Interstate 10 in Los Angeles will fully reopen Monday, more than a week after a fire severely damaged a section of the highway, authorities said Sunday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said at a news conference that the highway could be partially reopened as early as Sunday evening and would be “fully operational” on Monday.
He did the announcement on the highway with Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, Vice President Kamala Harris and other officials providing an update on the repairs.
“This is a great day for our city and I think it’s a wonderful example of how and why we accomplished this work,” Ms. Bass said, referring to the crews who “worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. »
The highway is a crucial artery for Los Angeles drivers for their daily commute, she said.
“Everyone came together with the urgency of knowing what it means to have a highway that 300,000 Angelenos pass through every day and the disruption it has caused in our city,” she said.
The fire, which broke out early in the morning of November 11, damaged more than 100 columns supporting the highway, resulting in cross the city. The fire forced the closure of a segment of nearly three kilometers.
The fire, which broke out in a downtown industrial area, was believed to have been intentionally started in an enclosure filled with wooden pallets, authorities said.
Cal Fire, the state fire agency, identified a “person of interest” linked to the fire and released two photos in a news release. notification on social networks.
State inspectors have visited the site at least six times since early 2020 and identified fire and safety hazards in rented storage space under the highway before the fire, The Associated Press reported.
Officials had initially suggested that reopening the area could take months, which would have created a nightmare for a city heavily dependent on commuting and car use.
Ms. Bass and Mr. Newsom shortened Thursday the repair schedule, announcing that all lanes would be open by Thanksgiving. On Sunday, they said crews worked around the clock to reopen the stretch of highway ahead of schedule.
Sen. Alex Padilla of California said the repairs were estimated at $3 million, which would be covered by federal funds.
“We don’t need to wait until Thursday to give thanks, to give thanks,” Mr. Padilla said, “for the pre-Thanksgiving holiday opening of I-10.”