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10 Freeway in LA reopens ahead of schedule after fire, but it's still not clear when repairs will finish

Nathan Solis, Ashley Ahn and Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

“Last week it took 20 minutes from Alhambra,” she said. “Today, only 12 minutes.”

Last week, 29-year-old Elodie Graham’s usual 10-minute commute from Silver Lake to downtown Los Angeles turned into a 30-minute slog as the detour traffic from the freeway spilled over onto the surface streets.

But Monday, it was a different story.

“It was totally back to normal,” Graham said. “It might be because of Thanksgiving week as well, but it was finally normal today.”

Before building the shoring structures that allowed for traffic to return to the 10, Caltrans cleared more than two dozen burned vehicles and about 264,000 cubic feet of hazardous material that was improperly stored underneath the overpass.


“Thanks to the heroic 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,” Newsom said in an earlier statement.

Initial tests showed that the fire “caused less structural damage than anticipated,” Caltrans said in a news release, and officials credited L.A. firefighters for putting out the blaze before it could cause more damage.

Within hours of the fire, engineers went to work calculating the combined load of the freeway and the vehicle traffic that would need to be supported by shoring, according to a Caltrans engineer who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

Designs for specific repairs of the columns will follow, to be reviewed by seismic and construction experts, according to the engineer.

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