Intense flames from the massive tanker fire caused so much damage to the Paramount Boulevard overpass on the 60 Freeway that crews will begin immediate demolition of the eastbound side of the bridge Thursday morning, a state transportation official said.Had the truck stopped away from a bridge the clean-up would have taken maybe 12 hours to put the fire out and repair damage to the roadway. However, this trucker stopped his truck directly under the Paramount Blvd. overpass, thus destroying at least half of that bridge. The people in the area can look forward to detours and bridge construction for many months to come.
“This is definitely coming down today,” said Caltrans spokesman Patrick Chandler, pointing to the bridge over the eastbound lanes of the freeway.
He said it is unclear how long the demolition will take and more tests are being conducted to determine whether the westbound side also will be torn down.
Crews had already begun pressure-spraying the westbound side of the bridge to dislodge material damaged in Wednesday’s spectacular fuel-tanker fire.
Chandler said the bridge would be demolished from the abutment to the columns in the center divider.
Beneath the bridge lay a foot of sand and gravel to cushion falling debris.
The fire was so intense that "the flames caused the cement above to pop and become brittle and fall to the roadway," Chandler said.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Things just got tougher for Hwy. 60 commuters and Montebello residents thanks to yesterday's tanker fire:
Posted by Rick Moore on 12/15/2011