Commuters were able to hop on the 10 Freeway Monday morning after it reopened ahead of schedule Sunday but officials say more work needs to be done. 

Experts initially believed it would take months to open the freeway after a pallet fire erupted on Nov. 11, closing the roadway from Alameda Street to Santa Fe Avenue.

That estimate was later revised to three to five weeks before it ultimately opened in just eight days.

The 10 Freeway reopened on Nov. 29, 2023.
After an eight-day closure, the 10 Freeway reopened on Nov. 20, 2023. (KTLA)

Officials say the rapid opening was made possible by several factors.

  • Better structural testing results than were expected following the fire
  • Rapid debris removal
  • Good coordination between state, local and federal government officials
  • Crews working around the clock

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announced the freeway reopening with a post on X, formerly Twitter, just after 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

“Welcome back, Los Angeles!” a portion of the tweet read.

Crews are still working on permanent repairs but officials said extensive testing ensured the bridge could reopen while that construction continued.

The Alameda offramp on the westbound 10 Freeway remains closed along with the 8th Street onramp to the westbound 10.

Gov. Newsom confirmed last Monday that the fire was set with “malice intent,” saying that the fire burned within the property’s fence line and appeared to be an act of arson.

10 Freeway arson person of interest description released
Authorities have released a description of the suspect believed to have set the fire that destroyed part of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles. (CalFire)

A person of interest was identified Saturday and the public is encouraged to provide leads or tips to the CAL Fire Arson Hotline at 800-468-4408.

According to CalFire, the person of interest is approximately six feet tall and weighs 170 to 190 pounds. He is believed to be between the ages of 30 and 35 and has black hair.

The man appeared to have visible burn injuries on his left leg, authorities said. 

The freeway closure has affected thousands of Angelenos, who have been advised to take public transit; several train and bus routes have been discounted and sped up or had lines added to them in wake of the closure.

The Los Angeles City Traffic Control Center is planning to hold a news conference at 6 a.m. Monday to give updates on the 10 Freeway reopening.