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5, 2 Freeway Connector Reopens After Tanker Crash

The connector road between the 2 and 5 freeways in Elysian Valley (map) reopened Friday morning, six months after a fiery tanker crash that spilled 8,500 gallons of gasoline onto the roadway and into the L.A. River.

The collision occurred July 13, when the driver of a fuel truck blew a tire, lost control and crashed inside the underpass, authorities said. A spectacular fire broke out, sending flames and plumes of smoke in the air.

new-tunnel

Officials stood near an underpass that connects the 2 and 5 freeways. The tunnel was scheduled to reopen on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

“In my 24 years, I’ve never seen damage to that extent,” said Capt. Alicia Mathis of the Los Angeles Fire Department, referring to the vehicle’s wreckage.

No one was injured in the crash.

All lanes on the 5 Freeway were reopened at the scene three days after the incident. The 300-foot tunnel, which required repairs costing an estimated $16.5 million, has been closed since July.

“The fire did some extensive damage to the tunnel. Therefore it’s requiring quite a bit of work and investigation,” Caltrans spokesman Mike Miles said at the time.

Officials held a news conference outside near the underpass shortly before the reopening Friday.