I-10 Freeway Reopens After Fire, Arson Investigation Continues

A vital segment of the I-10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles closed due to fire damage was reopened on Sunday night. The repair work on the roadway was completed earlier than anticipated. Both eastbound and westbound lanes are available for drivers to access. Gov. Gavin Newsom has assured that commuters can expect the freeway to be fully operational.

READ MORE: Fire Causes 10 Freeway Closure Near Downtown Los Angeles

The fire initially ignited in the early hours of Nov. 11, occurring in a storage yard located beneath the I-10 Freeway near the intersection of East 14th and Alameda streets. The blaze engulfed both sides of 14th Street underneath the 10, eventually melting some of the freeway’s steel guardrails and damaging fire engines, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Deldar Legal has been following this story closely to relay critical information to residents who may be affected by the massive road closure. Let’s learn more about how cleanup crews were able to reopen one of the busiest roadway corridors in the U.S. so quickly:

Cleanup Operations

Newsom and other state officials projected that the I-10 Freeway might take three to five weeks to reopen after the destructive fire. Contrary to these expectations, the cleanup operations significantly expedited the reopening process. State authorities reported that contractors successfully cleared all debris and hazardous materials from beneath the damaged section of the freeway.

After more than 160 firefighters from 26 companies extinguished the flames, hazmat crews had to complete an assessment of the scene before structural engineers could begin their work to determine if the entire roadway would need to be rebuilt. Caltrans says 264,000 cubic feet of material was removed in the cleanup. Additionally, the area saw the removal of over two dozen burned vehicles.

The rapid progress is a testament to the intense efforts of more than 250 personnel dedicated to the site. They worked tirelessly in 12-hour shifts, operating around the clock every day of the week, to ensure the speedy reopening of the freeway, as confirmed by officials.

I-10 Freeway Arson Investigation

CalFire suspects the incident was caused by arson. Authorities released photos of the suspect with a detailed description. CalFire reveals the person of interest is six feet tall and weighs 170 to 190 pounds. The man has black hair and is estimated to be between the ages of 30 and 35. The individual being searched for was last seen wearing a black hoodie, blue shorts, and a knee brace on his right knee.

Authorities say the man appears to have burn injuries on his left leg. Tips or leads can be communicated anonymously to the CAL FIRE Arson Hotline at (800) 468-4408. Information can also be sent to the Arson and Bomb Unit by emailing arsonbomb@fire.ca.gov.

Moving Forward

State political leaders have indicated that while the total cost for the repairs is not yet determined, it is expected to be fully funded by federal resources. The estimated expense is around three million dollars. Newsom says that the efforts involved 10,000 hours of labor from workers and contracting companies.

Newsom also notes that while permanent repairs to the I-10 Freeway will unfold over the coming weeks or months, these will involve only intermittent closures. These are not anticipated to disrupt daily commutes majorly. Drivers can always avoid traffic and construction congestion by taking the Metro and other forms of public transportation.

Amidst these developments, if you or a loved one is affected by freeway fires, Deldar Legal stands ready to offer help! We can be a valuable ally for those seeking guidance and protection in difficult situations like the damaging I-10 Freeway fire and subsequent road closure. Please contact our team of successful personal injury attorneys today at (844) 335-3271 or contact us online.

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Posted in: Auto Accidents

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