MONTEBELLO (CBS) — Commuters on the 60 Freeway in Montebello could have an easier drive by summertime after efforts were underway Friday to replace an overpass that was gutted by a tanker fire.
KNX 1070′s John Brooks reports the fire-scorched bridge at Paramount Boulevard has been torn down and construction of a new bridge is underway.
City and transportation officials gathered to kick off the start of construction on the overpass that was heavily damaged last December when a tanker truck filled with thousands of gallons of gasoline exploded underneath it.
Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles said the $40 million replacement bridge will be wider, longer and likely finished by the end of June.
“Extremely fast-track…we did what we call a limited bid, we invited bidders in, we were giving them 112 working days to complete the project,” said Miles. “We sidestepped all the environmental rules because of the emergency nature of the project, so we’re hoping to have it completed very quickly.”
Miles also said the state will be going after reimbursement for damages from the gasoline company that owned the exploded tanker, although it remains unclear how much the company’s insurance policy would pay.
But for now, drivers in Montebello may be happy just to see the overpass reopen.
“There are people that live either north or south of here that go back and forth in terms of where they work and taking kids to school that are certainly impacted in some way,” said mayor Frank Gomez.