Senator Jeff Stone
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 20, 2015
CONTACT: John Hunneman @ 951.894.3530
I-10 Bridge Collapse another sign of California’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Caltrans hopes to open traffic in each direction within several days
The collapse of the bridge on Interstate 10 at Tex Wash, east of Coachella, on Sunday further illustrates the rapidly deteriorating state of California’s roads and highways and the urgent need to rebuild our State’s crumbling infrastructure.
The bridge on eastbound I-10 was completely washed away during the severe storm, and the westbound bridge was severely undermined, which has resulted in the closure of this busy highway connecting California and Arizona.
Luckily, no one was killed. A truck on the bridge when it collapsed plunged into the rapidly flowing wash. A passenger was able to escape but the driver had to be rescued by brave firefighters, who risked their own lives to pull him to safety.
I have spoken with both the Governor’s office and Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty who has issued a Directors Order to speed up repairs.
Caltrans will be moving forward quickly with the construction of a temporary fix to open I-10 to traffic in each direction. Caltrans is striving to get his done in the next few days.
Construction of a permanent replacement for both the east and west bound bridges over this wash is also being expedited.
About 27,000 cars and trucks travel along I-10 between Coachella and Arizona every day. Interstate 10 is also a major economic artery with trucks hauling billions of dollars of domestic trade and international cargo from manufactures, warehouses, distribution centers and the ports of Southern California to consumers across the country.
The bridge that collapsed was built in 1967 and, according to the 2014 National Bridge Inventory, was listed as “functionally obsolete” and considered no longer adequate for its task. It was one of hundreds of bridges across our state in need of replacement or repair.
Maintenance and repairs of California’s bridges and highways have been neglected far too long. Millions of taxpayer dollars, approved by voters to build and maintain our bridges and highways, have been siphoned away to programs that have nothing to do with infrastructure, transportation or highway safety.
I am calling on the Governor and Legislative Democrats to join with my fellow Republicans to support legislation that will ensure transportation tax dollars collected from hard-working California are spent where they are desperately needed.
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Jeff Stone was elected to represent California’s 28th Senate District in November 2014.The district, which is entirely in Riverside County, stretches from the vineyards of the Temecula Valley to the Colorado River and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Wildomar.
For more information visit the website at http://district28.cssrc.us.