Commuters who regularly travel through Burbank on the Golden State (5) Freeway can expect a few major closures over the coming months.
State officials said they plan to announce on Thursday the weekend when Caltrans will be closing both sides of traffic on the route for 36 hours to allow for demolition of the Burbank Boulevard bridge.
The bridge’s demolition will allow Caltrans crews to complete the widening of the freeway from the 134 to the 118 freeways.
That portion of the project will include straightening the 5 and adding a carpool lane to both sides of the freeway.
Once the widening is completed, commuters will have access to about 13 miles of carpool lanes, Caltrans spokesman Michael Comeaux in a statement said on Monday.
Leading up to the closure of the 5, which will be the largest since the 405 Freeway’s “Carmageddon” in 2011, Caltrans will be implementing a long-term closure of the Burbank Boulevard bridge in all directions starting on March 14 until the new bridge is completed.
The freeway closure is expected to occur several weeks after the Burbank bridge is closed to bicycle, pedestrian and vehicle traffic this month.
Caltrans has implemented several ramp closures at the Burbank Boulevard bridge — the southbound off-ramp to Burbank at Front Street, the northbound off-ramp to westbound Burbank and the westbound Burbank on-ramp to the southbound 5.
Like the closure of the 405, commuters are being asked to avoid taking the 5 toward Burbank when the full freeway closure goes into effect.
Comeaux said the agency is confident the construction of the new, longer Burbank Boulevard bridge — which will have a total of 10 travel lanes, bicycle lanes and wider sidewalks — will be completed and opened by summer 2021.
However, he added there could be unforeseeable obstacles that may delay the project, which has already been pushed back several years due to weather and contractor issues.
“Once the crews begin working below ground level as they work on the foundation for the new bridge, it is possible that things will be discovered that might present challenges,” Comeaux said.
“The site has been surveyed and studied, of course, but sometimes there are things that are discovered as they work down there,” he added.
As construction crews work to complete the Burbank bridge by the deadline, Comeaux said drivers who travel around Burbank are encouraged to avoid Burbank Boulevard as much as possible, and to use other freeway crossings, such as the recently completed Empire Interchange.