UPDATE: 60 Freeway Reopened

Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol reopened the road towards Los Angeles at about 11:07 a.m., officers said.


All lanes of the Pomona (60) Freeway were reopened to traffic today, three days after both directions of the key route were closed when a gasoline tanker burned underneath a huge overpass.

and the l reopened the westbound lanes towards Los Angeles at about 11:07 a.m., officers said.

The eastbound lanes were reopened shortly before 6 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

"Ongoing closures are planned over next few nights for repair work on Paramount Bl Bride," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department tweeted.

Earlier in the day, a Caltrans official had said both directions would not reopen until Sunday evening.

Caltrans crews and contractors continued to grapple with a key fiber communications conduit buried in the rest of the damaged structure, a state spokesman said today.

All of the southern half of the Paramount Boulevard overpass had been removed by sunrise today and the communications cable was supported by a temporary steel beam suspended above freeway lanes that were also damaged by Wednesday's roiling gas-truck fire, Caltrans spokesman Patrick Chandler said.

Workers today began tearing out enough of the northern side of the overpass to allow the critical fiber line to be unearthed, and then shifted over onto another temporary beam, Chandler said.

Once the fiber line is attached to a new, temporary utility bridge, the freeway can be reopened in both directions.

The rest of the overpass will be torn down during overnight closures on the westbound 60 starting at 11 p.m. Sunday, Chandler said.

The eastbound 60 will remain open, but with two lanes blocked off for safety. On the freeway itself, other crews today began repairing the concrete lanes of the eastbound 60, after the last overpass debris had been carted off.

The concrete pavement, poured in the early 1960s, had been baked into destruction by incredible temperatures from the 8,800 gallons of gasoline that burned.

The driver of a double-tanker truck noticed his rig on fire as he traveled east on the 60 last Wednesday, and stopped beneath the only overpass on a two-mile-long stretch of freeway.

A preliminary investigation indicated the truck's brakes may have overheated, causing the fire, CHP Officer Vince Ramirez said.

The truck was apparently operated by Cool Transports of Colton. The freeway remained closed from Rosemead Boulevard on the east to the Long Beach (710) Freeway on the west, although some local traffic was allowed to use the 60 in East Los Angeles today.

--Mirna Alfonso contributed to this report


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