Local and state officials today hailed the beginning of construction on a $171 million project to upgrade the roadway on heavily traveled Interstate 5, a backbone of the state highway system, in the Santa Clarita Valley.
The I-5 Roadway Rehabilitation Project will replace and repair concrete pavement on nearly 16 miles of the freeway, with an expected completion date in mid-2019.
“This section of Interstate 5 has pavement that is more than 50 years old and no longer adequate for current and future traffic loads,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said.
“This project is an essential investment to improve transportation infrastructure,” Dougherty said. “I-5 is the major north-south trucking corridor that facilitates the movement of goods and people by providing a connection between the Central Valley and the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.”
The improvements are being made on a segment of I-5 that is used by more than 1 million vehicles a week. The project will provide a smoother roadway with a 40-year design life, which will reduce the need for future lane closures for maintenance. Drivers will experience fewer delays in the future while enjoying an improved ride.
Over the next two years, the improvements will be made on 15.8 miles of I-5 from a half-mile south of State Route 14 (the Antelope Valley Freeway) to 1.7 miles north of Lake Hughes Road.
Concrete pavement will be replaced in the outside lanes (#3 and #4 lanes). In the inside lanes (#1 and #2 lanes), broken concrete slabs will also be replaced and the lanes will receive profile grinding to ensure a smooth surface for vehicles.
In July, the contractor, Atkinson Construction, began placing temporary lane markings and concrete barriers on the southbound side of I-5 for the first stage of the project.
Stage 1 work will be conducted on the southbound and northbound sides of the freeway, mainly between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weeknights.
On most nights, at least two freeway lanes will be kept open for traffic in the work zone, except from midnight to 4 a.m. when at least one lane normally will be open for traffic.
Closure of all freeway lanes is expected to occur infrequently during the project.