Despite I/5 opening, motorists still urged to leave early
UPDATE: Monday, October 15, 2007 9:00am
Both the Southbound and Northbound lanes of the I-5 reopened in the early hours on Monday morning, as construction crews worked through the night and beat all expectations for reopening the lanes.
As the Monday morning commute gets underway, motorists are being told to expect extra delays. Even with the southbound lanes of the I-5 opening around 1am, Monday morning, in time for the Monday Morning commute, large semi trucks, left without a truck lane, will add to the traffic volume. The southbound truck lane is not expected to reopen for many weeks, probably months, Caltrans officials stated.
Before Monday morning, the I-5 had been closed since late Friday night following a major collision and fire involving thirty semi trucks and one passenger vehicle.
As for the northbound lanes, Caltrans did announce Sunday evening that the northbound I-5 truck lanes have been opened. Then, at about 3am Monday morning, Caltrans re-opened the regular automobile Northbound lanes, as well.
Traveling through Santa Clarita city streets will undoubtedly be heavier than usual. The City has enacted a traffic plan to ease the added congestion, but the volume has thus far been high enough to cause delays.
Many transportation officials are also urging residents to use the Metrolink. Metrolink will be adding more trips to their schedule to compensate, and the City will provide overflow parking for the Metrolink stations.
The accident has been a long affair, both for Santa Clarita and the workers who are rushing to repair the I-5 truck route tunnel which was damaged in the fire that followed the collision. This should be aided by the fact that Governor Schwarzenegger has proclaimed a State of Emergency for the crash site. This will help fund the tunnel’s repairs and it will also speed up the permitting process.
Here are some helpful tips for you to remember before you start any car trip during this time.
- Don’t let your gas get below half a tank
- Make sure your cell phones are fully charged
- Carry some snacks and water in your car
- Go to the bathroom before you leave your destination
- Have a backup plan to pick up your kids. Make sure your backups are on the emergency cards at your child’s school.
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