The California Department of Transportation announced plans Tuesday night to remove a bypass lane through the SCV on Thursday, and open another June 8.
As part of the Caltrans I-5 Roadway Rehabilitation Project, the department is taking away a temporary bypass lane on Interstate 5 between Valencia Boulevard and State Route 126 this week, due to pavement construction near Santa Clarita.
The new bypass lane on the northbound side of I-5 is scheduled to open June 8. It will start near Pico Canyon Road and Lyons Avenue and continue to Valencia Boulevard.
The lane configurations are for a two-year, $171 million project replacing concrete pavement on 16 miles of I-5.
Signs will be posted to alert drivers to the new lane configuration, with doubled traffic fines and speed limits of 55 miles per hour in construction zones.
Some bypass lanes are already in effect, said Caltrans spokesman Michael Comeaux. However, drivers who have never seen them before need not worry about safety.
“For a driver seeing a bypass lane for the first time, it may come as a little bit of a surprise because it may be an unusual experience to actually cross over the median of the freeway and be on what is normally the inside shoulder of the other side of the freeway,” he said. “But there are concrete barriers in place to assure that this is a safe arrangement and it’s done under careful specifications to ensure safety.”
Reasoning for the bypass lanes is to ensure four lanes of traffic can still flow smoothly during construction and not disrupt commutes, he said.
The project is removing and replacing concrete pavement and damaged sections on I-5 from a half-mile south of State Route 14 to 1.7 miles north of Lake Hughes Road.
The expected completion date of the project is summer 2019 and is funded by state and federal funds.