The northbound 5 Freeway will be closed for several nights to allow crews to repair roughly two miles of roadway that was damaged due to the Route Fire, authorities announced Thursday.
The first closure was Thursday night. The freeway reopened at 10 a.m. the next morning, according to Caltrans. During the Thursday night closure, workers placed 2,400 feet of asphalt concrete in an already-excavated section that is currently under construction.
The freeway will again be closed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Sunday night to Sept. 15. During this period, crews will work on the existing asphalt shoulder for 6,000 feet just north of the concrete section and restripe the lanes.
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Three lanes of the freeway will be reopened on Sept. 15, according to Caltrans.
“The safety of the motorists and truckers is our primary goal,” said Caltrans District 7 Acting District Director Gloria Roberts. “The Route Fire caused extensive damage to the two retaining walls, and traffic cannot travel on the two right lanes until more permanent repairs are completed.”
The damage to the retaining walls included warped steel columns, broken tiebacks and possibly damaged anchors, Caltrans reported.
Additionally, cracks in the asphalt have widened and wooden lagging on the retaining walls has been burned.
The Route Fire, which began around noon on Aug. 31 alongside the 5 Freeway north of Lake Hughes Road, burned 5,208 acres, destroyed two structures and led to seven heat-related firefighter injuries.