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Interstate 10 between California, Arizona reopens after bridge collapse
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Interstate 10 between California, Arizona reopens after bridge collapse

PHOENIX — Traffic on Interstate 10 began flowing in both directions Friday after flooding caused a bridge to collapse.

The California Department of Transportation said two-way traffic resumed on I-10 about noon on Friday.

While the agency has not yet repaired the collapsed bridge in Desert Center, it strengthened the non-damaged portion to allow traffic one lane in each direction. Repairs will continue on the collapsed portion for at least two months.

Drivers were encouraged to add at least 30 minutes to their estimated travel times.

“There will be delays, obviously, because there is one lane in each direction,” Joy Schnieder with CalTrans said.

The bridge collapsed Sunday amid heavy rains in a remote desert area of California, cutting off traffic between the state and Quartzsite, Arizona. One driver was injured after he became trapped in his truck.

The bridge, which sits about 15 feet above a normally dry wash about 50 miles west of the Arizona state line, cracked and tumbled into the flooding water below, the California Highway Patrol said.

The collapse triggered fears that other bridges could be at risk. At least 680 in Arizona are considered structurally obsolete by the Federal Highway Administration. An additional 256 bridges are classified as structurally deficient, an even lower category than functionally obsolete.

A truckers association is calling for the state to repair the bridges.

“We still have 1.6 million drivers every day going over a structurally deficient bridge; that is scary, that is a public safety issue,” Arizona Truckers Association President and CEO Tony Bradley said.

CalTrans said it found two more bridges on I-10 that needed minor repairs. Both were fixed Tuesday.

KTAR’s Cooper Rummell contributed to this report.