BEAUMONT ( — The Moreno Valley (60) Freeway between Moreno Valley and Beaumont was shut down Tuesday after a suspicious package found on the eastbound side of the freeway.

“It looked like it could be a pipe bomb. We’re treating it as such,” California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Osteen said at about 11:30 a.m.

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The object was spotted around 9 a.m. just east of Gilman Springs Road, Osteen said. The CHP closed both the east-and westbound sides of the freeway from Gilman to Interstate 10 as a precaution. However, the westbound 60 was reopened at 11:15 a.m., and the eastbound 60 was reopened a short time afterward, Caltrans reported.

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“The sheriff’s bomb squad is conducting an investigation,” Osteen said.

The area where the freeway was shut down is a rugged, sparsely populated space known as the Badlands. There are no frontage roads available for motorists to use to turn around.

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