Mudslide on I-5 Disrupts Holiday Traffic
A mudslide closed the northbound lanes of the Golden State Freeway on Thursday, eliminating a major highway for holiday weekend travelers and forcing them onto a detour that in some cases added hours to already long drives.
The two left lanes of the freeway at Fort Tejon Road north of California 138 were opened just after 3 p.m. Friday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Richard Perez. CHP officers were escorting motorists around the slide, which is expected to block the two right northbound lanes for a week or more.
About 20,000 cubic yards of rocks and wet dirt cascaded onto the freeway about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, authorities said. Caltrans crews used bulldozers to clear the slide in southern Kern County.
“I know people are worried about the slide continuing any further at this time,” said CHP dispatcher Paul Enriquez. “It’s a big concern.”
Before the lanes were opened, the CHP had diverted motorists from northbound Interstate 5 eastward on California 138 to the northbound Antelope Valley Freeway to the westbound California 58 and back to Interstate 5, a distance of about 150 miles.