LOS ANGELES – Mayor Karen Bass delivered a morning update at the City’s traffic control center this morning on the 10 Freeway closure. She was joined by California State Transportation Agency Secretary Toks Omishakin, Caltrans Deputy District Director of Traffic Operations Rafael Molina, Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins and Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Laura Rubio-Cornejo, who detailed alternative traffic routes for drivers traveling near the impacted area and encouraged Angelenos to consider taking Metro if possible. Watch the update here. Angelenos can visit emergency.lacity.gov for more information.
Caltrans will be providing press updates later today. For more information on those updates, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transcript of Mayor Bass’ Remarks:
Thank you for joining us for this update on the 10 freeway closure.
This morning, I want to speak directly to the 300,000 people who would normally drive on this stretch of the 10, and to those who live, work or have appointments or schools in the area. As we made clear yesterday, this was a huge fire, and the damage will not be fixed in an instant.
Engineers have worked all night and are working right now to determine our path forward. But I have made it clear with our local, state and federal partners that any unnecessary bureaucracy or delays are not happening here.
Losing this stretch of the 10 freeway will take time and money from people's lives and businesses. It's disrupting in every way.
Whether you are talking about traveling to and from work, or your child care plans and the flow of goods and commerce, this will disrupt the lives of Angelenos. So I will not settle for anything other than a rebuilding plan and a timeline that becomes a new model for speed.
So I'm taking a three pronged 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.
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.
You might have heard from us last night. We took extra steps to reach out to people. There was a wireless emergency alert that you probably received last night. We did announcements on Next Door. I even did an Instagram Live. The impact on all travelers, you can check your travel navigation apps, and we would encourage employers if it is at all possible to have your workforce work remotely.
I want everyone to understand that we were acting urgently and we will not stop. I want to make sure that the city upholds our end of the bargain.
To Angelenos, the most important things that you can do this morning are first, check your commutes. Unless you have to enter downtown, stay on the freeways. There will be clear signage routing you around the closure, and those routes are the best way through.
If you have to pull onto surface streets, make sure you visit emergency.lacity.gov to be aware of the surface street routes that we have established to move traffic in the best way.
Please also consider transit. You can find that information at metro.net or call 511 to find the route most convenient for you.
If people remember when the earthquake collapsed the freeway in Northridge several years ago, 10 miles of the 405 was closed for Carmageddon, if you remember that.
When L.A. faced a hurricane a few months ago, the combination of Angelenos working together and the city acting urgently strategically, and with accountability, it avoided chaos.
We know how to do this in L.A. So let's do it again and work together.
We came together a few months ago during the hurricane, a completely unexpected weather event. And obviously this emergency was completely unexpected. And so I call on all Angelenos to stand together to be informed and to take the appropriate action.
Thank you very much. And now I'd like to call on the Secretary of California State Transportation Agency Toks Omishakin.
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.