The portion of the 10 Freeway damaged by an intentionally set fire earlier this month reopened to traffic in both directions on Sunday evening – weeks before the date originally set by authorities.
At an early Sunday press conference, Governor Gavin Newsom –flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and Mayor Karen Bass, among others– announced that the opening would happen in time for Monday’s commute.
“This is a great day in our city, and I think it is a wonderful example of how and why we got this job done,” Bass said at the conference. “First and foremost, the workforce that worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The numbers of workers on the site here, who doubled and tripled as everyone came together, showing the unity from the White House to the governor, to our senator, all of us standing together to make sure that this got done.”
Newsom assured the public that the freeway was safe to be used, and added that additional permanent fixes still had to be made and that there would be occasional lane closures over the next few weeks, but that those would be done mostly at night and would not affect daily commutes.
Also at the press conference, California Senator Alex Padilla said that the costs of repairing the freeway –which he estimated at $3 million– would be covered by federal funds.
Meanwhile, authorities are seeking to identify a person of interest in connection to the Nov. 11 fire, which authorities say was intentionally set.
On Saturday Cal Fire released photos of a person of interest sought in the alleged arson. The individual was described as a man of unknown race, approximately 6′ tall and 170 to 190 pounds.
The person was captured on surveillance footage wearing a black hoodie, blue shorts, gray shoes, a green scarf, a knee brace on his right knee, and a dark backpack. Authorities said he appeared to have visible burn injuries on his left leg.