In preparation of opening a third lane on Interstate 5 in northern Los Angeles County, Caltrans District 7 will fully close the northbound direction for several nights beginning Thursday, to pave the inside shoulder for nearly two miles. Once completed, motorists will have three through-lanes on northbound I-5. Currently two lanes are closed to prevent traffic loads from further stressing the retaining walls damaged in the Route Fire that started on Aug. 31.
Each night of the closure of all northbound lanes, the turnaround gate at Parker Road will be opened to return motorists to southbound I-5. This will require two left lanes of southbound I-5 to be closed each time to allow trucks with the radius to turn. Motorists are strongly encouraged to use State Route 14 just north of Sylmar on I-5, State Route 126/Newhall Ranch Road from I-5 to US 101 or US 101 from downtown Los Angeles. Motorists are also advised to expect delays on southbound I-5.
Phase 1 – All northbound lanes will be closed Thursday, from at 10 p.m. to 10 a.m., on Friday, Sept. 9. The contractor will place 2,400 feet of asphalt concrete in an already-excavated section that is currently under construction.
Phase 2 – All northbound lanes will be closed each night from Sunday, September 11 to Thursday, September 15 for the contractor to grind the existing asphalt shoulder to place a structural section for 6,000 feet just north of the concrete section, and to restripe the lanes.
Sunday, Sept. 11 at 11:59 p.m. to Monday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. for paving
Monday, Sept. 12 at 11:59 p.m. to Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. for paving
Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 11:59 p.m. to Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. for paving
Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 11:59 p.m. to Thursday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. for cleanup and restriping.
On Thursday, Sept. 15, motorists will have three lanes to travel on northbound I-5.
“The safety of the motorists and truckers is our primary goal,” said Gloria Roberts, Caltrans District 7 acting district director. “The Route Fire caused extensive damage to the two retaining walls, and traffic cannot travel on the two right lanes until more permanent repairs are completed.”
The contractor is moving quickly to get the excavated portion paved prior to the heavy storms expected with Hurricane Kay, scheduled to arrive on Friday.
The California Highway Patrol will be enforcing all closures.
The retaining walls that support the roadway were severely compromised. The largest wall is 1,400 feet long and the other is 400 feet long. Some of the vertical steel columns are warped, wall tiebacks are broken and horizontal anchors into the dirt may have been damaged. The cracks on the asphalt road where it meets the concrete shoulder have widened to two inches. Much of the timber lagging has fallen off the wall while the remaining boards have burned. Analyzing steel samples and concrete will determine permanent solutions. Repairs may take until mid-November.
Caltrans and CHP advise motorists to expect heavy delays, reconsider trips or use alternate state routes as much as possible: SR-126 to US-101, or SR-14 to SR138 or SR-58.
Real time travel information can be found at Caltrans QuickMap or by calling the Caltrans Highway Information Service, 1-800-427-7623.
Caltrans appreciates motorists’ support as we work to ensure the safety of this vital interstate.