the fire, which started in a storage yard and spread to ignite a second facility, engulfing about 80,000 square feet and destroying several vehicles. The timeline for reopening the interstate remains uncertain.
The State Transportation Department is recommending commuters to work from home or use public transit if possible. Nearby school bus routes will likely change, but public schools will remain open, according to the LA Unified School District. The Port of Los Angeles also warned of heavy Monday morning traffic and suggested alternate routes.
Gov. Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles County, promising that the state will assess the damage and start repairs as soon as access to the site is possible. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also stated that he is liaising with California officials, with the federal highway administrator visiting Los Angeles on Monday.
The cause of the fire remains unclear, however, officials have started determining the safety of a bridge burned in the blaze. The bridge is five lanes in each direction and the affected area is around 450 feet long. Concrete and rebar samples have been taken from the underside of the freeway and are being analyzed to determine the repair strategy.
Hazmat teams are working around the clock to clean up the damage on Interstate 10. The extent of the fire’s damage is significantly greater than the collapse of a portion of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia in June, according to Newsom.
Firefighters responded to the fire at around 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The fire was mostly extinguished within three hours, saving three nearby commercial buildings. No injuries have been reported from the blaze. The governor mentioned that the tenant of the site is in violation of their lease and that the issue is currently in litigation.
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