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California

Saddleridge fire closes major freeways, creating hellish commute

Freeway closure
The Saddleridge fire in the San Fernando Valley has closed portions of 210, 5, 405 and 14 Freeways.
(Caltrans)

The Saddleridge fire was creating a nightmare commute for many Friday morning, with major freeways closed and surface streets jammed.

The fire began in Sylmar right off the 210 Freeway, which was the first to close Thursday night. But as the blaze pushed west, it created a domino effect for freeway closures. Now, portions of three major freeways are shut down:

  • Northbound and southbound 5 truck route
  • Westbound 210 at 118
  • Eastbound 210 at 5

Connectors:

  • Southbound and northbound 5 to northbound 14
  • Southbound 5 to eastbound 210
  • Eastbound 118 to westbound 210
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Now open:

  • Southbound and northbound 5
  • Southbound 14 at Newhall Pass
  • Northbound 405
  • Eastbound 118 connector to northbound 405

California Highway Patrol officials also warned commuters coming into L.A. from Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley to expect gridlock on the roads

“If you don’t have to get on the road today, please don’t,” the city of Santa Clarita said.

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For many, Metrolink was not an option either, as southbound service from the Antelope Valley into Los Angeles was halted. Northbound Antelope Valley Line trains are still able to depart from Union Station but will run only as far as Sylmar/San Fernando.

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Because of traffic and safety issues, many schools closed Friday, including Cal State Northridge, which is off the 118 Freeway.

With the 5 and 14 freeways closed, getting into L.A. from the north has proved difficult.

In Santa Clarita, Sierra Highway at Newhall Avenue and the Old Road at Calgrove Boulevard were closed. Route 126 was an alternative, but officials said it too was jammed.


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