California bridge that collapsed in storm passed inspection

The stretch of Interstate 10 has endured over 50 years of wear and tear, and served as a vital connection between two of the countries largest cities, only to be taken down by an unusually strong summer storm.

The collapse stranded drivers for hours.

"There was a huge pile of trucks everywhere, and we're all just hanging out, waiting for the road to open, but then we finally caught wind that it wasn't just a car accident, the road washed away," said Jesse Stornetta, a truck driver.

Stornetta had to drive his truck nearly 60 miles back to Palm Springs and then take a detour to Phoenix.

"I was supposed to be in Phoenix last night at 7:30, so I am not doing too good on my delivery," said Stornetta.

In Quartzsite, many drivers were just trying to figure out how to get around the closure.

"I guess you could go through 29 Palms, on the other side, so hopefully it is not going to be too long," said Karen Rader.

The detours could add hours to the trip to/from Los Angeles, and that is if the traffic isn't too bad. 

"I don't even want to think about it, I am going to put my foot on the gas pedal and go, what are you going to do," said Rader.

For truckers, the indefinite closure will make an already long drive much worse.

"It is a big impact because there is a lot of traffic between Los Angeles and Phoenix," said Sam Kahlig.

"It is good that they got the rain, but we didn't need the highway taken with it you know," said Kahlig.

The National Weather Service says rain fell at a rate of 1.5 inches an hour before floodwater washed the bridge out. A total of 6.7 inches fell Sunday near Desert Center, California.

Inspectors planned to assess all bridges along a 30-mile stretch of the interstate after a second bridge showed signs of damage following the storm.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press, Modified. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 

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