Gov. Newsom’s Announcement on 10 Freeway Reopening

Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference on Thursday, Nov. 16, that the 10 freeway will be fully open by next Tuesday, November 21, 2023. This is a huge improvement from the original three to five week schedule.

“With the extraordinary work of the men and women you see behind me, the carpenters, laborers, Teamsters, Cement Masons and 30 new carpenters on site in the last 24 hours,” Newsom said, “one thing we can guarantee you is, we will be open — five lanes in both directions at the latest Tuesday of next week.”

Southern California Commuter Challenges

Newsom said that both Los Angeles and the state would work to get the road open before Tuesday, but he didn’t want to make too many promises.

On the other hand, thousands of people in Southern California have had to find new ways to get to work or just work from home for five days in a row because the 10 Freeway was badly damaged by a fire started by a pallet burning under an overpass at the 1700 block of East 14th Street, two blocks west of Alameda Street.

Officials in the government had thought that fixing up the damaged highway would take between three and five weeks. But with extra help from the federal government and quick work from emergency companies Griffith Company and Security Paving, the process has been sped up.

“Our efforts here, materials, and supplies have presented themselves without any hindrances or any problems — things continue to move favorably in our direction,” Newsom said.

The governor also said that the structure of the 450-foot span of the damaged road seems to be in better shape than was first thought. At first, officials thought the closure might last months if the whole damaged part of the road had to be torn down and rebuilt.

Newsom said, “That turned out to be in our favor again.”

Mayor’s Appreciation for Public Cooperation

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who also spoke at the press conference on Thursday, thanked people for following the advice to take public transportation and stay off the 10 near the fire-damaged stretch in downtown Los Angeles.

“Let me, first and foremost, thank Angelenos for paying attention to what we were saying, staying informed, using public transportation, staying on the freeways, off the surface streets, and staying peaceful,” Bass said. “The last few days have been difficult, but everybody has cooperated and I want to thank you. All of the stars have been aligned on behalf of Angelenos.”

Ongoing Investigations and Repair Work

Right now, they’re still figuring out what caused the fire. They’re thinking it might have been on purpose. Newsom mentioned that there aren’t any new details about it yet.

Work will continue through next week to fix the freeway’s deck and the about 100 support columns that were damaged in the fire, with about 10 of them being seriously damaged.

For now, commuters should continue to stay off of side streets in the area and use public transportation instead.

Metro also announced on Thursday a number of new incentives to get people in Los Angeles to ditch their cars, at least while the 10 Freeway is still being built. These include faster trains, more buses, and lower prices for some programs.

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