LOS ANGELES – Bolstering the state’s around-the-clock operation to repair Los Angeles’ I-10 Freeway, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the Biden-Harris Administration has approved California’s request for $3 million in “quick release” emergency funding to offset initial costs. The funding, issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will serve as a down payment from the federal government for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) repair effort.
GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “I want to thank the Biden-Harris Administration for their continued partnership to help California fix the 10. Fixing this freeway is critical to restoring the movements of people and goods in the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world. With President Biden’s support to rebuild critical infrastructure, California is leveraging an all-of-government approach — working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — to fix the 10 as quickly as possible so we can get LA’s traffic moving safely in December.”
“This segment of I-10 is a vital corridor in our Interstate Highway System, and it’s important to hundreds of thousands of commuters as well as to America’s supply chains that it be quickly repaired,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These federal emergency funds will help California launch this urgent repair work, and the Biden-Harris administration stands ready to provide further resources as necessary to address this issue quickly and safely.”
“We know the I-10 corridor is a critical connection for both people and goods traveling in and around Los Angeles,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “The quick release funding we’re providing Caltrans is the first of many steps we are taking to help California get this key route open as soon as possible for the workers, residents and businesses that rely on this route every day.”
“I want to thank Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt, and the Biden-Harris Administration for their unwavering support in helping us rebuild one of the busiest freeways in the country,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “On Saturday I spoke to Secretary Buttigieg, and on Monday Federal Highway Administrator Bhatt traveled to Los Angeles to assess the damage. Now, the Federal Highway Administration has delivered much-needed funding to help accelerate the rebuilding of the 10 Freeway. We will continue to ensure that there are no bureaucratic barriers to repairing the freeway and will work 24/7 to get it back up and running. I look forward to continued partnership with the White House, Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Alex Padilla, Senator Laphonza Butler, and Congressman Jimmy Gomez, as well as our local partners as we work together over the next few weeks to get this job done.”
FHWA Administrator Bhatt surveyed the site on Monday and emphasized the federal government’s support. Following his visit, the state submitted a request for federal reimbursement under the FHWA Emergency Relief program, which provides funding to states for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These “quick release” emergency relief funds are an initial installment of funds to help restore essential transportation. Expected costs to repair the freeway are still being estimated, but the state expects the federal government to reimburse California for nearly all likely costs.
The 10 Freeway is on track to at least partially reopen to traffic within 3-5 weeks. Earlier today the Governor announced that Caltrans emergency contractors have cleared all hazardous materials from the repair site — two days early — and Caltrans now has full site access to shore up support pillars and expedite repairs.
The 10 Freeway is a major artery that serves hundreds of thousands of Angelenos daily. After testing samples and assessing damage from the site, state transportation officials currently believe the damage can be repaired without demolishing and rebuilding the 450-foot span of the freeway, which could have taken upwards of 6 months. Union crews are working around the clock to shore up the support pillars damaged in the fire. These efforts are aimed at making the necessary repairs to safely reopen the freeway to moving traffic as soon as possible.
The state is taking an urgent all-of-government approach to fix the 10 Freeway, a major artery in Los Angeles, with traffic estimated at upwards of 300,000 vehicles daily. Californians can visit FixThe10.ca.gov for updates and alternate routes.
Last weekend, Governor Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles County to support the state’s response. The proclamation facilitates clean-up and repair work and directs Caltrans to formally request assistance through FHWA’s Emergency Relief Program.