Traffic backups were severe Friday morning as Caltrans shut down all northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway in Castaic to repair extensive damage caused by the Route Fire.

This was the first of five scheduled closures.

Two lanes of northbound Interstate 5 have been closed since the brush fire first erupted on Aug. 31, and following its containment days later.

“The retaining walls that support the roadway were severely compromised,” Caltrans said in a news release. “The cracks on the asphalt road where it meets the concrete shoulder have widened to two inches. Much of the timber lagging has fallen off the wall while the remaining boards have burned.”

Overnight, contractors placed 2,400 feet of asphalt concrete in a section of the freeway that is currently under construction. The closure started at 10 p.m. Thursday and was scheduled to end at 10 a.m. Friday.

The second phase of the work begins Sunday when workers plan to grind the existing asphalt shoulder “to place a structural section for 6,000 feet just north of the concrete section, and to restripe the lanes,” Caltrans said.

The additional closures of NB I-5 are:

  • Sunday, September 11 at 11:59 p.m. to Monday, September 12 at 10 a.m. for paving
  • Monday, September 12 at 11:59 p.m. to Tuesday, September 13 at 10 a.m. for paving
  • Tuesday, September 13 at 11:59 p.m. to Wednesday, September 14 at 10 a.m. for paving
  • Wednesday, September 14 at 11:59 p.m. to Thursday, September 15 at 10 a.m. for cleanup and restriping.

Each night of the closure of all northbound lanes, the turnaround gate at Parker Road will be opened to return motorists to southbound I-5.