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Interstates reopened in California, Arizona following accidents

The Trucker file photo.

The Associated Press

7/16/2013

Roads closed by two accidents that haulted traffic in California and Arizona have now reopened for Tuesday commuters.

All lanes of a Southern California freeway damaged by a fiery tanker accident reopened Tuesday in time for the morning commute, easing fears of a slow traffic slog.

All northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 5 finally reopened shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday after crews finished shoring up a damaged underpass, said Patrick Chandler, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation.

However, the underpass still needs considerable repairs, he said.

The tanker truck carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline overturned Saturday and caught fire. The intense heat badly damaged the concrete in the underpass that connects to State Route 2 near the northeastern suburb of Glendale.

On Monday, only two lanes of the I-5 were open and surrounding streets were clogged during the morning rush hour.

"The concrete was burning at several thousand degrees so it became brittle. Every part of the tunnel has missing concrete," Chandler said Monday.

The crash sent up a column of black smoke that was seen for miles and spilled thousands of gallons of gasoline into storm drains and the Los Angeles River, creating a stream of flames in some places.

In Arizona, eastbound Interstate 10 has reopened after being closed following a fatal accident that snarled part of the Phoenix area's Tuesday morning commute.

Eastbound traffic was rerouted onto U.S. 60 during the closure that lasted nearly two hours.

 

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