Highway Between L.A. And Las Vegas Reopens After Bridge Fire
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[May 08, 2014]
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The main highway
route between Southern California and Las Vegas was fully reopened on
Wednesday, nearly two days after a bridge fire and collapse forced
authorities to shut it down in both directions, backing up traffic for
Southbound lanes of Interstate-15 near the high desert community
of Hesperia, some 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles, were reopened
overnight after crews cleared away tons of metal and wood from the
roadway, officials said.
Traffic resumed on northbound lanes of the freeway, the main artery
between Southern California and Las Vegas as well as other
destinations in Nevada and Utah, late Tuesday afternoon.
An interchange had been under construction over the four-lane
highway when its wooden structure caught fire on Monday afternoon,
possibly from a worker using a blow-torch.
No injuries were reported but the closure stranded motorists on
either side in miles of backed-up traffic as authorities diverted
them onto off-ramps to get around the wreckage.
The bridge was part of a $59 million project that began in January
2013 and was scheduled for completion early next year, and the
collapse was likely to cause considerable delays and additional
Officials say the extent of the lost time and money is not yet
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According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, more
than one in four people who visit Las Vegas come from Southern
California, with an average of 42,000 cars crossing the
California-Nevada border on the I-15 each day.
There are few alternatives for drivers traveling across the
California desert between the two destinations.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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