ELYSIAN PARK (CBSLA.com) — Two lanes on the northbound 5 Freeway near the 2 interchange have reopened Monday afternoon following a fiery tanker truck crash and inferno over the weekend.
Caltrans was able to open the connector from the southbound 2 Freeway to the southbound 5 around 6:30 a.m. The agency originally believed they wouldn’t be able to open any lanes of the northbound 5 Freeway until Tuesday morning.
The accident occurred Saturday morning when police say the tanker blew a tire in a small tunnel that connects the northbound 2 Freeway to the northbound Golden State Freeway, officials said.
The big rig, which was hauling 8,500 gallons of fuel, burst into flames upon impact and caused structural damage to the tunnel and 5 Freeway above.
Officials also said thousands of gallons of fuel spilled into storm drains and into the L.A. River.
The truck driver escaped with minor injuries. Mike Miles with Caltrans said the walls of the tunnel were so charred from the crash that concrete was popping off the walls.
Current Closures In Place:
-Northbound I-5 at SR-2, two lanes closed
-Northbound I-5 to Westbound SR-2 connector
-Eastbound SR-2 connector to Northbound I-5
Caltrans engineers have ordered contractors to construct a temporary system for the freeways.
“Once the shoring system is complete and roadway is deemed safe, the I-5 lanes closures will be lifted,” Patrick Chandler of the Department of Transportation said.
All lanes of the 5 Freeway were not expected to open until sometime Tuesday, officials said.
For more on traffic, freeway closures and alternate routes, click here.