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Washed-out I-10 set to reopen Friday after bridge collapse
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Washed-out I-10 set to reopen Friday after bridge collapse

  • Emergency personnel tend to the victim of a car that fell into a collapsed section of a bridge on the eastbound Interstate 10 freeway west of Desert Center, Calif. Heavy rains undermined the bridge along the heavily traveled route, closing it to traffic in both directions.
    CAL FIRE/Riverside County via Reuters Emergency personnel tend to the victim of a car that fell into a collapsed section of a bridge on the eastbound Interstate 10 freeway west of Desert Center, Calif. Heavy rains undermined the bridge along the heavily traveled route, closing it to traffic in both directions.

LOS ANGELES - A stretch of cross-country Interstate 10 freeway in California that was closed after a bridge was washed out during a heavy weekend rainstorm will reopen on Friday to limited traffic, state transportation officials said Tuesday.

The California Department of Transportation said crews would buttress the westbound side of the bridge carrying I-10 over a wash near the Arizona border to allow for two-way traffic.

The eastbound lanes of the freeway collapsed on Sunday afternoon as a rare July storm pummeled Southern California, choking traffic along a major truck route.

The westbound portion of the highway was closed as well after officials found the rains had undermined the bridge's ground support.

CalTrans has described the bypassed stretch of highway, which runs from California to Florida, as the key "last mile" for tractor-trailers hauling cargo to regional ports, warehouses and distribution centers, carrying some 27,000 vehicles a day.

Images published on social media showed a pickup truck dangling off the edge of the buckled section of the bridge, which had cracked and tipped into the wash flowing with water below. The driver of that truck suffered head injuries.

The storm, which reached the Southern California coast as remnants of Tropical Storm Dolores, brought record-setting amounts of rainfall to parts of Los Angeles County, along with unusually high humidity.

July is typically the driest month in Southern California, which sees little rain during the summer.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Eric Walsh


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