LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Inspectors have found erosion under two other highway bridges near the span that collapsed in the Southern California desert, and construction crews are working to reinforce them.
Flash flooding along Interstate 10 on Sunday caused the eastbound side of the span to give way and severely eroded the supports on the westbound side near the town of Desert Center.
The collapse cut off the main artery connecting California and Arizona.
After the collapse, inspectors checked some 44 bridges along a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 10. They also plan to inspect bridges in an area where a tropical storm off Baja California dumped unusual deluges.
Records on the collapsed span reveal when inspectors visited the bridge in March, they found no structural issues, according to Caltrans. The inspection report shows that the bridge had minor cracks. The only work recommended was to upgrade the railing, and that was done several years ago.
The highway has been closed in both directions, severing a vital connection between Los Angeles and Phoenix.
Authorities hope to reopen I-10’s westbound lanes to two-way traffic within weeks.
Mike Beauchamp, the local head of construction for the California Department of Transportation, says workers are also shoring up two bridges several miles to the west.
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