Carmageddon Part II? Caltrans to close 5 Freeway in Burbank for 36 hours in late April

CalTrans District 7 director John Bulinski talks about the upcoming Burbank Boulevard bridge expansion as well as closure plans for the 5 Freeway during a press conference in Burbank on Thursday. The freeway will close for 36 hours in April while the bridge is demolished and debris is removed.
(Raul Roa/Burbank Leader)

Officials from Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol asked motorists to avoid a stretch of the Golden State (5) Freeway in Burbank the last weekend in April during a press conference on Thursday in order to avoid another “Carmageddon.”

The 36-hour closure will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, to allow Caltrans crews to tear down the Burbank Boulevard bridge in a project that involves the widening the interstate in both directions as well as construction of a longer and wider overpass.

Capt. Tai Vong, with the California Highway Patrol, said the public should either stay at home or avoid the area during that time.

Officials said the freeway should reopen by 3 a.m. on 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 within 14 to 16 months, and the widening of the 5 between the 134 and 118 freeways — adding 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 its demolition, Caltrans will close the bridge to vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians starting at midnight on 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,” 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 drivers should use surrounding freeways to reach their destinations.

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