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Interstate 10 Shut Down Indefinitely

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Both sides of Interstate 10 in a remote desert area of Southern California were closed late Sunday after heavy rains washed away an elevated portion of the highway, injuring a motorist.

The California Highway Patrol confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that approximately 30 feet of the eastbound roadway "is washed away and bridge is gone." The Tex Wash bridge carries traffic 15 feet above a normally dry desert wash about 50 miles west of the Arizona border.

The westbound side of the freeway remained intact, but California transportation officials said that it, too, had been badly compromised by flooding. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) spokeswoman Terri Kasinga told the Associated Press that Interstate 10 would remain closed between Corn Springs and Chiriaco Summit "completely and indefinitely."

The closure will force motorists seeking to use I-10 to travel between California and Arizona to go hundreds of miles out of their way to Interstate 8 to the south or Interstate 40 to the north. Transportation officials recommended travelers on the east side of the collapse use U.S. Highway 95 in Arizona to get to the other freeways, and that in California drivers use state routes 86 and 111 to get to Interstate 8 into Arizona.

Busy I-10 is the most direct route between the Los Angeles area and Phoenix. An average of more than 20,000 cars per day pass through the area that is shut down, according to federal highway statistics.

Kassinga said says engineers won't even be able to properly assess the damage to the two sides until Monday morning, and offered no timeframe for their opening again.

"The 10 is a dire situation," Kasinga told the Riverside Press-Enterprise earlier Sunday.

The Riverside County Fire Department said it had to extract a driver who crashed a pickup truck in the collapse. The person was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries. A passenger from the truck was able to get out without help and wasn't hurt.

Pamala Browne, 53, and her daughter were driving from Flagstaff, Arizona to Palm Desert, California when they got stranded when the westbound lanes were shutdown.

"Oh my God, we are so stuck out here," Browne told the Desert Sun newspaper.

She said "we're talking miles" of cars waiting for a route to open.

The Desert Sun reported that the Tex Wash bridge, which opened in 1967, had been listed as functionally obsolete in the 2014 National Bridge Inventory.

The rains came amid a second day of showers and thunderstorms in southern and central California that were setting rainfall records in what is usually a dry month.

Rain fell Sunday afternoon in parts of Los Angeles County's mountains, the valley north and inland urban areas to the east as remnants of tropical storm Dolores brought warm, muggy conditions northward.

The showers forced the Los Angeles Angels' first rainout in 20 years and the San Diego Padres' first rainout since 2006.

Saturday's rainfall broke records in at least 11 locations, including five places that had the most rain ever recorded on any day in July, said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirard.

July is typically the driest month of the year in Southern California. Because of that, Saturday's 0.36 inch of rain in downtown Los Angeles exceeded the 0.24 inch recorded July 14, 1886, which had been the wettest July day in nearly 130 years.

The storm brought weekend flash floods and power outages and turned Los Angeles County's typically packed coast into empty stretches of sand when the threat of lightning forced authorities to close 70 miles of beaches.

Meanwhile, the summer storm has helped firefighters advance on two wildfires that broke out Friday. The Los Angeles Times reported that the 3,500-acre North fire that had shut down Interstate 15 Friday, burning cars and stranding motorists, was 75 percent contained by Sunday morning.

Muggy, moist conditions were expected to persist through Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Hello everyone: this has happened many times before. The El Ninos (Ni-yas) manifest

themselves in many ways. Out of control cloudbursts; destructive windstorms and

destructive hailstorms. The worst is out of control fires started by lightening strikes, and

the various acts of man.

I first became aware of them in the in the 1950's... For those of you who are long enough in

tooth to remember, the 1982-83 monsoon was severe in Arizona with massive highway

flooding and also the 1997-1998 storms were also severe to parts of the Sierras.

Not every area is in the pathway of an El Nuno. But they are now strongly believed to modify

the usual weather pattern, even to causing periods of sever droughts, and unexpected tornadoes.

Years ago, some would be filled with glee that the El Nino's rejuvenate some of the wet and dry

gold placers; but the damage caused far exceeds any new gold areas created..

We have always survived and rebuilt better than new as we learn from the past...

Historical Geology... the past is a key to the future... We can't control "'Mother' Nature"

but learn to co-exist with her whims... jim

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The surge of traffic attempting to bypass I-10 has clogged Hwy 62 pretty bad. Add an extra 10 to 20 mins traversing Yucca Valley. This likely will be the status quo for months.

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What I'd like to know is if the water level got as high as the roadway..?

But then again water level didn't get anywhere near the roadway when

the interstate bridge in Minn-StPaul fell into the Mississippi either..


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If you look up TEX WASH on google, you can see how the water flow in a monsoon would rip out that west side under the bridge.

They had rocks piled up there but sometimes its just too much force to handle.

Heck, Adam and BDs handstack cant even hold up to it :)
Tom H.

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Yup, it's a mess. But I bet the company CC Meyer could have it fixed in a couple of weeks. Yup just look at the Cal Trans big wigs standing around with their hands in pockets. Probably wondering how much overtime they can suck out of this


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Yup, it's a mess. But I bet the company CC Meyer could have it fixed in a couple of weeks. Yup just look at the Cal Trans big wigs standing around with their hands in pockets. Probably wondering how much overtime they can suck out of this

Just bring in the Navy SeaBees and they'll have a solid temporary bridge in place in just a few days that will last until a permanent bridge can be built!


