Ramps Near Fire-Damaged 10 Freeway Reopen

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Additional ramps in the area of the fire that forced a weeklong closure of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway in downtown Los Angeles reopened Wednesday in time for the morning commute.

According to Caltrans, the westbound 10 Freeway off-ramp to Alameda Street and the westbound on-ramp from Santa Fe Avenue/Mateo Street/East Eighth Street opened early Wednesday morning.

"The shoring below the Alameda Street off-ramp is complete and safety inspections confirmed it can be open to traffic," according to a statement from Caltrans. "This is still a construction zone, and the speed limit on the off-ramp is reduced from the normal 35 mph to 25 mph until further notice. Caltrans reminds motorists that traffic fines are doubled in work zones."

Motorists exiting the freeway at Alameda are able to proceed west on 14th Street, but 14th remains closed westbound between Lawrence and Alameda streets due to continuing repair work.

Lawrence Street remains closed between 14th and 10th streets.

Caltrans officials said the overall repair work will likely continue for months, despite the freeway already being reopened to traffic.

The stretch of freeway between Alameda and the East L.A. Interchange was closed in the early morning hours of Nov. 11, when a fire erupted in the storage yards beneath the roadway, putting the freeway's structural integrity into question.

The freeway, which carries an estimated 300,000 cars per day, reopened Sunday evening, despite earlier estimates that the repair work would take three to five weeks. Caltrans noted that some or all lanes on the 10 Freeway could be closed in the area at times, primarily at night, to complete the repair work.

On Saturday, Cal Fire released photos and a description of a person of interest in connection with the fire they believe was intentionally set, igniting within the fenceline of a storage yard below the freeway.

The suspect was described as a 6-foot tall man weighing 170 to 190 pounds with black hair. He appears to be between 30 and 35 years old, and his race is unknown. He possibly has a burn on his left leg. The man was photographed wearing a black hoodie, blue shorts, gray shoes, green scarf and a knee brace on his right knee. He was also carrying a dark-colored backpack.

The photo is available at https://twitter.com/CAL_FIRE/status/1725959913560748276/photo/1. Investigators urged anyone with information about the initial fire or the suspect to call their tip hotline at 800-468-4408.

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