Security Paving Company and Griffith Company tag-teamed on the work to stabilize the supporting structure of a 450-foot bridge section of Interstate 10 that was affected by a two-acre scrap yard fire beneath the freeway in the early morning hours of November 11th. As a result of the combined efforts and unfettered access, the freeway was successfully shored up and reopened in just eight days.

The Security Paving Team works to shore up a section of the elevated freeway with steel I-beams and massive timbers.

As a result of Security Paving’s and Griffith’s around-the-clock efforts – and favorable structural testing results, the 10 was reopened to traffic Sunday night, November 19th, after only eight days of clean-up and stabilizing repair work, instead of the initially projected three to five weeks.

All that’s left of a palm tree is the scorched trunk, as a pre-assembled shoring wall is lifted into place.

Approximately 65 support columns were damaged in the fire, fueled by mountains of pallets, trailers, and vehicles. Initial speculation was that the affected section of the elevated freeway would need to be demolished, and rebuilding would take up to six months. However, core samples taken by Caltrans engineers showed that the damage wasn’t as extensive as it first appeared. With that news, rapid removal of approximately 50,000 cubic feet of debris took place, and two dozen burned vehicles were also removed from the site.

With the shoring infrastructure in place, the repair team plans the next phase of work.

An open network between state, local, and federal government officials was quickly created to expedite repairs of the freeway. On November 15th, the Biden-Harris Administration approved California’s request for $3 million in “quick release” emergency funds to offset the initial costs of the repair, and the heavy shoring work began.

A repair team member conducts a visual inspection of the newly erected support panel.

The wooden shoring next to the damaged concrete pillars beneath the elevated roadway now serves as a secure, but temporary support repair. Permanent fixes are underway and will take several months to complete, all while 300,000 vehicles – including cargo shipments from the nearby ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – travel overhead daily. During the initial effort to shore up and reopen the freeway, more than 250 people worked 12-hour shifts, around the clock, for eight days to get the job done.

“I have been building bridges for over 20 years and have been involved in lots of demanding projects,” said Security Paving Company Senior Vice President Brian Algren, “and it was so satisfying to see here what is possible when typical contractual barriers are taken down and it’s just about getting the work done.”