5 Freeway in Burbank Reopens After Bridge Demolition

Caltrans took advantage of the 10-mile closure to clean out drainage systems and perform other maintenance.

A view of the closed five freeway in Burbank, California.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel

A section of a major Los Angeles-area freeway reopened Monday morning after a 36-hour weekend shutdown to demolish a bridge so that the artery can be widened.

Traffic resumed flowing on Interstate 5 through Burbank at 2 a.m. although new lane restriping kept some lanes closed, said Michael Comeaux, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation.

The Burbank Boulevard bridge was demolished by giant hydraulic hammers which broke off chunks that fell on a 2-foot-deep (0.61 meter) bed of sand placed underneath to prevent damage to freeway pavement.

The closure at the east end of the San Fernando Valley began Saturday and demolition of the bridge was completed before noon Sunday, earlier than expected.

About 150 other Caltrans workers took advantage of the shutdown of 10 miles (16 kilometers) of the freeway to clean out drainage systems, seal cracks, fix potholes, clear vegetation and perform other types of maintenance that normally require closing lanes.

Thousands of vehicles normally use the route daily but traffic was very light due to coronavirus restrictions that have kept millions of Southern Californians at home, and alternate routes easily handled detoured traffic.


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Interstate 5 is the main north-south route through California, Oregon and Washington.

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