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Tanker fire: Crews tearing down damaged bridge

December 15, 2011 |  8:42 pm

Crews demolish the bridge on the 60 Freeway
Crews with jackhammers and dump trucks Wednesday night continued to demolish a fire-damaged overpass that shut down the heavily used 60 Freeway.

"We're going to be here throughout the night," said Caltrans spokesman Patrick Chandler.

Officials said they were hoping that the freeway would be open by noon  Friday.

PHOTOS: Fiery crash on the 60 Freeway

However, they were waiting for test results of concrete on the west side of the Paramount Boulevard overpass, which would determine whether they also need to demolish that side of the bridge.

If so, they may not be able to open the freeway until about 5 p.m. The test results were expected to be released Thursday night.

"It's a waiting game right now," Chandler said in a phone interview from the scene.

The overpass sustained severe structural damage after a tanker truck filled with 8,800 gallons of gasoline exploded on the freeway.

The incident, which occurred shortly after 12 p.m. Wednesday, forced officials to shut down about a 10-mile section of the 60 Freeway from the 605 Freeway to the 710 Freeway.

The closure created a traffic nightmare that reverberated to adjacent freeways as drivers scrambled to find other routes to travel to and from Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire.

The site was covered dust clouds as workers were tearing down the bridge while cleanup crews gathered the rubble.


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--Dalina Castellanos in Montebello and Robert J. Lopez in Los Angeles

Photo: Crews demolish damaged bridge. Credit: Dalina Castellanos/Los Angeles Times