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article imageCalifornia bridge collapse closes Interstate 10 indefinitely

By Karen Graham     Jul 20, 2015 in World
All traffic on Interstate 10 between California and Arizona has been halted indefinitely after a bridge over a desert wash collapsed during a heavy rain storm. The roadway in the opposite direction also received heavy damage.
The collapse Sunday afternoon of Interstate 10 in southeastern California left one driver injured and stranded countless other motorists while complicating travel arrangements for thousand more in what officials say could be for a very long time.
Interstate 10 is a main corridor between Southern California and Arizona. A bridge on the eastbound side of the highway, 15 feet above a normally dry wash about 50 miles west of the Arizona state line, gave way and collapsed into the flood waters below.
Map showing interstate 10 between California and Arizona.
Map showing interstate 10 between California and Arizona.
The California Highway Patrol said all traffic heading toward Arizona was blocked. The westbound section of the interstate is also blocked near the little town of Desert Center. This means travelers will have to go hundreds of miles out of their way to get into Arizona.
Two days of rains and thunderstorms, the remnants of a tropical storm off Baja California, set rainfall records in what is normally a dry month in Southern and Central areas of the state. More scattered rain was expected today as the rains move north.
Terri Kasinga, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation said in Desert Center, the reason the freeway was closed was because the roadway had been extremely undermined by the flooding, and will require extensive rebuilding.
There is no time-frame for when work could commence on rebuilding of the interstate because road crews have been diverted to other jobs. US News and World Report is saying transportation officials are suggesting travelers on the east side of the collapse use U.S. Highway 95 in Arizona to get to other freeways, and in California, motorists use state routes 86 and 111 to get to Interstate 8 into Arizona.
The Riverside County Fire Department said one motorist sustained moderate injuries when the pickup truck he was driving crashed into the collapsed section of the bridge. The driver was taken to a local hospital.
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