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Fire Closes Bridge Linking Pico Rivera, Montebello

The heavily traveled Beverly Boulevard bridge over the Rio Hondo will be closed for much of the weekend because of a smoky fire in the wooden section of the 225-foot-long span Friday afternoon, Montebello police reported.

It took about 25 Montebello firefighters 15 minutes to put down the blaze, but fire crews were to stay on the scene all night digging up the asphalt roadbed to put out hot spots, Montebello Fire Capt. Richard Thomas said. There were no injuries. The fire was confined to the west end of the bridge, which links Montebello and Pico Rivera.

Thomas said the fire appeared to be of suspicious origin “since it started at the bottom of a pier and there doesn’t seem to be any other cause of ignition down there.”

Police Sgt. Dan Hibbard said engineers will inspect the bridge this morning and that “if there is no structural damage, we can probably open it late (this) afternoon; if there is structural damage, it will be at least late Sunday.”

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The afternoon blaze caused “great confusion and a huge traffic tie-up at rush hour” Friday as police diverted traffic away from the bridge, Hibbard said.


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