Newsom Vows To Reopen California's I-10 Interstate In 3-5 Weeks — After Arson Fire Consumed Highway Near Downtown L.A.


The I-10 interstate that runs through Los Angeles — and has been closed indefinitely since a fire on Saturday shut it down — will likely reopen in three to five weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday, quelling fears the major freeway would be down for months.

Key Facts

Newsom posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “the state is working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get this done,” and he said he doesn’t “want to see that five-week mark hit.”

The state will not need to “demolish and replace the I-10,” — something that would have taken five to six months — rather it will continue repairs for weeks, working through rain or shine, Newsom said at a press conference Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Newsom and other authorities revealed the fire was caused by arson, though they didn’t provide more details and only said they are working to determine if more than one person was involved.

The state is still recommending people plan for extra time for their commutes, work from home if they’re able or take public transit rather than driving due to traffic delays caused by the closure.

Big Number

300,000. That’s about how many vehicles the I-10 carries per day, according to officials.

Key Background

On Saturday, two storage lots beneath I-10 caught fire, and it grew quickly, eventually spanning eight acres. No homes were damaged and no injuries were reported, officials said, though Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said about 16 unhoused people were moved from the area due to the fire, the New York Times reported. The fire was extinguished hours after it started on Saturday, but officials weren’t sure whether the damage would require the freeway to be demolished and rebuilt, or if it just needed repairs.

What To Watch For

Who is responsible for the “intentional act of arson” that started the I-10 fire. Newsom said Tuesday there was no new update regarding a suspect or suspects in the arson.


Los Angeles isn’t the only major city that has had a major road closure in recent months. In June, I-95 in Philadelphia partially collapsed after a truck holding petroleum-based products caught fire. That collapse resulted in demolition of the damaged section, and one person was killed in the accident. Reconstruction of that bridge has taken months, with traffic shifting from a temporary roadway onto the new outer travel lanes of the permanent bridge earlier this month, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In New Orleans on Monday, I-55 was reopened weeks after “superfog” in the area caused a pileup involving more than 100 vehicles that resulted in seven deaths.

Further Reading

AP NewsFire that indefinitely closed vital Los Angeles freeway was likely arson, governor saysAP NewsArson likely caused fire that damaged vital artery of Los Angeles freeway, governor saysLos Angeles Times10 Freeway closed: How to deal with the traffic nightmare in downtown L.A.

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