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California Gov. Gavin Newsom announces 10 Freeway reopening is ahead of schedule

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  • November 20, 2023


After being closed by an arson fire since November 11, the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles may be reopening sooner than originally expected, according to officials.

During a press conference Sunday morning, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and Vice President Kamala Harris announced the 10 Freeway will reopen in time for Monday morning’s commute, with some lanes possibly opening as soon as Sunday night.

This announcement comes after Newsom hinted that it may take months before the portion of the 10 Freeway effected by the arson fire would reopen. 

Shortly after his first announcement, which was met with plenty of push back from residents in LA, Governor Newsom gave another update days later saying it may take weeks instead of months, then Newsom gave a third update saying the roads may reopen as early as Tuesday.

REPAIRS TO ARSON-DAMAGED LOS ANGELES INTERSTATE WILL TAKE AT LEAST 3 WEEKS, NEWSOM SAYS

Massive fire shut down 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles indefinitely, according to officials.  (Caltrans District 7 )

Newsom has since praised the workers and contracting company and claimed 10,000 hours of labor went into the effort to get the freeway open in eight days.

On Saturday, Cal Fire released photos and a description of a person of interest in the arson fire. 

FIRE AT LOS ANGELES INTERSTATE PUTS PUBLIC SCRUTINY ON STOCKPILING OF FLAMMABLE MATERIALS

Traffic on I-10 during fire

Traffic backed up along a closed Interstate 10 after a fire that severely damaged the freeway in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

The suspect was described as a 6-foot tall man weighing 170 to 190 pounds with black hair. Officials believe he appears to be between 30 and 35 years old, and his race is unknown. 

Investigators added the suspect possibly had a burn on his left leg and at the time of the fire, the person of interest was photographed wearing a black hoodie, blue shorts, gray shoes, green scarf and a knee brace on his right knee. He was also carrying a dark-colored backpack. 

LOS ANGELES FREEWAY FIRE, WHICH ENDANGERED 16 PEOPLE, LEADS TO RENEWED CALLS TO ADDRESS HOMELESS CRISIS

los angeles freeway fire

This photo provided by the California Department of Transportation shows a work crew shoring up a section under Interstate 10 that was severely damaged in a fire in an industrial zone near downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. The area under the freeway that burned last weekend, damaging a section of a key thoroughfare in the car-dependent city, was stacked with flammable materials on lots leased by the state through a little-known program that now is under scrutiny. (Jack Snyder/Caltrans District 7 via AP)

Authorities also said the investigation revealed the company Apex Development Inc., which leased the land underneath the freeway, was in violation. 

According to authorities, the company was accused of subleasing the lot to at least five other businesses, which brought other materials onto the lot that were not authorized. 

CLOSED DOWNTOWN LA FREEWAY TO WREAK HAVOC ON MORNING COMMUTE

Gov Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks alongside other local officials and local officials at the opening of a recently completed Clean California beautification project. (California Governor Gavin Newsom YouTube channel)

Newsom said that the state had taken over four of Apex’s five leases, with only one remaining in Sun Valley. He added that a court hearing in the case is expected in January or early February.

Caltrans is also reviewing all similar leases to determine whether other companies might be violating lease terms. The governor said Sunday that preliminary results of that investigation would be released Wednesday.

FIRE CLOSES PORTION OF 10 FREEWAY IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES INDEFINITELY, NEWSOM CALLS FOR STATE OF EMERGENCY

Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a visit to Chabot Space & Science Center with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on August 12, 2022 in Oakland, California.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

City officials stated that there are roughly 100 concrete pillars underneath the section of the freeway that was damaged, with at least nine of them suffering significant damage in the fire.

Newsom added that authorities have conducted samples underneath the concrete pillars and crews will continue to fix up the site, emphasizing the work will continue around the clock. 

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Fire damage in downtown Los Angeles

A massive fire has shut down a portion of 10 Freeway in LA after a massive fire, according to officials.  (Caltrans District 7)

Anyone with information about the arson fire is encouraged to call the Cal Fire arson hotline at 1-800-468-4408.



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