Due to the completion of work ahead of schedule, the California Department of Transportation announced the cancellation of planned closures on Interstate 5 Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Sept. 13 and 14, near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County.
The closures were scheduled to begin at 11:59 p.m. on both nights, continuing until 10 a.m. the next morning, for crews to prepare the inside shoulder for use as a traffic lane on northbound I-5. Only two of the four lanes on northbound I-5 have been open for traffic due to damage from the Route Fire, which began Aug. 31.
Crews completed the work early and the northbound shoulder lane opened for traffic this morning, Sept. 13, providing a total of three northbound lanes. The inside shoulder was paved for nearly two miles in the mountainous area where the wildfire caused significant damage to two retaining walls on the freeway.
By Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, Caltrans anticipates a total of four northbound lanes will be open including the shoulder lane. The far right lane will remain closed past that date as crews work behind a temporary concrete barrier (“K-rail”) to make repairs to the retaining walls, probably through early 2023.
“The safety of the motorists and truckers is our primary goal,” said Gloria Roberts, Caltrans District 7 Acting Director. “The Route Fire caused extensive damage to the two retaining walls, and northbound traffic cannot travel on the two right lanes until more permanent repairs are completed.”
Northbound I-5 was fully closed for several nights due to the emergency work. During the nightly closures, three of the four southbound lanes also were closed for reasons related to traffic management at the south end of the closure at Lake Hughes Road. There in 2019, Caltrans installed a gate in the center divider which can be opened to allow northbound vehicles to make a U-turn onto the lanes of southbound I-5.