Motorists might want to plan for delays on northbound Interstate 5 Wednesday night and on the southbound side Thursday night due to construction, said Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials. However, rain might postpone the work, said Patrick Chandler, spokesman for Metro.
Metro and the California Department of Transportation are set to intermittently close one direction of I-5 from Highway 14 to Calgrove Boulevard at selected nighttime hours as part of the $679 million I-5 North County Enhancements Project to enhance safety, reduce congestion, improve the flow of truck freight and motorist traffic, and accommodate expected population growth in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Heavy traffic on Tuesday night as a result of similar closures on northbound I-5 caused many motorists to use State Route 14 as a detour. But the National Weather Service is predicting a patchy drizzle on Wednesday night and rain on Thursday night.
“It is possible that the closures that would go between Thursday and Friday might be postponed,” Chandler told The Signal Wednesday afternoon. “They still have the closures set up for Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, but if there’s rain, they won’t work tomorrow.”
If there’s no rain, the northbound I-5 from SR-14 to Calgrove Boulevard will be closed from 10 p.m. on Wednesday to 4 a.m. on Thursday, and the southbound I-5 from Calgrove Boulevard to SR-14 will be closed from 10 p.m. on Thursday to 4 a.m. on Friday.
Chandler expects no postponements for the closures next Monday and Tuesday nights, which will also be from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on both nights.
Motorist detours for through traffic are as follows:
• Northbound I-5 freeway closures: Exit I-5 to northbound SR-14, continue to westbound Golden Valley Road/Newhall Ranch Road, and proceed to the Newhall Ranch Road I-5 onramp.
• Southbound I-5 freeway closures: Exit I-5 to eastbound Newhall Ranch Road/Golden Valley Road, continue to southbound SR-14 off Golden Valley Road, and proceed to the I-5/SR-14 Interchange.
Project improvements include the addition of a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) or carpool lane in each direction, the extension of the truck lanes, new sound walls and auxiliary lanes, and other improvements in the 14-mile corridor between SR-14 in Santa Clarita and Parker Road in Castaic. Metro expects the project to be completed in 2026.
Chandler said work is moving along and added that even if they don’t work on Thursday due to rain, they should be able to remain on schedule, as these types of setbacks are often worked into contingency plans.
“I was at Weldon Canyon last night where they’re going to demolish the existing bridge that’s there — because we’re widening the freeway and adding HOV lanes — so, I believe that they were near completion or did complete the installation of I beams. But basically, they’re building the structure to build the falsework so that they can pour concrete into those forms to build a new bridge.”
By improving the ability to merge and offering trucks a separate lane from general-purpose lanes, motorists who use the corridor can expect to have a faster, smoother and safer driving experience, according to Metro officials.
The project is funded through a combination of Los Angeles County voter-approved Measures R and M funding specifically set aside for road and highways projects, along with Senate Bill 1 and federal dollars. SB 1 uses state gas taxes and vehicle fees to fund roadways, improve transit and build walking and biking projects.
For more information about the project or to sign up for regular updates, go to L.A. Metro’s Interstate 5 North County Enhancements Project home page at Metro.net/projects/i-5-enhancements. Those with concerns or questions can email Metro at [email protected] or call 213-922-2772.