Northbound 5 Freeway near Castaic will be closed for several nights to repair damage from fire
All northbound lanes on the 5 Freeway will be closed for several nights as crews work on opening a third lane and make repairs caused by the Route fire, according to Caltrans.
The first phase of the closures began Thursday at 10 p.m. and continued until Friday at 10 a.m. in order to place 2,400 feet of asphalt concrete on a section of the freeway that has already been excavated, officials said in a news release.
The contractor has been trying to get the excavated portion paved as quickly as possible before the arrival of Tropical Storm Kay on Friday.
“The safety of the motorists and truckers is our primary goal,” Gloria Roberts, Caltrans District 7 acting district director, said in the release. “The Route Fire caused extensive damage to the two retaining walls, and traffic cannot travel on the two right lanes until more permanent repairs are completed.”
The storm, which officials feared would further intensify the Fairview fire with possible lightning strikes and strong winds, appears to have come to firefighters’ aid.
During every night of the closure, the gate at Parker Road will be opened so drivers can get to southbound I-5, meaning that three left lanes of southbound I-5 will also have to be closed so trucks will have enough room to turn.
Caltrans recommended drivers use State Route 14 north of Sylmar on I-5, State Route 126/Newhall Ranch Road from I-5 to the 101 Freeway or the 101 from downtown Los Angeles. Delays are expected on southbound I-5 and motorists should use eastbound State Route 138 to southbound State Route 14 instead.
The second phase of closures will begin Sunday and last until Thursday in order for the contractor to place a 6,000-foot structural section north of the concrete section and to restripe the lanes.
The additional closures of northbound I-5 include:
- Sunday at 11:59 p.m. to Monday at 10 a.m. for paving
- Monday at 11:59 p.m. to Tuesday at 10 a.m. for paving
- Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. to Wednesday at 10 a.m. for paving
- Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. to Thursday at 10 a.m. for cleanup and restriping.
Drivers will have three northbound I-5 lanes for travel on Thursday.
The Route fire, which was first reported last week near Castaic along the freeway near Lake Hughes Road, shuttered lanes of the northbound 5 Freeway as crews worked on assessing the damage.
Caltrans said retaining walls along the freeway were damaged by the fire and that repairs could take until mid-November. Vertical steel columns were also warped, wall tiebacks were broken, and horizontal anchors into the dirt could have been damaged. The cracks on the asphalt road have also widened, and timber lagging was falling off the wall.
A man’s body was discovered inside a white van by the center divider near the Cesar Chavez Avenue exit, the California Highway Patrol says.
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