Wednesday afternoon update: Caltrans reopens Grapevine with escorts

A CHP officer reopens the northbound on-ramp to the 5 freeway at Lake Hughes Road. January 27, 2021. Dan Watson / The Signal.

Caltrans officials announced shortly before noon on Wednesday that the Grapevine had been reopened for through traffic with California Highway Patrol escorts.

Commuters awoke Wednesday morning to find that the Grapevine had been closed due to weather conditions in the high mountain pass. However, within a few hours the roads had opened back up.

“Usually after a few escorts we open the freeway up, but that’s not a guarantee,” said Officer Josh Greengard, a spokesman for the CHP Newhall office.

The Grapevine, which runs north and south on Interstate 5 between Kern and Los Angeles counties, has been periodically closed throughout this week due to snow and ice.

At approximately 5 a.m. Wednesday, Caltrans District 6 had tweeted out that there was snow over the Grapevine and officers with the California Highway Patrol were escorting traffic through due to snow.

Shortly after 6 a.m., snowfall resulted in Caltrans District 6 to call for a closure of an unknown duration, according to the CHP’s online incident report.

At 7:04 a.m., the State Route 138 on-ramps to the northbound and southbound sides of the I-5 were also closed. CHP officials said around the same time as the Grapevine reopening, they had also begun to do escorts on SR-138 as well.

Wednesday’s closure and then reopening came less than a day after it had reopened temporarily on Tuesday afternoon, with truckers and cars having been able to pass through on both sides of the freeway, before the latest weather system moved in early Wednesday morning.

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