Golden State Freeway Stretch Shut Down for Bridge Inspection

Drivers reported flat tires and damage from the roadway on a stretch of the 5 Freeway early Monday

By Jason Kandel
|  Monday, Sep 9, 2013  |  Updated 9:37 AM PDT
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Bridge Damage Shuts 5 Fwy Stretch

Traffic was backed up for miles after a metal joint protruding from lanes flattened tires on a stretch of the Golden State (5) Freeway in Santa Clarita on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013.

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Crews were working on Monday to repair a loose bridge joint that flattened tires and caused damages to numerous vehicles on a stretch of the Golden State (5) Freeway in Santa Clarita.

Drivers reported the problem about 5 a.m. in southbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at Magic Mountain Parkway in Santa Clarita, said CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos. 

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A weld came loose in a plate within a bridge joint, causing it to protrude from the highway, but there were no structural integrity issues with the bridge, said Kelly Markham, a Caltrans spokeswoman.

Problems like this are "not all that common," she said. But it's not a "worrisome fix at all."

There were no reports of injuries, California Highway Patrol officials said.

Officials anticipated keeping lanes of that stretch of freeway closed for a couple of hours while crews repaired the damage.

The problem stemmed from the high volume of traffic and vibrations along the heavily traveled route. It's California's major north-south route and is near the Grapevine, about 35 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

The incident prompted the shutdown of several lanes of the freeway and caused traffic to back up for miles during a Monday morning commute, Villalobos said.

CHP officers reported seeing at least eight big rigs off the side of the highway shortly after calls came in about the incident.

Drivers interested in making claims for damages from the incident were encouraged to apply on the Caltrans website at http://www.dot.ca.gov/damageclaims.htm

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