Photo Credit: Colin Opseth


HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) — A fire at a bridge construction site on Interstate 15 in Hesperia continued to smolder Tuesday morning, but officials predicted northbound lanes of the artery northeast of Los Angeles could be reopened in time for the evening commute.

The blaze, which burned through the night, reduced the bridge's wooden support structure to ash and caused steel girders to sag into the freeway below.  Crews used heavy equipment to slowly drag collapsed remnants out of lanes.

Traffic on the northbound side of Southern California's main connector to Las Vegas could be flowing again by mid-to-late afternoon, said Basem Muallem, District 8 Director for Caltrans.

Southbound lanes are expected to reopen by Wednesday morning, he said.

"We still have a lot of work to do to restore traffic," said Ray Wolfe, director of the San Bernardino Associated Governments.

Commuters were urged to find alternate routes, including interstates 138 and 18. Officials said drivers should stay away from the Cajon Pass, which is just south of the area of Interstate 15 closed by the fire. Traffic was backed up for several miles to the north early Tuesday.

The interstate was closed around 1:30 p.m. Monday because of falling debris.

Read more on the KFI News Blog