In a major schedule advancement, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that the fire-damaged Santa Monica Freeway in downtown Los Angeles will reopen with five lanes in both directions by Tuesday of next week.
The original estimate for the repair work was three to five weeks, with officials saying structural repairs were needed on not only the freeway deck but on as many as 100 support columns that were damaged in an early Saturday morning fire that erupted in a storage yard beneath the roadway.
“That is a significant improvement on the basis of our original timeline, three to five weeks,” Newsom said at an early evening news conference at the construction site. “By Tuesday of next week, trucks, passenger vehicles in both directions will be moving again.”
“That is not guaranteed. We still have chemical sampling that comes in on a daily basis, but the bridge structure itself seems to be in better shape than we anticipated,” he said.
Newsom said that thanks to crews “who have been working around the clock, we’re on track to open the 10 before millions of Angelenos hit the road for Thanksgiving.”
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called the news “a good day in Los Angeles…all of the stars have been aligned.”
The closed portion of Interstate 10 between Alameda Street and the East LA Interchange typically carries about 300,000 vehicles per day.
City News Service contributed to this article.