The washed out Interstate 10 bridge in Riverside County reopened Thursday around 12:15 p.m., a week ahead of schedule, Caltrans spokesperson Terri Kasinga told KPCC. One lane was opened earlier in the day, with the second set to reopen by the end of business Thursday, according to a Caltrans release.
"There's still going to be some continuing work in the river bottom, on the structure of course on the westbound side and eastbound side, but we're not anticipating any impacts to traffic or any major lane closures," Kasinga said.
The new eastbound I-10 Tex Wash Bridge near Desert Center has reopened two months after a July 19 storm washed away the original bridge. The westbound bridge has also been restricted, but it's set to be restored to two lanes by midafternoon Friday, according to the release. Traffic breaks to remove k-rail and re-stripe the road between 4 a.m. and 1 p.m. may lead to breaks in traffic that last up to 10 minutes, according to Caltrans.
The bridge is between Coachella and the Arizona state line, carrying about 24,000 vehicles every day, including 9,500 trucks.
“Interstate 10 is a major goods movement artery and a critical lifeline for residents in the desert,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said in the release. “Caltrans has restored roads severely affected by the harsh force of nature before, and we will do it again. This is what we do best.”
Caltrans also assessed 58 other bridges in the area, finding them to be safe following the storm.
This story has been updated.