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Supervisor Kathryn Barger Proposes ‘Emergency Plan’ After 5 Freeway Traffic

Supervisor Kathryn Barger proposed an “emergency plan” Tuesday for the 5 Freeway, after extensive traffic throughout Santa Clarita raised questions about recent construction.

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During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Barger proposed a partnership between the agencies involved in the 5 Freeway improvements and suggested to report back monthly to identify traffic patterns and an emergency plan.

The emergency plan would be implemented if the I-5 shut down for accidents, weather or construction.

The agencies include: the City of Santa Clarita, Department of Public Works, Department of Regional Planning, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and Fire Department. All would collaborate with Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol.

The partnership would also analyze traffic flow and suggest solutions to the traffic issue on the 5 Freeway. The agencies would also solicit feedback from the Castaic Town Council and the West Ranch Town Council.

The Interstate 5 corridor through the Santa Clarita Valley has been identified as a “critical choke point” in California’s highway system.

“The I-5 serves as the backbone for goods movement between Mexico and Canada and for motorists traveling north-south within the state and beyond. This segment of I-5 also provides a vital link to job centers for tens of thousands of daily commuters,” reads the motion.

In normal times, these factors create challenging traffic conditions for those who use the corridor; but the problem has been exacerbated due to ongoing construction activities in the area, according to county officials

See Related: 5 Freeway Construction In Santa Clarita Causes Concern, Heavy Holiday Traffic

Currently, The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is implementing a road surface rehabilitation project between Newhall and Castaic on the I-5 and an important capacity enhancement project will begin shortly thereafter.

The end result will be a much safer and efficient movement of people and goods through the region, but the area will continue to experience challenging conditions for the foreseeable future.

“This past weekend saw the highest number of holiday travelers in the metropolitan Los Angeles area in the past 15 years, which proved to be nearly impossible to navigate through the I-5 corridor in the Santa Clarita Valley,” read the motion.

Additionally, during the coming winter months there will likely be increased impacts due to weather related freeway closures north of Castaic, according to county officials.

The residents of unincorporated Castaic are heavily impacted during these situations as the only way to get in and out of Castaic is via the highly constrained, adjacent Old Road.

The Old Road becomes a two-lane road north of Hasley Canyon and is unable to handle increased traffic volume when issues arise on the I-5.

As a result, residents are trapped in Castaic or cannot get into their community for hours on end.

Along the I-210 corridor in the San Gabriel Valley, Caltrans, in partnership with Los Angeles County Public Works and adjacent cities, has been developing a very promising Integrated Corridor Management pilot to improve mobility and handle emergency situations that heavily impact the freeway.

“A similar partnership is needed in the Santa Clarita Valley along the I-5,” said the motion.

The motion is set to be voted on during the Dec. 4 meeting.

Report a typo or error, email Corrections@hometownstation.com

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Supervisor Kathryn Barger Proposes ‘Emergency Plan’ After 5 Freeway Traffic


  1. So why not have 24hr construction to decrease the amount of time/years to fix this problem. Many other countries work efficiently 24hrs a day, in order to complete road work. We waste more money & create more problems in dragging out these projects. Too many hands in the pot!

    • Distracted drivers kill night time highway construction workers at a much higher rate than during daylight.

    • The answer is: the quicker a job gets done, the less job security one has. If you can stretch a one year project to five years and charge five times as much as it cost to do, then the workers just got 4 years of extra jobs security on a project. Remember have quickly the over passes went up after the 94’ earthquake destroyed them? Overnight it seemed. Why? Because they were mandated to with hefty bonuses. There is your answer.

  2. Agree with Desiree.
    Close one side. Work feverishly nite and day for 6-12 months. Do the same for other side. We suffer maybe 2 years and done. Put a people mover in the middle too. Presto done.

  3. How about instead of talking about or analyzing the problem, California hire private contractors to do the work? With incentives to finish early?

    Seem to work very well when they had to rebuild the 5/14 interchange.

    • Exactly, look what benefits we got from 405 design build project. Private Contractors design and build the project with much more cost and delay to everyone of us and nothing was accomplished.

  4. Funny they make no mention of all the homes they want to build and how that will impact traffic……
    It’s not getting any better, even with “improvements”.
    Add tons more commuters to the future problem of getting through and around this valley.

  5. This is a nigthmare of a project… Everyday, the lanes are modified everyday/night also merging is always a roll of the dice… And as of yesterday the south bound merge onto the freeway from McBean Pkwy.. You are met with a very unexpected large decline/slant at the same time you are trying to fiqure out the new lane patterns and hopefully not cutting off a truck..