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If you're near gold country and it floods, go detecting. That's my plan for tomorrow anyway :black_knight_standing:

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Agreed about the Seabees... and also just a platoon of combat engineers would push a temporary Baily Bridge

strong enough for tanks to pass over. Cal Trans will build it better and stronger in the meantime... but it may

take months...

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Hey everyone... In reply to an earlier post on this thread, did ya'all notice on another sub-forum that Seabee John is 82 today?

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Here's the latest -- one lane will be reopening in each direction on Friday 7/24...

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Construction crews worked Wednesday in the Southern California desert to fortify a bridge that a surge of floodwater damaged, their goal to reopen the main route connecting Los Angeles and Phoenix by Friday.

Resuming even a limited flow of traffic on Interstate 10 was expected to have taken weeks, but the California Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the highway will handle traffic again far sooner than originally expected.

Travelers will still face delays, however, because just a single lane will be open in each direction.

The flash flood eroded land around several bridges, with the hardest hit crossing Tex Wash, a normally dry gully that swelled with rainfall Sunday amid the kind of sudden, intense storm that can reshape the desert floor.

The fast-moving water severely eroded soil under the concrete that anchors one side of the interstate’s westbound span, making it unsafe.

The eastbound span fared worse, buckling into the gully. One driver was seriously injured when his truck partly fell off the roadbed toward the raging water below.

The noon Friday reopening was an “aggressive” timetable that required around-the-clock work, said Mike Beauchamp, Caltrans’ head of construction in the region. “We’re trying to get it open, but the No. 1 priority is safety,” he said Wednesday.

In light of the damage, some outside engineers said Caltrans may need to adopt tougher design and protection standards for highway bridges, particularly with heavy rains possible in the coming months due to the ocean-warming phenomenon known as El Nino.

I-10 typically sees 54,000 vehicles a day in the area of the washout, about 50 miles west of the California-Arizona line, according to Caltrans. That traffic has been taking a detour of several hours over smaller desert highways.

Work on rebuilding the eastbound span will start after one lane of traffic in each direction is routed over the westbound span starting Friday; Caltrans had no date for its reconstruction.

Caltrans initially said the interstate would be closed indefinitely. By the end of Monday, an agency spokesman projected that the limited reopening could take weeks. On Tuesday afternoon, Caltrans credited an emergency construction contract for the new schedule.

The faster timetable emerged even as inspectors found that two bridges near Tex Wash also suffered erosion. Those repairs were completed Tuesday, Caltrans said.

On Sunday, flooding touched off by unusually intense July rainfall of nearly 7 inches washed away boulders that Caltrans had placed along the gully’s bank to protect against erosion. Once that “armor” was gone, the water made quick work of the soil beneath the abutments where the bridge connected the road bed to solid land.

The bridge over Tex Wash was built in 1967 and easily passed a March safety inspection. The inspection report recorded no erosion concerns.

Caltrans had been aware that water could focus its full force on the eastern bank of Tex Wash, as it did, rather than the middle of the channel.

As part of statewide assessment of bridges that might be susceptible to serious erosion, inspectors noted in 2001 a “potential vulnerability” due to the angle of incoming water, according to Kevin Flora, a Caltrans bridge engineer.

At the time, there were no signs of past erosion, according to the report Flora reviewed. The protective sheathing of boulders seemed to be working.

As a result, inspectors did not add Tex Wash to 67 other bridges on the state’s “scour critical” list, which would have meant closer monitoring and possible reinforcement. Speaking by phone from the scene of the collapsed bridge, Flora described that as a “judgment call.”

Any decision on whether to change the protection or maintenance of bridges over desert gullies will come later, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Vanessa Wiseman.

Armin W. Stuedlein, an engineering professor at Oregon State University who studies how structures such as bridges interact with soil, said there may be “room for improvement” in bridge design and protection standards.

He noted that this stretch of I-10 has several dozen similar bridges.

“Any one of those gullies on any given storm event could be the bad actor,” Stuedlein said.

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Are they going to put a Pass port check point on it? Seems Southern California is not longer part of America.

Only Americans use the established border crossings -- and we need passports to get back in. Illegals cross anywhere they like in CA, AZ, NM or TX and the border patrol seems to have decided that it is easier to catch them after they are inside the US and mingling with (for lack of better and more descriptive terms) us rather than stopping them at the border.

It's a LONG border and a big problem with no easy solution.

Edited by Dakota Slim
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I cross the border regularly without a passport. Have since I was a child.

American citizens don't need a passport to enter their own country unless they are traveling by air. The border agents are aware of this and generally just pass you through with minimal ID, unless you get a hardass who hasn't had a good day. Even then it's only a few minutes delay while you wait for the boss to clear you.

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NOT here. You can go but your not getting back in the US on the road without a pass port unless you have a Birth Certificate, Drivers lic and about two hours for them to be verified. .

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