COMMERCE ( —All lanes of the southbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway were reopened Wednesday in time for rush hour, following repairs and inspections of a bridge that was damaged by a grass and trash fire in the riverbed underneath.

The fire, which was reported at about 11:30 p.m. Monday in the Rio Hondo near Slauson Avenue, prompted a SigAlert at 11:56 p.m., shutting down the northbound and southbound sides of the freeway. The fire was extinguished in about an hour and 15 minutes, but Caltrans officials say there was damage to the girders and bearing pads under the bridge.

Two northbound lanes were reopened about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, and a southbound lane was reopened about four hours later, but traffic was jammed on the 5 Freeway for most of the day.

Work began on the bridge at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, with a goal of getting all lanes open later in the day. All lanes were reopened at about 1:30 p.m, according to the California Highway Patrol.


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