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Home » Santa Clarita Latest News » Grapevine Gate Considered ‘Success’ After First Use For Weather On 5 Freeway In Castaic
Grapevine Gate 1
Turnaround gate on the 5 freeway in Castaic near the Grapevine. Photo Courtesy of Caltrans.

Grapevine Gate Considered ‘Success’ After First Use For Weather On 5 Freeway In Castaic

The new Grapevine gate, which was utilized on Thanksgiving to turn motorists around on the 5 Freeway in Castaic after snow closed the interstate, was a “success,” officials said Tuesday.

On Thanksgiving Day, the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation worked to turn around a large number of vehicles for the first weather-related incident after snow closed the Grapevine down, said Michael Comeaux, a spokesperson for Caltrans.

The gate is located in the median of the 5 Freeway just north of Lake Hughes Road in Castaic, according to officials.

Caltrans has heard only positive things about the new Grapevine gate, according to officials.

Part of the success was the cooperation and patience from the public knowing that the only thing controlling the closure of the freeway was the weather, Comeaux said.

“(The gate) allows more vehicles to cue up on the freeway and not inundate Castaic city roads,” said Officer Josh Greengard, a spokesperson for the CHP Newhall Area Office.

One of the successes of the Grapevine gate was that it relieved traffic throughout Castaic, according to officials.

“We noticed the Hasley roundabout was not gridlocked,” Greengard said.

See Related: Snow In Grapevine Could Prompt 5 Freeway Closure Over Thanksgiving Weekend   

When the snow started falling, causing the CHP to close the 5 Freeway, officers blocked the left two lanes of the roadway, according to CHP officials.

“We funneled everyone into the right two lanes,” Greengard said. “If they wanted to get off, they could, or they could turn around.”

During the closure, officers from neighboring CHP offices assisted the Newhall office, according to officials.

When the 5 Freeway is closed, it takes between seven to nine officers to manage the traffic, Greengard said.

“This gate is the first of its kind in Los Angeles County,” Comeaux said.

Due to the publicity it received, Comeaux feels that it could start a trend of getting other gates similar to the one in Castaic installed in other parts of the state.

In the weeks to come, Caltrans is set to work with the CHP to discuss ways to continue efforts to make closures run smoothly, and find ways to make the future closures go even better than the first time, Comeaux said.

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Grapevine Gate Considered ‘Success’ After First Use For Weather On 5 Freeway In Castaic

2 comments

  1. While admittedly better than last year’s cluster, this Castaic resident would like to quibble with the representation that everything was fine and no complaints were heard. I call BS. The Old Road from Hasley to Parker was a parking lot, same as last year. On Wednesday afternoon, one trip took me 20 minutes to get from Ralphs (at Hasley) to Hillcrest Parkway, normally a drive of about 90 seconds. No CHP officers (or anyone else) were thereto manage the extra traffic during any of my several trips in or out of Hillcrest Park. Better yes, but not fixed. The Old Road needs to be widened ALL THE WAY from Hasley to Parker.

  2. Why not just close the 5 at the 126, funnel traffic to Ventura.

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About Louie Diaz

Louie was born and raised in Santa Clarita. At the age of two Louie lost his vision due to a brain tumor. However, Louie doesn't let blindness stop him from doing what ever it is he wants to accomplish. Growing up some of his favorite hobbies were wood working, fishing and riding bikes. Louie graduated from College of the Canyon in December of 2017, with a Broadcast Journalism degree. Growing up Louie has always wanted to be a fire fighter or a police officer, but because of his blindness Louie knew that wouldn't work. Louie has always loved listening to police and fire radio traffic, using a scanner, and he figured if he was going to listen to the scanner so much, he should do something with it.