The northbound Golden State Highway (5) in the Castaic area will close again tonight, September 12, for a 10-hour period as crews continue repair work on two miles of the road that was damaged by road fire.
Two lanes of the carriageway have been closed in the area since the Route Fire. A full highway closure will be in effect at 11:49 p.m. tonight, Tuesday night and Wednesday night, with the highway expected to reopen the following mornings at 10 a.m.
During the closures, crews will work on the asphalt shoulder, which is 6,000 feet long, just north of the concrete section — and redesign the lanes.
Motorists have been advised to avoid the area altogether by taking the Antelope Valley Freeway (14) just north of Sylmar on I-5, or State Road 126/Newhall Ranch Road from I-5 to US 101.
The first full shutdown began at 10 p.m. last Thursday and the highway reopened at 10 a.m. last Friday. During this closure, crews worked to place 2,400 feet of asphalt concrete in an already excavated section under construction.
The freeway was closed again at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, reopening at 7:30 a.m. Monday – about 2.5 hours earlier than scheduled.
By Thursday, three lanes of the northbound freeway will be open, according to Caltrans.
During the closures, the Parker Road turnaround barrier will be open to redirect northbound traffic to the south. This will require blocking the left three lanes of the southbound freeway to ensure trucks have room to negotiate the bend, according to Caltrans.
“The safety of motorists and truckers is our primary focus,” said Gloria Roberts, Caltrans District 7 acting director. “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.”
Damage to retaining walls from the road fire included bent steel columns, broken tiebacks and possibly damaged anchors, Caltrans reported. In addition, the cracks in the asphalt widened and the wooden cladding of the retaining walls was burned.
The Route Fire, which began around noon Aug. 31 along the Golden State (5) Freeway north of Lake Hughes Road, burned 5,208 acres, destroyed two structures and caused seven heat-related injuries to firefighters.
Due to the traffic impacts of the project, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger sent an open letter to residents on Friday saying she had asked Governor Gavin Newsom to make all resources available to allow Caltrans to carry out repairs as quickly as possible.
She said she had asked the Ministry of Public Works to establish local access roads only in the area to ensure residents can negotiate the area.