Big rig accident on WB 10 at Eastern in Monterey Park. All WB lanes closed. 10/710 connectors closed. Avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/traKDTDEPx
— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) January 13, 2015
A big rig fire prompted the closure Tuesday of the westbound San Bernardino (10) Freeway in the University Hills area east of downtown Los Angeles, and while there were no injuries, major traffic headaches resulted as crews checked the structural integrity of a freeway overpass.
Firefighters were sent shortly after 11 a.m. to the freeway at Eastern Avenue, which is about a quarter-mile west of the Long Beach (710) Freeway. It was unclear what caused the blaze, with the truck driver saying he came to a stop beneath the Eastern Avenue overpass when he saw flames shooting out of his engine.
All westbound freeway lanes were closed, as were two eastbound freeway lanes, while crews worked to clear the scene, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The big rig was hauling a load of TVs and other appliances.
Once the truck fire was doused, a county fire Urban Search and Rescue team was brought in to check for flames in the bridge above the truck. Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Keith Mora said smoke could be seen coming from some vents on the underside of the bridge, noting that the structure was built with a wooden casing that could have been damaged by the fire.
Caltrans engineers were also on the scene to check the structure.
A county Department of Public Works crew was also sent to the scene to keep diesel fuel leaking from the truck from running into storm drains.
In December 2011, a tanker truck caught fire under a bridge over the Pomona (60) Freeway in Montebello, causing extensive damage to the structure and requiring its demolition and replacement. The Paramount Boulevard bridge over the 60 Freeway was closed for five months, and the structure was replaced at a price of $40 million — with the cost covered by the Federal Highway Administration.
— City News Service
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