710, 91 freeways will reopen for Thursday morning commute

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710-91-freewayCaltrans expects to reopen the site of a fiery truck crash at the interchange of the Artesia (91) and Long Beach (710) freeways by Thursday morning, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation said.

Caltrans is aiming for the start of the morning commute, about 5 a.m., Caltrans spokeswoman Judy Gish said Tuesday.

The connector spans the eastbound 91 to the northbound 710.

The stretch has been closed since Saturday, when a tanker truck carrying 8,000 gallons of ethanol crashed, killing the driver and melting the truck down to its frame and axles.

The fire’s intensity also damaged parts of the freeway structure. Guardrails melted and sections of concrete crumbled.

After the fire was contained, and the site was cleaned up, Caltrans engineers began testing and assessing damages.

An emergency order closed the interchange.

Initial test results determined that the connector could reopen as soon as pavement work is completed by a Caltrans contractor.

“We absolutely would not open it if it were not safe,” Gish said.

The remaining work, however, may require overnight closure as the contractor completes the job, Gish said.

Other lanes affected by the accident have already reopened.

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