Reopening of Torched Los Angeles Freeway Set for Monday After Arson FireNovember 19, 2023
The Los Angeles highway that was set ablaze will reopen Monday morning for rush hour traffic, officials said Sunday. A section of Interstate 10 south of downtown Los Angeles, which carries an estimated 300,000 people each day, was lit on fire on Nov. 11. After the fire, California politicians warned that the highway could be closed for a month. But less than 10 days later, the heavily trafficked section of I-10 will reopen for rush hour commuters. Investigators released photos of the suspected arsonist on Saturday, describing him as a man with a right knee brace and burns on his left leg. The man has not been located. Immediately after the blaze, Californians worried that the entire overpass would need to be torn down and rebuilt. However, the structure was not as damaged as initially feared. Land under the overpass had been leased to a company, Apex Development, as part of a statewide program to raise money for transportation projects. The California Department of Transportation and Apex have been passing the blame in the days since the fire. Caltrans inspectors had visited the site six times since 2020 and repeatedly warned higher-ups that Apex had violated the lease, with one 2022 investigator calling it a “filthy unmaintained lease.” Apex said Caltrans was “fully aware” of the issues but took no action. The two parties had already sued each other before the fire.