I-10 freeway in Los Angeles to open next week, Gov. Newsom says
Authorities originally said it would take three to five weeks to repair.
Los Angeles has a new timeline for the opening of the I-10 freeway, which was damaged by fire last weekend. The 10, a major east-to-west artery for the city, will reopen by Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday afternoon.
Earlier this week, Newsom and Mayor Karen Bass said it was going to take between three and five weeks for repairs to be completed.
"Our timeline has changed," Newsom said at Thursday's press conference, crediting those who have been working to repair the damage for speeding the timeline up.
Newsom said they had "doubled down" on crews, efforts and supplies, with around 250 people working on freeway repairs presently. The number is expected to go up, the governor said.
Newsom said they will be opening five lanes in each direction.
"Trucks, passenger vehicles in both directions will be moving again," he told reporters.
Bass thanked the public for heeding officials' requests to try and reduce traffic by taking the Metro or telecommuting, and for staying off the side streets and on the highways.
"The last few days have been difficult, but everybody has cooperated, and I want to thank you, thank you, thank you," Bass said.
The fire broke out underneath the I-10 just after midnight last Saturday, ripping through numerous wooden pallets, trailers and vehicles stored below the raised interstate, officials said previously. The fire sent thick smoke and towering flames into the sky and dealt a challenge to more than 160 firefighters who responded to put out the blaze.
The out-of-control fire burned for three hours and spread over what authorities described as the equivalent of six football fields before it was extinguished. About 16 people living underneath the highway were evacuated to shelters, officials said.
Authorities said earlier this week they are investigating arson as the cause of the fire.