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Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday that the repairs on a raised Los Angeles freeway, which was closed due to an arson fire, are progressing at a quicker pace than anticipated. The lanes are set to be reopened next Tuesday.
Officials announced earlier this week that it may take crews anywhere from three to five weeks to reinforce the one-mile section of Interstate 10 near downtown, following a fire on Saturday that caused damage to approximately 100 support columns.
According to Newsom’s evening news conference, the bridge structure appears to be in better condition than previously believed. He also confirmed that by next Tuesday, both directions of the bridge will have five open lanes.
Authorities stated that the inquiry into the fire was still in progress.
Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles declared, “Today is a great day in Los Angeles.”
A fast-moving fire, covering 8 acres (3 hectares), was fueled by pallets, cars, building materials, hand sanitizer, and other objects stored beneath the highway in an industrial area. No one was hurt, but 16 homeless individuals residing in a nearby camp were relocated to shelters.
There have been no arrests and Newsom stated that investigators are working to determine if there were multiple individuals involved in what was most likely an act of arson, according to officials.
Around 300,000 cars travel on the section of highway every day, which goes from east to west through the center of the city and links with other significant highways. The city has been encouraging individuals to steer clear of the region, utilize public transportation, or telecommute.