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UPDATED 11/19/23: Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Karen Bass have announced that the 10 Freeway will fully reopen prior to the morning rush hour on Monday, Nov. 20.
UPDATED 11/17/23: Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Karen Bass announced that the 10 Freeway will reopen to traffic on Tuesday, Nov. 21, two days before Thanksgiving. The reopening was made possible by expedited repairs and will ensure the freeway is prepared to meet increased traffic volume during the holiday weekend.
“This is what happens when we work with urgency. This is what happens when we come together. I want to make sure that there are no barriers to completely finishing the repair and that when the freeway opens up it will be completely safe,” Bass said. “City departments will continue to respond with urgency to the impacts of the traffic closure during the ongoing construction. We will not let up. I want to thank Gov. Newsom for joining forces with me to make sure the repair is being expedited to get the freeway back up and running as fast as possible.”
After a massive fire severely damaged the Interstate 10 Freeway causing its closure in both directions in downtown Los Angeles, Gov. Gavin Newsom inspected the area and announced that repairs could be made in three to five weeks and not months as originally anticipated.
More than 100 columns supporting the bridge were damaged by the fire, as well as the freeway deck. Crews have been working around the clock on repairs. The closure has caused major traffic congestion in and around downtown Los Angeles, and Mayor Karen Bass is asking the public to be patient.
“I just got off of the helicopter surveying traffic in the area,” Bass said on the morning of Nov. 15. “I’ve been coming to the site every day since the fire and while our progress has been tremendous, we must continue with urgency. Metro ridership on the E Line increased 10% [on Nov. 14]. People are taking public transportation, telecommuting and paying attention to our message about using the other freeways for detours. With rain expected, we will continue to operate with absolute urgency to get the job done.”
The rain is not expected to slow work on the bridge repair project. While the project is underway, the 10 Freeway will remain closed between Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue. Connector ramps from the Golden State (5), Hollywood (101) and Pomona (60) freeways to the 10 Freeway are also closed.
Newsom announced on Nov. 14 that the fire under the freeway was arson, and a criminal investigation is ongoing involving federal, state and local authorities. He said the site is owned by the state and was leased by Apex Development Inc., a Calabasas-based company with which the state is involved in litigation and is trying to evict. The company stored wood pallets at the site, but also allegedly subleased it to unknown entities without authorization from Caltrans. Numerous vehicles parked at the site were burned, and recycling materials were being stored on the lot.
Apex Development Inc. also leases four other sites from the state, but the locations were not disclosed. The fire under the 10 Freeway bridge has raised concerns about the potential for similar disasters at other locations.
“We brought down our legal team that is here and we’re looking at every conceivable pathway to move to expedite removal of this lessee on all the remaining sites,” Newsom said. “I continue to remind you the importance and the imperative, the work that’s being done across the state, looking at similar leases and looking at similar safety concerns. That assessment continues. And again, as we get more information, we’ll be sharing it.”
Bass is promoting the use of public transportation and ride-sharing during the closure. She directed the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to make CommuterExpress buses and DASH buses free to help make it easier for people to access downtown Los Angeles. Bass also asked LADOT and Metro to increase speeds on the E line, which runs along the 10 Freeway.
Metro has also announced measures to assist people during the closure. Metro’s rail and bus system offers multiple ways to reach downtown from all parts of the city. Bass has directed Metro to add buses to Lines 66 (Olympic Boulevard) and 251 (Soto Street), which provide access to downtown Los Angeles. For information on Metro transportation options, visit metro.net.
During the rain, LADOT will increase deployments of traffic officers in the congested area around the freeway closure. Authorities are asking people to avoid the area.
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