  6. This is nothing more than a political posturing to appease the angry residents of SCV. Nothing will be solved as travelers will continue to take “short cuts” through the 14 and across SCV back to the 5fwy, just as they did iver the Thanksgiving weekend. Even when construction is over this traffic maddness won’t be solved, considering how much development is planned for SCV. I suggest Kathryn Barger starts worrying about traffic within SCV.

  7. Need more Highways and/or Freeway connections – on/off ramps to other highway connections across unpopulated land north of Castaic on the I-5 (both east & west) and the I-14 to connection north of Sand Canyon exit now especially with all the new construction predicted. This is obvious and I am sure everyone says this, but just to add my opinion in writing with the rest…
    How are we going to do this all this new construction without new travel paths?

  8. I-5 through the SCV area is a flipping mess. Orange County for example, completes major freeway improvements in a few months. L.A. County? Years!!! I too believe it would be in the best interest of the SCV residents that independent contractors are hired to get the work done asap. Our daughter and her family live in Castaic and they were trapped. Cars infiltrated ALL the local residential streets trying to find a way (in and out) and they could not even get off their street!! This is dangerous!! How would have emergency responders been able to get to someone if they had called 911??? Lawsuits coming, L.A. County!! This is critical.
    When I read this in the article, “The partnership would also analyze traffic flow and suggest solutions to the traffic issue on the 5 Freeway….” I about blew a gasket! So you are all going to sit around and ‘talk’ about how to make things magically better? Really? How about getting the road construction done stat, keeping in mind that the safety and welfare of the SCV residents should be the priority? How ’bout you reach in those deep pocketed LA County coffers and produce the funding to get this work done asap? (take a deep breath, breath in…breath out…) We’d be one rich city if we could find a solution for all the traffic woes of this state so why do you think that forming a committee to discuss traffic solutions further is somehow going to make a difference?!

  9. Keep building more homes!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I suspect waze has something to do with the traffic patterns in and around Castaic. During the thanksgiving holiday traffic was traveling through Hasley Hills residental areas. Residents were basically prisoners in our homes let alone what would have happened if an emergency vehicle had to respond. I would expect some sort of sheriff or CHP traffic control keeping freeway traffic off residental streets

  11. We are trapped about 3x a month! At the very least CHP needs to have a plan when traffic is stopped for more than an hour. To keep drivers stopped for 3 hours in their car is unreasonable and unsafe. And they have approved thousands more homes!

  12. SCV traffic in general is a joke. On Wednesday it took me 3 hours to get to Castaic from the 5/14 split. This 5 construction is ridiculous and is a typical mess. I wouldn’t expect anything less from dysfunctional CA. How is Gov. Brown’s “special” gas tax and road tax working out for ya now.

  13. I have to leave home at 4:30 am just to get to work on time at 7 am. Leaving out at 5:30 am takes me 3 hours. An hour sometimes hour and half is from sitting on the 5 North. Last week I left work at 2:30 pm and it took me 2 hours just to get home from taking the streets of McBean Pkwy, so I didnt get home until 7 PM. Just pay us local residents the wages to keep sitting in cars for 3 to 4 hours or pay residents $500 a day tax free for each registered driver to stay off the road for 1 to 2 weeks a month.

  14. big sister crying for help

    I picked up my little sister from school and had my baby sister in the car as well. I went to grab them both something to eat after school not realizing how traffic it would be around 430pm. On our way home, it took us an hour and 30 minutes to drive 4 miles home. With two little girls in the car, it was not easy. On top of that one of them had an accident in the car and it was impossible to pull over or get to somewhere safe to aid to them. Please scv, do better.

  15. It all started with Caltrans starting there HOV lane construction out of phase a few years back. It should have started at the North End of the 5 and worked back to the 14. The main reason is bottlenecks at the 14 is because it loses a lane or doesn’t use the HOV lane that they had installed previously because it would end at Lyon’s anyways.

  16. The view of trash and road kill,the shores of dread landscape,and visiting ones disgruntled neighbors through car windows is magically Eden.

  17. The traffic over the holiday also happens when the I 5 grapevine is shut down. There needs to be a permanent resolution to this traffic problem. Maybe put up one of those electric signs BEFORE the 5 / 14 interchange!

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About Devon Miller

Devon Miller was born and raised in Santa Clarita. He joined KHTS Radio as a digital marketing intern in September of 2017, and later moved to news as a staff writer in December. Miller attended College of the Canyons and served as the Associated Student Government President. Miller is now News Director for KHTS, covering breaking news and politics across the Santa Clarita Valley.