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Fire shuts down major Los Angeles freeway

Aerial view of the damage to Interstate 10 and the surrounding area Associated Press/Photo by Jae C. Hong

Fire shuts down major Los Angeles freeway

The California Highway Patrol said Monday that the Santa Monica Freeway would remain closed indefinitely after a fire compromised the integrity of an overpass over the weekend. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass described the freeway, part of the Interstate 10 highway, as a “crisis” for the already traffic-congested city. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles County. The fire began in a nearby commercial storage yard early Saturday morning and spread across nearly eight acres while severely scorching the overpass, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Newsom said the fire was likely caused by arson. 

What’s the plan for fixing the bridge? The California State Transportation Agency said crews have placed temporary supports under the bridge while structural engineers determine if the bridge can be repaired. Debris samples are being analyzed to determine whether materials are hazardous before crews clean up. Newsom described the highway repair as a “24-7 operation” but gave no timeline for the project’s completion.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Sophia Lee’s report about L.A.’s homelessness.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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