A bridge on the main Interstate 10 route connecting California and Arizona has collapsed, blocking traffic for what potentially could be quite some time.
In addition, the roadway in the opposite direction has suffered severe damage, authorities confirm.
The collapse on Interstate 10 in southeastern California on Sunday afternoon left one driver injured, numerous motorists stranded and caused a travel headache for thousands of others. Officials are warning that it could remain closed for a long time.
“Interstate 10 is closed completely and indefinitely,” said Terri Kasinga, spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation.
The broken bridge means motorists intending to use the route will now have to take a major detour to Interstate 8 to the south or alternatively Interstate 40 to the north.
Interstate 10 is the most direct route linking LA to Phoenix, and around 20,000 cars take the route every day.
Heavy rain apparently caused the disaster. A truck driver is suffering from moderate injuries when his truck fell when the bridge collapsed, but luckily nobody so far has been reported seriously injured.
Officials are unable to predict how long the Interstate 10 will remain closed for as damage assessment started early this week.
If you are driving between California and Arizona this week – particularly between the LA region and Phoenix – officials recommend motorists on the east side of the collapse should use Highway 95 in Arizona to get to the other freeways and drivers in California should opt for state routes 86 and 111 to get to Interstate 8 instead.
Rain in California is rare in summer and two days of heavy downpours and thunderstorms have set rainfall records for July.
Both states are popular timeshare destinations but unfortunately the guaranteed summer LA sunshine has been on hold for a couple of days. Tropical storm Dolores is behind the warm, wet weather Californians woke up to over the weekend. Typically, July is the driest month of the year in Southern California but this month’s rain has been really unusual, making July 2015 a record breaker in the weather history books.