YUMA, Ariz. – Drivers commuting between California and Arizona will have two to three hours added to their trip because of the Interstate 10 bridge collapse, according the Department of Public Safety officials.
Severe flooding shut down the I-10 between Desert Sun and Indio Sunday afternoon. A 30 by 50 foot bridge collapsed in the eastbound lanes near Eagle Mountain Road, trapping one car, and forcing drivers to take alternate routes.
“The freeway was completely washed out on the westbound side so that’s going to take to not only rebuild the freeway but rebuild the structure underneath the wash bridge,” said California Highway Patrol Spokesman Jeff Knutsen.
DPS officials say the freeway damage will inconvenience drivers for an indefinite amount of time as travelers headed East from Riverside County are forced to take an hours-long detour through Interstate-8 in Yuma.
They estimate commuters between Phoenix and Riverside County will experience two to three hours added to their travel time in both directions. The road closure is rerouting eastbound traffic 55 miles to Yuma. From Indio, drivers will have to take the 86 East to the 111, then the I-8 and finally Highway 95.
“Might be a little heavier volume of traffic coming through Yuma depending on routes people are taking,” said Knutsen.
But to make matters worse, two alternate routes were closed off this morning. The 78 East also closed because of flooded washes. Plus a head-on crash involving two cars at Highway 95 near Quartzsite closed that road for five hours. DPS officials say it was alcohol related and both drivers were treated for serious injuries. Both roads have opened back up.
No word on how long it will take to reconstruct the bridge at the I-10, leaving drivers to navigate their way between California and Arizona using alternate highways that will add hours to their trip.