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Fire Destroys Bridge Over Rio Hondo Channel

November 02, 2005|From a Times Staff Writer

The Beverly Boulevard bridge over the Rio Hondo flood control channel in Pico Rivera was destroyed by fire Tuesday, and officials said it could cost $10 million to replace it.

One firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion while battling the blaze.

The fire, which may have been set deliberately, apparently began beneath the bridge and spread to the wooden structure, fire officials said.

They said arson was suspected because children and transients often congregate near the bridge.

Ed Osorio, a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman, said someone sleeping under the bridge may have started a fire Tuesday morning to stay warm, only to have a nearby mattress catch fire and flames spread to the wooden structure.

The bridge has been a heavily traveled link between Montebello and Pico Rivera.

Osorio said traffic would have to be rerouted to Washington Boulevard.

Traffic on Whittier Boulevard, another alternative route, has been congested because of construction.

Repair work on the Beverly Boulevard bridge, which had been damaged by rains, was completed in March.

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