In what will be the biggest Los Angeles-area freeway closure since “Carmageddon,” Caltrans officials on Thursday announced that both sides of the 5 Freeway will be shut down for one weekend next month to complete a bridge demolition project.
The 36-hour closure starts at 3 p.m. April 25 and is expected to end at 3 a.m. April 27, according to Caltrans.
During that time, construction crews will demolish the Burbank Boulevard bridge, which will allow them to complete the widening of the 5 from the 118 to the 134 freeways and add 13 miles of carpool lanes.
“This will be the largest-scale freeway closure in Los Angeles County since September of 2012 when we closed I-405 in both directions in West Los Angeles,” John Bulinski, the director of Caltrans District 7, said at a news conference on Thursday.
Bulinski was referencing the 10-mile closure of the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass in 2011 and 2012 that became popularly known as “Carmageddon” 1 and 2.
The Sepulveda Pass is a major artery for motorists traveling between the San Fernando Valley and L.A.’s Westside, and there aren’t any other nearby freeways to bypass it.
That won’t be the case for the upcoming closure, where multiple nearby freeways will aid drivers in getting around the closed section of the 5, according to Bulinksi. He said detours are still being finalized.
Nevertheless, officials are urging drivers to avoid that stretch of Interstate 5 while it is closed.
“If you absolutely do not need to be on the 5 Freeway in this area during the closure, please just stay away altogether,” California Highway Patrol Capt. Tai Vong said at the news conference.
In addition to the short-term freeway closure, Burbank Boulevard will be closed from San Fernando Boulevard to Front Street for 14 to 16 months so crews can replace the bridge.
Once completed, the new Burbank Boulevard bridge will be longer and wider; there will be more lanes for cars as well bike lanes in both directions.
The Burbank Boulevard closure begins at 12:01 a.m. on March 14.
More information about the project can be found at my5la.com.