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Saturday, December 2, 2023

10 Freeway to reopen by Tuesday, much earlier than originally thought

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that the fire-damaged 10 Freeway will be reopened sooner than expected — Tuesday “at the latest.”

“Five lanes in both directions,” Newsom said at a news conference Thursday evening at the site of the fire in downtown Los Angeles.

More than 100 columns along the swath of the freeway were damaged — nine or 10 of them severely, officials said. Construction crews have erected wooden structures to shore up the overpass while the repair work gets underway.

The fire, which arson investigators believe was intentionally set, started at a property under the 10 that was being leased from Caltrans.

Although the exact cause of the fire has not been revealed, “there was [malicious] intent,” Newsom said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

In addition to pallets, sanitizer accumulated during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was stored under the overpass and helped fuel the flames, according to sources familiar with the probe who were not authorized to discuss details of the investigation.

The fire was reported early Saturday, shortly after midnight, in the 1700 block of East 14th Street after a pallet yard under the freeway caught fire and spread to a second pallet yard, damaging the freeway overpass and destroying several vehicles, including a firetruck, authorities said.

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