The I-10 freeway in Los Angeles has been down for over a week now due to a fire that caused significant damage to the infrastructure. Originally the reconstruction team projected that the project would take anywhere from three to five weeks to complete. However, California Governor Gavin Newsom said last Thursday in a press conference that progress was much speedier than expected. This means that all lanes are expected to reopen by tomorrow.
The destruction occurred in a downtown section of the Interstate 10.
The fire happened two Saturdays ago, on November 11th. The fire caused destruction to about 100 support columns. The Interstate 10 freeway is built predominantly on the support system, so the collapse caused significant problems to the road. The reconstruction team was made up of over 250 people, most of whom have worked tirelessly around the clock for the last week.
The mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, spoke at the press conference as well, saying, “this is a good day in Los Angeles.” Many other roads have felt the closure as well, as those who typically take the I-10 were rerouted to avoid the area and taken on detours. This caused the other freeways through Los Angeles to see more traffic than they already do.
The fire spread across about eight acres.
The fire spread across the eight acres of the freeway rapidly because of a few things. Pallets, cars, construction materials, hand sanitizer, and other under freeway things fed the fire to allow it to spread quickly. The good news of the incident was that no injuries had been reported. There were a handful of unhoused individuals living in an encampment in this area who were able to be rescued and taken to a shelter. They have not reported any confirmed number, but we believe that it was likely somewhere around 16 people.
Statistics show that approximately 300,000 vehicles drive across this patch of the I-10 freeway. That means that 300,000 vehicles then had to find alternative routes. To try and deescalate the traffic on other freeways, the city pushed people to take public transportation or work from home whenever possible.