To improve Memorial Weekend holiday traffic flow on Interstate 5 through the Santa Clarita Valley, the California Department of Transportation opened a fourth northbound lane Wednesday where only three lanes were open in recent months due to construction.
The state highway system will carry a high volume of traffic during the holiday weekend. Caltrans advises travelers to avoid peak travel times, be prepared for traffic congestion and allow plenty of time to arrive at their destination during the Memorial Day weekend, as crews continue constructing new concrete pavement along 17 miles of I-5 in the SCV.
Travelers may check current highway closures and road conditions at Quickmap.dot.ca.gov. A free mobile version is also available through the iPhone App Store or in Google Play.
Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
Some other tips for holiday weekend travelers include the following:
* Put away cell phones and all other distractions.
* Buckle up and make sure car seats are properly installed.
* Follow all traffic and safety laws, including not drinking and driving.
* Check tire pressure, wiper fluid and oil levels. Make sure your vehicle is in good operating condition before starting out on the highway.
* Be alert to your surroundings and keep distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
* Fill up your gas tank and keep it above half-full in case of delays.
* Take snacks and a cooler of water or water bottles.
* Keep an eye on the weather forecast.
* Plan for additional travel time to reach your destination.