A mile-long stretch of the 10 freeway in Los Angeles closed after a fire that caused structural damage over the weekend.

The section of the freeway is an integral stretch for Angelenos and may not reopen for an extended period of time, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said during a press conference Monday.

“I want to speak directly to the 300,000 people who would normally drive on this stretch of the 10, and to those who live, work or have appointments or schools in the area,” Bass said. “As we made clear yesterday, this was a huge fire, and the damage will not be fixed in an instant.  I want everyone to understand that we were acting urgently and we will not stop. I want to make sure that the city upholds our end of the bargain.”

The fire occurred Saturday morning at approximately 12:30 a.m., with the cause still being investigated. Initially, city officials announced a 24-hour closure, but after reviewing the damage to the freeway, it was made clear that an indefinite closure was needed.

Images of the fire showed the flames completely engulfing the stretch of freeway and after being put out, LAFD showed photos of the damage underneath the freeway, with debris and ash filling the underpass.

“I-10 remains fully closed until further notice between the East LA interchange & Alameda St due to a fire that damaged the fwy,” Caltrans District 7 said in an update Sunday. “Avoid the area, expect major delays & seek alternate routes to events.”

Connecting freeways affected by the closure include the Northbound 5 freeway to Westbound 10, the Southbound 5 freeway to Westbound 10, the Westbound 60 freeway to Westbound 10, as well as the 10 freeway on-ramps at Soto Street, Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue.

newsom bass freeway

California Gov. Gavin Newsom traveled down to Los Angeles after declaring a state of emergency to open up state funding and cleanup aid for the fire.

“This is a whole of government response as we work effectively and efficiently to safely re-open this critical transit corridor for Angelenos as quickly as possible,” Newsom said in a statement. “I want to thank the first responders, emergency personnel, and local and state officials who are working around the clock. And I want to assure all Angelenos that the necessary resources to repair this damage have been made available to minimize the impact.”

Initial reports from city officials say the fire started at a 40,000-square-foot storage yard near the freeway, later moving into another storage yard.

The fire then made its way to the base of the freeway where it is believed that structural damage may lead to a full reconstruction of the area. “The fire load in both pallet yards is mostly consumed,” the Los Angeles Fire Dept. said in an update. “Firefighters have successfully defended three exposed commercial buildings from fire extension.”

Mayor Bass urged Angelenos to lean on the city’s public transportation system until the freeway is reopened. The mayor also likened the event to the 405 freeway closure after the infamous 1994 Northridge earthquake, aptly nicknamed “Carmageddon,” as well as structural damages caused by heavy rain in early 2023.

“We know how to do this in L.A. So let’s do it again and work together, ” Bass said. “We came together a few months ago during the hurricane, a completely unexpected weather event. And obviously, this emergency was completely unexpected. And so I call on all Angelenos to stand together to be informed and to take the appropriate action.”



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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