Newsom proclaims state of emergency for I-5 repairs

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
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State allocates resources due to damage caused by Route Fire 

Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency Saturday in Los Angeles County in an effort to expedite and support the necessary measures to repair Interstate 5 as a result of the Route Fire in late August.  

The Route Fire broke out on Aug. 31 and burned more than 5,000 acres during an extreme heat event. The fire caused damage to a 2-mile stretch of Interstate 5, which affected traffic for a period of time while the state Department of Transportation repaired the roadway and retaining walls. 

“I find that the conditions caused by the Route Fire, by reason of its magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to appropriately respond,” read the resolution.  

Under the proclamation, Newsom ordered all agencies of the state to utilize and employ resources under the direction of the Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan. In addition, Caltrans will formally request immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program to obtain federal assistance for highway repairs or reconstruction. 

In response to Newsom’s order, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, 5th District, sent a letter to the governor expressing her appreciation for his actions.  

“On behalf of the Fifth District communities impacted by the Route Fire and its aftermath, I would like to relay a deep appreciation for your continued support and mobilization of state resources,” Barger noted in her letter. 

Barger initially wrote to the governor in September. She highlighted the negative impacts the closures of the northbound lanes had in the county. 

“While major construction activities continue, I am greatly pleased that critical fourth northbound I-5 lane was recently reopened to traffic in time for Thanksgiving,” Barger wrote in her letter. 

Barger also commended Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol for their collaboration and support.  

“These agencies have been instrumental in supporting the county’s efforts to minimize impacts experienced by commuters, the surrounding Castaic community and the broader Santa Clarita Valley due to I-5 north damage.” 

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