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SCV drivers could face rough L.A. commute

Cleanup from weekend truck crash has closed majority of lanes on Interstate 5

Posted: July 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Santa Clarita Valley residents who commute to Los Angeles for work could face massive gridlock today as the California Department of Transportation works to repair a connecting section of Interstate 5 after a tanker truck flipped and started a fire on Saturday.

On Sunday night, California Highway Patrol Officer Jennifer Cassidy said she was optimistic the freeways would be up and running “hopefully by 6 in the morning” — when the commute really gets going.

However, California Department of Transportation spokesman Patrick Chandler said Sunday that all northbound lanes of the freeway will remain closed Monday, as will two southbound lanes at the underpass connecting I-5 and state Route 2.

Saturday’s fire was so intense it rendered the structure’s concrete brittle. Chandler said repairs will be quite extensive and urged commuters to avoid the area and take public transit Monday.

The California Highway Patrol has some tips for commuters coming from the Santa Clarita Valley.

“Use the 170 and the 405 to the 101 and avoid the 5 and the 2,” Cassidy said.

Traffic was snarled for hours Saturday after the tanker overturned and sent its 8,500-gallon load of gasoline into the Los Angeles River and underground systems.

Freeway detours around the crash site have been jammed ever since.

Santa Clarita city officials estimate roughly 50 percent of employed residents commute south to work.


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