UPDATE, SUNDAY, NOV. 19: The 10 Freeway will open Sunday night, earlier than previously expected.
“This thing opens tonight and will be fully operational tomorrow,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Sunday morning news conference. He was joined on the deck of the freeway by Mayor Karen Bass, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.). “This is a significant and big day.”
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The mile-long section of freeway between Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue has been closed for more than a week, jamming traffic on other roadways with the 300,000 cars that typically use the 10.
UPDATE, SATURDAY, NOV. 18: Photos and a description of a person of interest in connection with the Nov. 11 10 Freeway fire has been released by Cal Fire. Authorities now believe the blaze, which has made a mess of Los Angeles traffic, was intentionally set.
The suspect was described as a 6-foot tall man weighing 170 to 190 pounds with black hair, according to a Cal Fire news statement. He appears to be between 30 and 35 years old, and his race is unknown. He possibly has a burn on his left leg.
It has also been revealed that the company that leases the property where the fire occurred, Calabasas-based Apex Development, is being sued by the state. It subleased the property and allowed flammable materials to be stored on the land. They are accused of failing to pay rent and violating the terms of its lease in the lawsuit, which was filed long before the freeway-closing blaze erupted.
Newsom said Caltrans is reviewing all similar leases to determine if other companies might be violating lease terms. Bass said she has asked all city general managers to report if their agencies have any active leases of property beneath the freeway.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
UPDATE, THURSDAY PM The fire-damaged 10 Freeway will reopen by Tuesday “at the latest,” according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“Five lanes in both directions,” Newsom promised at a news conference Thursday evening at the site of the fire in downtown Los Angeles.
He revealed that more than 100 columns along the swath of the freeway were damaged, with nine or 10 of them severely, officials said.
The loss of the East-West highway has snarled local traffic.
UPDATE SUNDAY A.M. The 10 freeway remains shut down in both directions on Sunday, as Mayor Karen Bass has scheduled a noon press conference to discuss the extent of the damage.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared the site a disaster area on Saturday, which frees up resources.
Caltrans said a full evaluation is needed to determine repairs. However, that would have to wait until Hazmat materials specialists determine what caused the massive burn. Caltrans engineers will also need to test the roadway concrete to determine whether the pillars and the bridge deck are safe.
Meanwhile, Caltrans urged commuters to seek alternate routes to downtown and/or use public transportation. Surrounding streets in the area were also closed. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles use the freeway each day, and an extended shutdown would be chaotic.
EARLIER: A major East-West highway in Los Angeles has been shut down by a massive warehouse fire in a freeway-adjacent building.
The large storage fire shut down part of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles early Saturday morning. The freeway closure is expected to last at least 24 hours, officials said.
Reports of the fire started about 1:46 a.m. at a storage yard near East 14th and Alameda streets, the Los Angeles Fire Department indicated.
Fire engulfed both sides of 14th Street underneath the 10. The intense heat melted some of the roadway’s steel guardrails, according to LAFD Public Information Officer David Ortiz. More than 150 firefighters battled the blaze.
The 10 is shut down between Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue.
I-10 remains FULLY CLOSED until further notice between the East LA interchange & Alameda St due to a fire that damaged the fwy. Avoid the area, expect major delays & seek alternate routes to events in #DTLA or use @metrolosangeles public transit. See detour for WB. & EB I-10 👇 pic.twitter.com/oBduHIFTXY
— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) November 12, 2023
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