All northbound lanes on Highway 5 will be closed for several nights while crews work to open a third lane and complete repairs caused by the highway fire, according to Caltrans.
The first phase of the closures began at 10 p.m. Thursday and continued through 10 a.m. Friday to place 2,400 feet of asphalt concrete on a section of the highway that has already been dug in, officials said in A press release.
The contractor tried to get the excavated area paved over as quickly as possible before Tropical Storm Kay landed on Friday.
“The safety of motorists and truckers is our primary focus,” Gloria Roberts, Caltrans District 7 Acting Director, said in the statement. “The road fire has caused extensive damage to both retaining walls and traffic cannot proceed in the two right-hand lanes until more permanent repairs are completed.”
During each night of the shutdown, the Parker Road gate will be open so drivers can get to southbound I-5, which means three left lanes of southbound I-5 will also have to be closed so that the trucks 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 as the contractor places a structural section 6,000 feet north of the concrete section and relines the tracks.
Additional northbound I-5 closures include:
- From 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
- From Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. to Wednesday at 10 a.m. for paving
- From Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. to Thursday at 10 a.m. for cleaning and relining.
Drivers will have three northbound I-5 lanes to travel on Thursday.
The road fire, which was first reported last week near Castaic along the highway near Lake Hughes Road, closed the lanes of northbound Highway 5 as crews worked to the damage assessment.
Caltrans said retaining walls along the freeway were damaged by the fire and repairs could take until mid-November. The vertical steel columns were also bent, the wall ties were broken and the horizontal anchors in the ground could have been damaged. The cracks in the asphalt road also widened and the wood fell from the wall.