LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass today delivered an afternoon update along with California Governor Gavin Newsom regarding the closure of the 10 freeway. They were also joined by other regional leaders including California State Transportation Agency Secretary Toks Omishakin, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, and California State Fire Marshal Daniel Berlant, Senator Maria Elena Durazo and Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer. Watch the update here. View photos here. Angelenos can visit emergency.lacity.gov for more information.
Please find a transcript of Mayor Bass’ remarks below:
Good afternoon, everyone. Let me first and foremost thank the Governor.
The Governor and his team have been with us side by side. We have been joined together through this crisis and I know and I have full confidence with his leadership and the support of our state legislators who are here, Senator Maria Elena Durazo, Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, and in a minute I'll introduce our Supervisor, we are joined at the hip, and we will make sure that we get through this crisis.
As Angelenos, we have been through crises before. Just a couple of months ago, we were here preparing for what we thought was going to be a hurricane. What happened was our city came together united. And if any other time we need to be united, it is right now.
We need to make sure that as Angelenos, we never, ever turn on each other. So I want to reiterate what the Governor said. We know that the origin of this is arson. We do not know other information. There is no reason to assume that the origin of this fire or the reason this fire happened was because there were unhoused individuals nearby.
I want you to know that we are working urgently to address this crisis. On Saturday, we activated our Emergency Operations Center to coordinate a response. I've been in touch with our federal and, of course, our state partners.
I want you to know that the White House Secretary Buttigieg called immediately. As the Governor said, the Federal Highway Administrator was here. The Administration has made it clear that they are ready to do whatever is necessary to get Los Angeles whole again.
We're making sure that Angelenos are informed. Last night we sent a wireless emergency alert to ensure that all Angelenos would be able to plan ahead and mitigate risk on their commutes.
Over 300,000 people travel through this freeway every single day. We've urged Angelenos to stay on the freeways, not get off onto the side streets because the side streets cannot withstand 300,000 people. To pay attention to your apps, whether it's Google alert or Waze, to pay attention because we are giving that information to those apps. We're also posting on Nextdoor to reach communities directly. But you can also visit emergency.lacity.gov.
Losing this stretch of the 10 freeway will take time and money from people's lives and businesses. For commuters, we're still exploring ways to open up faster and more effective routes of communication.
We would also encourage people to take Metro. Metro has increased the number of trains and buses available and have alternative routes for you to take. Whether you are talking about traveling to and from work or your childcare plans, and the flow of goods of commerce, we know that this will disrupt the lives of Angelenos. But we will not settle for anything other than a rebuilding or repairing plan that prioritizes safety and gets our freeways up and running.
So we're taking a three prong approach.
Number one, ensuring that we are coordinating a comprehensive plan from the city's traffic center and our Emergency Operations Center to address the traffic impacts of this closure with our local, state and federal partners.
Number two, we're getting the 10 freeway up and running as fast as possible and bringing accountability to that effort.
And finally, providing updated and detailed information to ensure that our communities and commuters are well informed every step of the way. I assure you that we will not stop until the job is done.
To Angelenos, the most important thing you can do is stay informed about the commutes. Unless you have to enter downtown, stay on the freeways. If it is possible, telecommute. We all learned during the pandemic we don't have to be in the workplace every day.
If you have to go into service streets, make sure you visit, again, emergency.lacity.gov to be aware of the surface street routes that we have established to move traffic in the best way.
Again, Angelenos in this time of crisis, in this time of emergency, we need to pull together.
Being stuck in traffic is something that makes Angelenos angry. We will do everything we can and work 24 hours a day until we settle this.
But this is a time to turn toward each other, not against each other. Whether you are housed or whether you are unhoused, we can do this. We have been here before and I know that we will be able to get past this and we will get past this united.
Let me now bring up the Supervisor from this area, Supervisor Hilda Solis.
Yesterday evening, the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department issued a city-wide wireless emergency alert directing Angelenos to emergency.lacity.gov. Angelenos should visit emergency.lacity.gov for updates. Information is also being posted on Nextdoor and the City’s social media channels.
The Mayor also announced this morning that following conversations with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the Federal Highway Administrator will travel to Los Angeles to assess the impacted area. The Mayor will continue to be in contact with the White House and the Governor’s Office to ensure that there are no barriers to rebuilding.
On Sunday, Mayor Bass toured the site of the fire with Governor Gavin Newsom, California State Transportation Agency Secretary Toks Omishakin, Los Angeles City Department of Transportation General Manager Laura Rubio-Cornejo, Fire Chief Kristin Crowley and more. See b-roll of the visit here and watch the press conference live streams here and here.
On the day of the fire, Mayor Bass activated the Emergency Operations Center as the city rapidly worked to respond to this damage. Angelenos should visit emergency.lacity.gov/updates for information about closures, alternative routes and public transportation options by going Metro.
The Mayor has directed all City departments to urgently respond to this fire by:
Ensuring that there’s a plan for Angelenos who commute or live by this incident
Working to get the 10 freeway up and running again as fast as possible
Providing as much information as possible to ensure that our communities and commuters are well informed every step of the way
Many hundreds of thousands of Angelenos will be impacted by this closure, which is why the Mayor is treating this issue with such urgency. During the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Caltrans worked around the clock to complete emergency repairs to the freeways, and this structural damage calls for the same level of urgency and effort.