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LOS ANGELES – This morning Governor Gavin Newsom, alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Alex Padilla, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, and other local, state, and federal officials, announced the I-10 Freeway would reopen ahead of the Monday morning commute, beating the expected timeline by days thanks to around-the-clock work by union crews.
WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: "What began as months has turned into days — before Angelenos hit the road on Monday, we're opening the 10 back up. Thanks to the tireless work of Caltrans and union construction crews and with help from our partners — from the Mayor's office to the White House — the 10's expedited repair is proof and a point of pride that here in California, we deliver."
"The work that happened here is extraordinary," said Vice President Kamala Harris. "It was possible with the will and ambition of the workers on the ground, and their commitment as public servants and as union members to get this done and deliver for the people of Los Angeles. "This is the kind of work that is happening around the country – where hard-working men and women, carpenters, laborers, and government workers, are rebuilding America's infrastructure. Thank you to those workers for your commitment to the country."
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"The 10 will be safe to drive on weeks ahead of schedule because of urgent action and collaboration at all levels of government," said Mayor Karen Bass. "When we work together, nothing can stop Los Angeles. Right when this happened, I heard from our state and federal partners that they would let nothing stand in our way. The White House and the Governor's Office not only lived up to that promise, they helped us exceed all expectations. Today is proof of locking arms delivering real results for the people of this city."
Today's announcement, eight days since the fire, comes far ahead of the original project schedule and was made possible because of the around-the-clock efforts of crews and engineers on and off-site, better-than-expected structural testing results, rapid debris removal, and close coordination between state, local, and federal government officials to safely expedite repairs of a major freeway that is a critical backbone to the American and global economy.
As repairs continue over the coming months, the public should expect some temporary closures on occasional weekends and overnight, along with intermittent lane closures.
The 10 Freeway fire began on a site rented by Apex Development, Inc. (Apex). Two months prior to the fire, Caltrans sued Apex, seeking to remove the company from the leased property for failing to pay its rent and subletting the property without authorization. A hearing is set for early 2024 in that lawsuit. Apex was responsible for maintaining the fenced-off site while they continued to assert rights under the lease. CAL FIRE's investigation into the fire — suspected to be arson — remains ongoing. A person of interest has been identified and members of the public are encouraged to provide any leads or tips, which can be sent anonymously to the CAL FIRE Arson Hotline at 1-800-468-4408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last weekend, Governor Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles County to support the state's response. The proclamation facilitates clean-up and repair work and directs Caltrans to request assistance through the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program, which the state secured.
The 10 Freeway is a major artery that serves hundreds of thousands of Angelenos daily. After testing samples and assessing damage from the site, state transportation officials determined the damage could be repaired without demolishing and rebuilding the 450-foot span of the freeway, which could have taken upwards of 6 months. Union crews continue to work around the clock to get the freeway open by tomorrow morning. While I-10 is closed to all vehicles, Caltrans workers are seizing this traffic-free opportunity to carry out a wide-ranging "swarm" maintenance operation – sweeping, repairing bridge railings and broken concrete, painting over graffiti, cleaning drains and culverts, removing litter, weeds, and overgrown vegetation, and sealing broken access doors.
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