Carmageddon 2020? 5 Freeway in Burbank to close for 36 hours in late April

Caltrans District 7 Director John Bulinski at news conference about 5 Freeway closure
Caltrans District 7 Director John Bulinski talks at a news conference about the upcoming Burbank Boulevard bridge expansion and temporary closure of the 5 Freeway.
(Raul Roa / Times Community News)

Officials from Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol asked motorists to avoid a stretch of the 5 Freeway in Burbank on the last weekend in April in while a bridge is torn down as part of a freeway widening project.

The 36-hour closure of the freeway will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 25, to allow California Department of Transportation crews to tear down the Burbank Boulevard overpass, in a project that involves widening the freeway in both directions as well as construction of a longer and wider overpass, the officials said during a news conference Thursday.

Officials said the freeway should reopen by 3 a.m. April 27.

“This will be the largest-scaled freeway closure in Los Angeles County since September 2012, when we closed I-405 in both directions in West Los Angeles,” said John Bulinski, director of Caltrans District 7.


Construction of the bridge is scheduled to be completed in 14 to 16 months, and the widening of the 5 Freeway between the 134 and 118 freeways, which will add a carpool lane in each direction, is expected to be finished by the summer of 2021.

The new bridge will have a total of 10 travel lanes — three through lanes and two left-turn lanes in both directions.

Before the demolition of the bridge, Caltrans will close it to vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians starting at midnight March 14.

“You will get [to your destinations] and there will be some good plans in place to get everybody to where they need to go,” CHP Capt. Tai Vong said. “You need to be patient, and you need to keep the safety of everybody in mind.”

Bulinski added that Caltrans does not plan to have detour routes through Burbank, and that the public should use the surrounding freeways and surface streets to get to their destinations.

Clark Carpio writes for Times Community News.