Interstate 5 through Grapevine reopens after hard closure

Traffic is bumper to bumper as viewed from the Hasley Canyon overpass of the north bound I-5 Freeway on Thursday, November 28, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Interstate 5 through the Grapevine reopened Thursday afternoon after hard closures throughout Thanksgiving Day due to heavy snow conditions, causing vehicles to turn around seeking detours, with the freeway’s reopening uncertain.

The early morning alert by Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol announced a hard closure of the freeway on both northbound and southbound lanes between Lake Hughes Road and Grapevine. 

Multiple vehicles were reported stuck in the snow near the area, according to CHP Officer Peter Nicholson. Caltrans crews also kept busy diverting traffic by using a newly installed gate in the center median of I-5 just north of Santa Clarita to allow motorists traveling north to turn around onto the southbound lanes. 

“Priority will be to assist vehicles already on the pass to the other side, followed by clearing the roadway for continued use as soon as possible,” the CHP said in a 6:30 a.m. statement. “No estimated time for reopening at this time.”

Drivers are urged to use Highway 101 as State Routes 14, 2 and 33 “will likely be impacted by snow as well,” Caltrans said in a tweet. CHP announced just before 10 a.m. that SR 58 closed due to snow and that SR 166 was also receiving snow. 

Snow conditions Thursday morning were part of a second winter storm that moved into Southern California, with snow levels as low as 2,500 feet, according to Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. 

Thursday’s downpours were expected to continue with possible thunderstorms for the remainder of Thanksgiving Day and fading by Friday. 

Another winter storm is expected but with warmer temperatures that could reach up to 63 degrees, according to the NWS. 

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