A crucial 450-foot stretch of Interstate 10, near downtown Los Angeles, which sustained damage in a recent fire, will not need to undergo demolition and replacement, according to statements made by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.
The fire, suspected to be an act of arson, ignited early Saturday beneath the locally known “10 freeway.” Governor Newsom announced in a press conference that the damaged section of the interstate is expected to reopen within three to five weeks.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the fire, which damaged around 100 support columns, nine or ten severely, originated in an area storing vehicles, pallets, and other materials beneath the interstate deck. The space under the interstate was leased by a company, subsequently found to have illegally subleased it to five or possibly six other businesses, as disclosed by officials.
Approximately 300,000 vehicles traverse this segment of I-10 daily. In response to the incident, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and others have urged businesses to encourage remote work or the use of public transit among their employees.
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While investigators believe the fire was intentionally started with malicious intent, the identity of the perpetrator remains unknown. Governor Newsom emphasized that the repair work on the freeway will be conducted as a continuous operation, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of weather conditions.